E-inclusion and social welfare in Spain: a gender perspective

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The available data show that men use the Internet in greater proportions and with more intensity than women. However, women tend to perform more socially efficient activities than men, as if the traditional division of work were translated to the virtual world, In other words, some women’s use of the Internet (mainly related to health, education or family matters) seems to have a greater degree of functionality in terms of social wellbeing. On the contrary, men outperform women in leisure (sports, games, newspapers) and consumption. In this context, this paper discusses the possible advantages of incorporating women into the Internet community due to the different ways in which they use Internet compared to men. Following the statement made by Huyer and Westholm (2000) that “without data, there is no visibility and, without visibility, there is not priority”; our findings are based on the analysis of statistical data. From this source we built our own quantitative indicators that bring to light gender differences in terms of access and Internet use.