Women using mobile web rises 575 percent - Matthew Bowden

The number of women using the web on mobile phones has risen by 575 percent over the last two years, according to the latest State of the Mobile Web Report published by Opera today.

Opera polled 300,000 Opera Mini users from 15 countries to discover how many people were using the mobile web.

The report found that men still dominate the net, with 77 percent of mobile web users being male and only 23 percent being female. However, this is still an improvement on two years ago, where the figures were 88 percent male and only 12 percent female. 

Between May 2008 and July 2010 the number of male mobile web users increased by 233 percent, but the number of female users was more than double that at 575 percent. Opera believes this indicates a trend towards greater gender equality online, but clearly there is still a way to go.

The report found that South Africa had the most female users at 43.5 percent, up from 24.7 percent in the last Opera report in 2008. The US took second place at 35.6 percent, up from 19.4 percent. Russia came in third at 32.4 percent, up from 12.5 percent, while the UK took fourth place at 31.5 percent, up from 16.6 percent.

Conversely, India had the lowest number of female users at only 4.0 percent, but that's still an increase on its previous figure of 2.8 percent two years ago. Nigeria was only slightly better at 5.4 percent. China was third worst at 11.6 percent, but that's more than double its previous figure of 5.5 percent. Finally Vietnam took the fourth worst slot at 17.9 percent.

“We believe access to the Web is a universal right and the mobile Web is all about breaking down barriers to access,” said Jon von Tetzchner, co-founder of Opera. “Seeing more women on the mobile Web is important to ensuring the mobile Web remains the rich tapestry of ideas it is. Further diversity can only improve things for everyone.”