#digitalcamerwoman : How Internet Empowers Women In Cameroon
Behind the clichés displayed by search engines, when searching for information on Internet presence of women from Cameroon, the reality is quite different. Online activity of women in this country located in Central Africa region is not limited to the search for a European spouse.
Since 2015, Internet Sans Frontières has been studying the impact of the Internet and ICT on Cameroonian women, and on equality between women and men in the country. According to our study, carried out with support from the Web Foundation and the Swedish development agency: Cameroonian women use the Internet to create economic activity, keep in touch with family and friends, or acquire new knowledge and skills.
Problem: Cameroonian women are 50% less likely to access the Internet, than their male compatriots. The main reasons are:
– Cost of Internet access: in a country where the minimum monthly salary is around 55 euros, investing on average 6 euros per 1Giga of data, valid for 1 month remains a luxury, especially for women who are more vulnerable to poverty;
-Lack of digital literacy: Cameroonian women would like to know more about the range of opportunities offered by the Internet and ICTs
According to Julie Owono,Head of Africa Desk at Internet Without Borders:
It is undeniable today that the democratization of women’s Internet access is an essential growth lever for emerging economies.
With support from the Web Foundation, Internet Sans Frontières launches on March 8, 2017, International Women’s Day, its digital campaign “#digitalcamerwoman”, a hashtag around which Cameroonian women, whom Internet Without Borders met in Yaoundé, Cameroon, explain their use of the Internet, and what they could do with a more affordable Internet access: entrepreneur, student, or job seeker, the Internet has a positive impact on their lives. These testimonies contrast with the Internet shutdown, imposed in some parts of Cameroon since January 2017.
The hashtag #digitalcamerwoman is also an opportunity for all to demonstrate the creativity and dynamism of Cameroonian women, which would be increased tenfold with more affordable Internet access for all.
Internet Without Borders promotes Internet as a space of freedoms, creation, and borderless cooperation, as well as a tool for economic, political and social advancement. https://internetwithoutborders.org
About the Web Foundation
Established by the inventor of the Web, Sir Tim Berners Lee, the World Wide Web Foundation seeks to establish the open Web as a global public good and a basic right, creating a world where everyone, everywhere can use the Web to communicate, collaborate and innovate freely. Represented by more than a dozen nationalities working from hubs in London, Washington DC and Cape Town, the World Wide Web Foundation operates at the confluence of technology and human rights, targeting three key areas: Access, Voice and Participation. http://webfoundation.org/