About 200 million fewer female internet users when compared male users, and the gap could grow to 350 million by 2016, if no action is taken, according to a new report from the United Nation (UN) Commission's Broadband Commission Working Group on Broadband and Gender.
The latest study, 'Doubling Digital Opportunities: Enhancing the Inclusion of Women & Girls in the Information Society,' revealed that globally, women are going online later and more slowly compared to men, leading to a 'significant and pervasive' 'tech gap' in accessing information and communication technologies (ICTs).
Out of the overall 2.8 billion Internet users globally, women constitute to about 1.3 billion, compared to 1.5 billion men, while the gap remains relatively small in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.
The gap would widen rapidly in the developing world, where pricey and 'high status' ICTs such as computers are often set aside to be used by men.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said that the new report provides an overview of opportunities for advancing women's empowerment, gender equality and inclusion in an era of rapid technological transformation.
"It calls for social and technological inclusion and citizens' participation, explaining the societal and economic benefits of providing access to broadband and ICTs to women, small entrepreneurs and the most vulnerable populations," Clark said.
"Most importantly, this report shows ways in which we can further advance the sustainable development agenda by promoting the use of new technologies in support of gender equality and women's empowerment."
The report also outlines that globally, women on average 21% less probable to own a mobile phone, which represents a mobile gender gap of 300 million, equating to $13bn in missed revenues for the mobile sector.
Broadband Commission co-Vice Chair and ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Toure said that promoting women's access to ICTs - and particularly broadband - should be central to the post-2015 global development agenda.
"The mobile miracle has demonstrated the power of ICTs in driving social and economic growth, but this important new report reveals a worrying 'gender gap' in access," Toure said.
"We need to make sure that all people - and most crucially today's younger generation - have equitable access to ICTs.
"I believe it is in the interest of every government to urgently strive to redress this imbalance."