Many studies conclude that a significant gender divide in access to the telephone exists, particularly in developing countries. Furthermore, women are also said to use telephones in a different manner from men — making and receiving more calls, spending more time on calls and using telephones primarily for ‘relationship maintenance’ purposes. Much of this research is based on small-sample studies in affluent developed countries. This article shows that a significant gender divide in access to telephones exists in Pakistan and India, to a lesser extent in Sri Lanka, but is absent in the Philippines and Thailand. It also challenges the findings which claim that women’s and men’s use is fundamentally different, at least at the ‘bottom of the pyramid’ in developing countries.
Zainudeen, A.; Iqbal, T.; Samarajiva, R. Who’s got the phone? Gender and the use of the telephone at the bottom of the pyramid. New Media and Society (2010) 12 (4) 549-566. [DOI: 10.1177/1461444809346721]