Gender imbalance in access to Internet is worrying: Facebook India head

Facebook India head Ajit Mohan (Mint file)

New Delhi: The gender imbalance in access to Internet is worrying, and digital products and services created by platforms must ensure that this divide is narrowed, Facebook India head Ajit Mohan said on Tuesday.

“In India, just 35% women have access to Internet. We need to understand that there is a big gender imbalance in access to Internet here,” Mohan said at a session at the India Mobile Congress here.

“While telecom companies have done their bit and built capacity for networks, we (Facebook) want to build products that pull in more women towards Internet,” he said.

“We see ourselves as an ally in the digital transformation of the country,” Mohan said.

Facebook also owns messaging platform WhatsApp and Instagram, which are very popular in India.

“One of our biggest focus areas is how to ensure that our products cater to women’s concern about data privacy etc,” he said.

“Other focus areas are ensuring financial inclusion and boosting entrepreneurship and commerce. We want to ensure small entrepreneurs reach their market and our platform is rooted in the social fabric of the country,” Mohan said.

His statement comes at a time when WhatsApp has attracted government ire over encryption standards of the platform. The Indian government is pressing WhatsApp to share traceability and origin of messages to tackle the menace of fake news. WhatsApp has, however, refused to do so citing privacy standards.

India has the biggest user base of Facebook with 328 monthly active users. In fact, Google and Facebook control more than half of the total digital ad market as well.

[“source=livemint”]

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