Arab women failing to use internet

Arab teenagers and women make little use of the internet, described as "a worrisome sign" by a study due to be published in October by a major Arabic-language digital library.

    Study says more scientific and cultural websites would widen Internet's appeal

    Alwaraq.com, based in the United Arab Emirates and one of the largest Arabic digital libraries, carried out the web survey of 6300 participants this summer in an effort to persuade governments and companies of the importance of Arabic cultural and scientific websites.

      

    "A very low percentage of Arabic teenagers (are) among the users of Arabic cultural websites," the study found, noting "a low usage of the internet by Arab women."

     

    Social barriers

      

    Of the participants, 12% were aged between 11 and 20 years, 39% were in the 21-30 age bracket and 29% were aged between 31 and 40 years. Just 18% of participants were women.

      

    "It is necessary to reduce many of the social barriers that face Arab women and deter them from using the internet, while at the same time creating websites tailored for Arab females,” the study recommended.

      

    "A very low percentage of Arabic teenagers (are) among the users of Arabic cultural websites"

    Study on Internet usage

    "There is a large need felt by the Arabic public for scientific and cultural websites. Creating such websites would likely attract more Arabic internet users," the study said.

      

    "And this should also draw the attention of Arabic information producers and information technology developers to the dire shortage of educational websites and the public need for them," it added.

      

    The study, which is to be published in October by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia also bemoaned a shortage of Arabic-language search engines. 

    SOURCE: AFP


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