In a new report on online activities of women in India, the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has found that online population of women is growing faster than the male users. While male online users increased in absolute numbers, their share in the total online population dipped from 72 per cent in 2004-05 to 68 per cent in 2005-06, whereas the female online user base increased from 28 per cent to 32 per cent in the same period.
Since 2004-05, the percentage of online users has increased by 54 per cent to 38.5 million users. It is estimated that the male-female ratio of Net users in the next two years will be closer to 60:40.
The survey found that nearly 96 per cent of women use the Internet for email purposes, while 92 per cent also use it for work purposes. The survey further revealed that 63 per cent of women users surfed for personal purposes. When it comes to news, 51 per cent of women look up news online, while 10 per cent read news on their mobile as a personal activity.
The survey also found that maximum 39 per cent of women online users are in the age group of 26-35 years, whereas 33 per cent of women are in the age group of 18-25 years. 13 per cent of female users are students, 14 per cent junior executives, 15 per cent mid-level executives and 10 per cent are senior executives, while 10 per cent are self-employed / professional.
57 per cent of women accessed the Internet from home, 54 per cent accessed it from the office, and 31 per cent women accessed the Net from cyber cafes, the report said.
On Net savvyness, the report stated that 34 per cent of women have been using the Internet for more than six years, 44 per cent have been using it for 3-5 years, 14 per cent have been using the Internet for the last 1-2 years.
When it comes to time spent online, 24 per cent of women use the Internet for more than 21 hours a week, while 17 per cent women use the Net for 11-20 hours a week, and 29 per cent of them use it for 5-10 hours a week.
Commenting on the research, Preeti Desai, President, IAMAI said, “It’s critical to understand different reasons women use the Net for, throwing light on multiple usabilities for personal requisites or for work related needs. The findings of this research will help marketers to build their online infrastructure, including online sales and communication channel, as women like to discuss and share their experiences with a greater emphasis on deepening connections with people.”
The research was undertaken by IAMAI in collaboration with Crosstab Marketing Services, which involved 6,365 respondents in December 2005. The research was undertaken with a view to ascertain the gender parity online with a primary focus on understanding the female demographic and their activities online giving marketers a better perspective while designing their marketing and promotional programmes to cater to a defined online target audience.