Kenya registers nearly equal mobile phone ownership among men, women

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A resident uses a Nokia Oyj mobile phone in Nairobi, Kenya, on Sunday, April 14, 2013. In the six years since Kenya's M-Pesa brought banking-by-phone to Africa, the service has grown from a novelty to a bona fide payment network. Photographer: Trevor Snapp/Bloomberg/ Getty Images
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, women comprise 50.2 percent of people in rural areas who own mobile phones while men 49.8 percent. (Photo by Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

As many women as men own mobile phones in Kenya, a new survey by the government statistician, which examined the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 5b in the East African nation, released Thursday indicated.

The goal focuses on enhancing the use of enabling technology, in particular, information and communications technology (ICT), to promote the empowerment of women.

“The sex disaggregation of the population owning a mobile phone revealed that 49.5 percent were women, while 50.5 percent were men,” the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), which did the study in collaboration with UN Women, said in a brief.

While the overall rate of people who own mobile phones in Kenya dips in rural areas at 36 percent as compared to urban areas where 59 percent of citizens own the gadgets, the balance in ownership between women and men flips in the former.

Women comprise 50.2 percent of people in rural areas who own mobile phones while men 49.8 percent, said KNBS, which examined its 2019 population census data.

The latest data from the Communication Authority of Kenya indicate that as of September 2021, the number of cell phones accessing mobile networks in the country stood at 59 million, out of which 33 million were feature phones and 26 million smartphones.

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