India

A key barrier to getting women online in India is the lack of awareness about the benefits of the internet. Among those surveyed who do not use the internet, 31% were “not interested in anything that is on the internet.” However, women show greater optimism and autonomy when they use the internet.

Insights Summary

Indian women who use the internet are more independent, optimistic and active outside of the home than women who don’t. In general, they consider the internet a great destination for education, which they often pursue to gain recognition from family and friends.

The biggest barrier preventing women from going online is a lack of relevant content. Because chores and childcare are still largely their responsibilities, a lack of leisure time is also a barrier. But two-thirds of women who don’t use the internet are interested in using it in the future, and their level of interest has grown substantially in recent years. Rather than pursuing formal coursework to learn about the internet, they’re very receptive to studying in an informal setting with their peers or on their own.

Getting Online

Indian women’s interest in the internet has grown significantly in the past few years. Two-thirds of women who currently don’t use the internet show some interest in using it in the future.

“Given what you know about the internet, how interested would you be in using it in the future?”
Extremely / Very Moderately / Slightly Not at all
2014 22% 28% 50%
2017 21% 45% 34%
Base: Non-internet users (women)

The main barriers preventing Indians from getting online are a lack of relevant content and not enough leisure time. In addition, spending time with family and friends deters women from getting online.

Top three barriers to getting online
  • Women
    • Not interested in anything that is on the internet:1
    • Don’t have time available:2
    • Prefer spending time with family and friends:3
  • Men
    • Don’t have time available:1
    • Not interested in anything that is on the internet:2
    • I don’t need to use the internet for my work:3
Base: Non-users who are interested in using the internet in the future

Future internet users would rather learn about the internet on their own or through social circles than through formal instruction.

Preferred source for learning about the internet
Friend or family 49.8%
On my own 43.2%
Group lesson 6.5%
Individual lesson 2.0%
Base: Non-users who are interested in using the internet in the future

Women who are not online are less likely to see the benefits of using the internet for gaining information.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements:
% agree/strongly agree Non-internet users Internet users
“I believe that learning about other parts of the world is a major benefit of the internet.” 66% 87%
“I believe that having easy access to information from anywhere is a major benefit of the internet.” 69% 89%
Base: Women

Non-internet users are much more interested in online activities related to social networking and entertainment than information gathering.

“What would you like to do if you had access to the internet?”
  • Social networking:34%
  • Videos/TV:30%
  • Games:26%
  • Search:16%
  • News:14%
Base: Non-internet users who would use the internet (women)

Life

Women in India are concerned about how they are perceived by society, and care about fitting in.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements:
APAC India
“I think society will judge me.” 49% 79%
“It’s important for me to be like my family and friends.” 57% 84%
Base: Women

Among women, internet users are more likely to value social activities outside the home and to have role models and peers than non-users. This tendency is not seen among men.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements:
“Being social is an important part of activities outside the home.” Internet users Non-internet users
Women 86% 78%
Men 79% 78%
“There are women in my community who inspire me.” Internet users Non-internet users
Women 87% 77%
Men 78% 76%
“There are people whom I spend time with because we have common interests.” Internet users Non-internet users
Women 84% 74%
Men 83% 83%
Base: Women

Connected women are more optimistic about their future and more independent when they make decisions.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements:
Non-internet users Internet users
“My future is wide open.” 76% 85%
“I am able to to make decisions about what is right for myself without consulting anyone else.” 73% 86%
Base: Women

Most Indians think household and childcare responsibilities should be shared among both genders.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements:
“Men and women should both take responsibility for child-rearing.” India APAC
Women 88% 86%
Men 83% 80%
“Men and women should both take responsibility for household chores.” India APAC
Women 90% 85%
Men 85% 78%
Base: All

However, most women take primary responsibility for those activities.

“Who is mainly responsible for taking care of your child/children?”
Myself My partner/spouse Split between myself and partner Another family member Domestic help
Women 83% 8% 7% 2% 0%
Men 23% 51% 13% 9% 3%
Base: Married and have child/children
“Who is mainly responsible for the daily chores in your household?”
Myself My partner/spouse Split between myself and partner Another family member Domestic help
Women 89% 5% 2% 3% 0%
Men 20% 52% 4% 21% 2%
Base: Married

Education

Most Indians think the internet is a great tool for education, from casually learning skills to pursuing formal coursework.

Percentage of people who agree with these statements:
“The internet is the best place to go when you want to learn something informal—such as a recipe.” India APAC
Women 73% 70%
Men 68% 64%
“The internet is the best place to go when you want to learn something formal—such as a course or type of study.” India APAC
Women 73% 57%
Men 72% 57%
Base: All

Indian women who are planning to be self-employed are highly motivated to learn online.

Percentage of people who would consider online education
  • Women:38%
  • Men:42%
  • Women who intend to be self-employed:51%

Recognition from others is the top result that Indians, particularly men, seek from online education.

“What would you say were the main outcomes you were looking to get from an online course?”
Women Men
Recognition from others 40% 49%
Practical skills 40% 42%
Financial opportunities 36% 38%
Base: Internet users who are interested in online education

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