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COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET Home

COMMUNET  February 2005, Week 3

COMMUNET February 2005, Week 3

Subject:

Women cross digital divide, poor lag behind: EU report

From:

Steve Cavrak <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Community and Civic Network discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 16 Feb 2005 18:00:29 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (54 lines)

Women cross digital divide, poor lag behind: EU report
14/02/2005
http://www.eubusiness.com/topics/Internet/infosoc.2005-02-14

Women have overtaken men in the past three years in their pace of
Internet take-up, according to a new Commission report. However, low
take-up by the poorly educated and poorly paid is denying them new
opportunities.

In addition to women, the over 55s are also increasingly gaining
computer skills, and this trend is set to continue. However, education,
age and income remain the most important areas in the digital divide.

The report concludes that access to the Internet and computer skills
can help people escape from poverty. But more information is needed so
that policies to help people access the information society can be
better targeted. Without action, Europe may become even more polarised
between the 'eIncluded and the eExcluded'.

The report 'eInclusion revisited: the local dimension of the
Information Society' found that education is fundamental to being
'eIncluded'. 'Higher Internet use seems to remain clearly and
consistently related to higher educational and occupational status,' it
states.

The Internet requires basic skills, such as literacy, and much of its
content is geared towards the better educated. The report quotes
examples of people who started computer skills courses but abandoned
them when they found no content that interested them.

The prohibitive cost of personal computers (PC) is one of the obstacles
to reducing the digital divide. This is particularly acute in the new
Member States, says the report. The main reason for not using the
Internet across the EU was not having a PC at home.

The EU-15 had an average of 43.5% of its population using the Internet
- this fell to 41.4% when the EU enlarged to 25. However, all of the
new Member States have over 25% of their population using the Internet,
above the rate for both Greece and Portugal. Estonia, with 44% and
Slovenia, with 41.7%, beat most of the old EU-15's national rates.

Remote and rural areas in the EU often still lack even basic Internet
connections. They also have a slower take up of new technologies,
increasing the digital divide between rural and urban areas.

[1] Report eInclusion revisited: the local dimension of the Information
Society  - pdf
http://www.eubusiness.com/go/europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/news/
2005/feb/eincllocal_en.pdf

[2]  Report Annex  - pdf
http://www.eubusiness.com/go/europa.eu.int/comm/employment_social/news/
2005/feb/eincllocal_annex_en.pdf

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