Insights Summary

Many women across Asia Pacific consider the internet essential to their daily lives. In fact, those who use it are often much more optimistic about the future than non-users.

For those who aren’t online yet, the biggest barrier is a perceived lack of relevancy, as women feel they cannot afford time on the internet or they think there's nothing of interest online. However, many of these women are open to learning about the internet through a friend, family member, or self-study, and they’re most likely to connect to the internet with a smartphone.

As internet usage is growing, there are still more opportunities for women to expand the range of opportunities that they take advantage of, such as finding work, using productivity apps, or other activities that could improve their daily lives.

However, women are highly interested in online education. Those who want to be self-employed are especially eager to learn, and popular subjects include business, finance, and administration.

As more women discover the full potential of the internet, they will be able to gain confidence, find inspiration, learn new things, and connect with each other, creating their own opportunities to grow and succeed.

Internet Usage

Full potential of the internet yet to be explored by users and non-users

Presenting tangible, relatable benefits is key to bringing more women online. The internet has become indispensable for many women. Users see its benefit and tend to have a more positive outlook for their lives. But more than 30% of non-internet users across the region show little interest in getting online, largely because of a perceived lack of relevant online content. Among women who are interested in learning how to use the internet, they prefer to learn in a casual environment with someone they know, or on their own, rather than in a formal classroom setting.

The majority of internet users, both men and women, think the internet is essential for their daily lives.

Once people start using the internet, they see more possibilities for their future than those who do not use the internet.

Percentage of people who agree that there are many different paths they can take in life.
Non-Users Users
Indonesia 59% 82%
Thailand 65% 82%
Vietnam 49% 64%
India 76% 85%
Philippines 79% 82%
Base: All

There are still many non-internet users who are not interested in going online.

“Given what you know about the internet, how interested would you be in using the internet in future?”
India Philippines Indonesia Vietnam Thailand
Extremely / Very 21% 8% 6% 4% 4%
Moderately / Slightly 45% 44% 49% 61% 24%
Not at all 34% 48% 46% 35% 72%
Base: Non-internet users (women)

Common barriers preventing women from getting online are a lack of relevance and time constraints.

Top three barriers to getting online
  • India
    • Not interested in anything online:36%
    • No time:26%
    • Can’t afford it :21%
  • Indonesia
    • Not interested in anything online:42%
    • No time:35%
    • Prefer time with family / friends:34%
  • Philippines
    • Not interested in anything online:29%
    • No time:27%
    • Prefer time with family / friends:23%
  • Vietnam
    • No time:45%
    • No need to use internet for work:37%
    • Not confident using a computer / smartphone:33%
  • Thailand
    • No time:53%
    • Not interested in anything online:48%
    • No need:47%
Base: Non-internet users

Across the region, women who are interested in getting online are more receptive to learning about the internet in more informal settings instead of taking classes. They prefer to learn through friends or family, or on their own. And they are most likely to connect with a smartphone.

Preferred source for learning about the internet
Friend or family 45%
On my own 32%
Group lesson 2%
Individual lesson 1%
Base: Non-users who are interested in using the internet in the future (women)
Preferred device for getting online
Smartphone Feature phone Computer Others Don’t think I will use the internet
66.37% 12.30% 8.28% 2.38% 10.66%
Base: Non-internet users (women)

Room for growth in internet usage beyond communication and media consumption

Overall, internet usage has increased along with the rapid growth of mobile access across the region in the past few years. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the range of online activities has expanded. Users mainly rely on the internet for communication, media consumption and social media. Fewer people (especially women) use it for work, learning or managing daily tasks, so there's an opportunity to improve productivity through skills training.

Men and women connect to the internet with equal frequency in most markets, except in India and Indonesia, where women are online less than men.

Percentage of people who use the internet daily
Women Men
Korea 100% 95%
Japan 99% 99%
Malaysia 99% 98%
Australia 97% 95%
Thailand 96% 95%
Vietnam 95% 93%
Philippines 64% 60%
India 52% 62%
Indonesia 48% 61%
Base: Internet users

There's a significant increase in internet access via smartphones in the past few years, especially in India and the Philippines.

Percentage of users who primarily use smartphones to access the internet
2014 2017
APAC 63% 84%
India 58% 93%
Philippines 47% 77%
Base: Internet users (women)
Categories of daily online activities
  • Communication:72%
  • Social: 65%
  • Media consumption:59%
  • Administrative tasks:35%
Base: Internet users

Work-Life Balance

Not everyone thinks work-life balance is improving

Views on whether work-life balance has improved differ among working women across the region.

While 33% of working women across the region think work-life balance is better than a year ago, Korean and Japanese women see much less improvement.

“Comparing your situation at work to one year ago, how would you describe your balance between work and life?”
Better Same Worse Don’t know
Japan 15% 53% 17% 15%
Korea 18% 54% 23% 4%
APAC 33% 48% 13% 6%
Base: Employed women

Women still handle most household responsibilities, with limited support

The majority of women and men alike believe that household and childcare duties should be shared by both genders. However, in reality, primary responsibility goes to women across APAC. There is also a gap in how people perceive that they’re sharing these responsibilities, as more men than women believe that they split household duties between themselves and their partners.

Percentage of people who believe men and women should both take responsibility in household chores
Women Men
APAC 85.81% 80.73%
Australia 87.92% 81.63%
India 89.12% 82.76%
Indoensia 81% 78.13%
Japan 67.79% 60.20%
Korea 89.25% 77.39%
Malaysia 91.90% 86%
Philippines 91.20% 86.17%
Thailand 88.19% 85.71%
Vietnam 83.69% 79.43%
Base: Married
Percentage of people who claim they split household chores with their partner
Women Men
APAC 10% 23%
Australia 22% 42%
India 2% 4%
Indoensia 5% 6%
Japan 4% 28%
Korea 15% 40%
Malaysia 26% 37%
Philippines 3% 17%
Thailand 6% 18%
Vietnam 18% 31%
Base: Married
Percentage of people who believe men and women should both take responsibility in childrearing
Women Men
APAC 88.04% 83.65%
Australia 89.96% 83.02%
India 87.69% 81.70%
Indonesia 90.69% 85.71%
Japan 73.91% 62.96%
Korea 90.46% 82.65%
Malaysia 90.23% 82.68%
Philippines 90.78% 90.64%
Thailand 87.57% 87.76%
Vietnam 85.19% 84.10%
Base: Married
Percentage of people who claim they split childrearing responsibility
Women Men
APAC 14% 28%
Australia 25% 45%
India 7% 13%
Indonesia 13% 20%
Japan 21% 43%
Korea 16% 40%
Malaysia 31% 43%
Philippines 4% 13%
Thailand 7% 15%
Vietnam 22% 34%
Base: Married

Regarding the role of the internet at home, women in most countries see it as helpful in children’s education, but less relevant for managing day-to-day household duties.

Percentage of women who find the internet helpful for aspects of their home life
Children’s education Manage my day to day household
Indonesia 64% 40%
Philippines 74% 50%
Vietnam 59% 31%
Thailand 71% 46%
Malaysia 59% 39%
Australia 54% 38%
India 79% 77%
Japan 19% 35%
Korea 50% 51%
Base: Internet users (women)

Women seek ways to remain in the workforce, despite challenges

Most women across the region aspire to contribute economically outside of their home, and believe more strongly than men that work opportunities should be equally available to all. However, women are more likely to see a gap between belief and reality, especially in Korea, Japan and Australia.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements:
“People should have an equal chance to obtain a job regardless of gender.” Korea Japan Australia APAC
Women 86% 67% 87% 85%
Men 75% 57% 79% 80%
“People do have an equal chance to obtain a job regardless of gender.” Korea Japan Australia APAC
Women 35% 28% 53% 68%
Men 39% 33% 65% 71%
Base: All
“Thinking 5 years from now, what do you intend to be doing from a work point of view?”
Full-time for an organization Part-time for an organization Self-employed
Korea 61% 10% 14%
Thailand 60% 2% 27%
Malaysia 48% 7% 40%
Australia 48% 19% 19%
Vietnam 41% 7% 34%
Japan 39% 22% 6%
Philippines 27% 7% 32%
India 19% 9% 12%
Indonesia 9% 8% 39%
Base: Women ages 25-34

Many women see the internet as a good place for learning

Among internet users, those who are planning to be self-employed are more likely to consider online courses.

Percentage of people who would consider online education
All internet users Internet users who intend to be self-employed
APAC 47% 59%
Base: Internet users (women)

Online courses in business, finance, and administration are popular with women in many markets.

Top three topics of interest for online education
  • Vietnam
    • Business:50%
    • Finance:35%
    • Administration:31%
  • Malaysia
    • Business:47%
    • Administration:35%
    • Finance:32%
  • Japan
    • Business:44%
    • Beauty:29%
    • Finance:24%
  • Philippines
    • Business:44%
    • Education support:25%
    • Marketing:17%
  • Thailand
    • Business:41%
    • Finance:39%
    • Administration:34%
  • Australia
    • Business:32%
    • Administration:24%
    • Health & Nutrition:18%
  • Korea
    • Education support:33%
    • Finance:28%
    • Fashion:24%
  • India
    • Design:39%
    • Education support:35%
    • Fashion:35%
  • Indonesia
    • Beauty:54%
    • Fashion:38%
    • Health & Nutrition:31%
Base: Internet users who are interested in online education (women)

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