Monitoring Digital Gender Inequality using Facebook and Google Advertising Audience Estimates

Topic: Big Data
Type: Report
Author: Ridhi Kashyap, Ingmar Weber, Masoomali Fatehkia, Reham Al Tamime Date: November 2019

Gender equality in internet access and digital skills are important targets within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but gender data to measure progress in these domains are limited.

While the Internet has tremendous potential to help meet the SDGs by lowering the cost of information and connectivity, ‘digital divides’ or inequalities in access and use of the internet, persist. Over 250 million fewer women are online than men and gender gaps in internet use tend to be greater in developing countries. The lack of data on internet access and digital skills remains one of the largest barriers to monitoring progress on these issues.

This report shows how anonymous, aggregated digital data from the online advertising platforms of Facebook and Google can help fill this data gap, and could be used to inform policies to target digital gender inequalities.

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