Asia Pacific Insight Report: Women and Technology


We spoke to 800 Malaysian women, 400 Internet users and 400 non-users.

Our survey revealed some demographic differences: internet users tend to be younger, single working women. Non-users are slightly older, mainly married with children. Nearly half are housewives.


Internet users


Internet non-users

One-third of new users want to go online more. And 60% of non-users are interested in going online, but most — particularly older women — don’t think they’ll get the chance. Only 27% of non-users feel they are likely to use the Internet.

Malaysian women who use the Internet value it for keeping in touch with their loved ones. Emphasising this benefit, and helping them overcome knowledge and access barriers, could motivate more women to go online.

Malaysian women see the Internet’s potential benefits, and want to keep up with today’s world.

Both Internet users and non-users agree that accessing information and getting things done are key benefits of the Internet.

Easy access to information


Accomplishing work


Managing day to day lives


Internet users also feel that going online helps them communicate with friends and family, and provides a source of entertainment.


Makes it easier to communicate with people important to them.


Having access to any information they want.


Ensuring they always have something to keep them entertained.

The Malaysian women in our survey want to keep up with change, but sometimes find it difficult.


“It is important for me to keep up-to-date with the modern world.”

“I find it difficult to keep up with the pace of changing technology.”

“I believe the Internet is essential in this day and age.”

Those who haven’t used the Internet lack the time, inclination and knowledge to do so.

Don’t have an interest in what’s on the Internet.

Developing country average 32%

Don’t have the time.

Developing country average 31%

Don’t know how to do the things they want on the Internet.

Developing country average 30%

Basic navigation is a challenge for some of our respondents — even on the level of using smartphone keyboards. Teaching these non-users the basics could help them overcome technological insecurities.

“I wish my daughter would teach me how to use the Internet. You think people will discriminate if you ask them.”

— Anonymous, Kuala Lumpur, aged 44

For existing Internet users, the biggest barriers to going online more are time, knowledge and cost.

Can’t afford it because access is too expensive.

Developing country average 37%

Not enough time available to use the Internet as often as they’d like.

Developing country average 37%

Challenges finding what they want online.

Developing country average 30%

Many of them don’t have more time to go online because they juggle responsibilities in and out of home.

of surveyed Internet users are employed.
are solely or jointly responsible for daily chores at home.

“Men do not have to work when they get home. Women have to continue working at home. Even if we’re tired we have to work. Our kids are our motivation.”

— Anonymous, Internet User, aged 35-55

Both users and non-users are wary of inappropriate content online.

The Malaysian women in our survey want to keep up with change, but sometimes find it difficult.


“I believe there are many things on the Internet which go against my values or morals.”

“Information available on the Internet should be restricted.”

“I believe scams and hoaxes are a huge threat when using the Internet.”

“I would be more focused on my surroundings if I didn’t have a phone. Some friends are addicted.”

Bukit Beruntung
aged 24

Accessing and using social networks are the main online activities for many Malaysian women who use the Internet.

Social networking.
Developing country average 80%
Updating status on a social network.
Developing country average 66%

Non-users considered social networking a compelling motivation to start going online.

Social networking and sharing.
Developing country average 71%
Keeping informed.
Developing country average 75%

Most use social media, but not everyone posts status updates, indicating that chat apps and SMS might be a more important way to keep in touch.

For some of the women we interviewed, chat applications aren’t just social. They’re also used for important conversations with experts like teachers and doctors.

“Technology can help women to work, have online business so they don’t have to go out. They can be home and look after their kids and work at the same time.”

— Anonymous, Bukit Beruntung, aged 24

For the Malaysian women we spoke to, community is an important reason to get online — and stay there.

Many of the Internet users in our survey started going online out of interest, or to keep in touch with family and friends.


first went online because they were interested.


first went online to stay in touch with family or friends.


first went online because family or friends were online.

Many of the Internet users in our survey started going online out of interest, or to keep in touch with family and friends.


would use the Internet more if they knew more people online.


would use the Internet more if they had family support to go online.


of non-users would prefer to learn how to use the Internet from friends.

Connecting with friends and family is a major trigger for Internet use.

For many Malaysian women, learning from their communities may be a better introduction to the Internet than those offered by businesses or schools.

Once online, they’ll be better placed to take advantage of their opportunities in today’s world, creating more time to spend on themselves and those they care about. Use our data tool to explore more insights about women and technology in Malaysia.

View Data Explorer