PTA Report Reveals Stark Gender Imbalance in Pakistan’s Social Media Landscape

The influence of social media continues to shape the digital landscape, with a staggering 72 million users in 2023, constituting approximately 30 percent of Pakistan’s population.

However, data from the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) Annual Report has revealed a stark gender divide prevalent across various platforms, shedding light on the nuanced dynamics of online engagement between men and women.

According to the latest findings from the PTA, platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram exhibit pronounced gender imbalances within Pakistan.

For instance, the data reveals a substantial gender gap of 68.7 percent on Facebook, with 78 percent of users identifying as male, contrasting sharply with the 22 percent female user base. Similarly, YouTube registers a significant disparity, with 72 percent male users compared to only 28 percent female users.

The divide widens further on platforms like TikTok, boasting 83 percent male users and a mere 17 percent female user base. Despite this trend, Instagram presents a relatively narrower gap, with 66 percent male users and 34 percent female users.

These statistics underscore the multifaceted challenges hindering equitable access to and engagement with online platforms among Pakistani women, encompassing socio-cultural norms, access to technology, and content preferences.

On a global scale, internet penetration stands at approximately 64 percent of the world’s population, with 61 percent of females connected. Social media platforms, commanding a remarkable 4.7 billion users worldwide, are led by Facebook, followed closely by YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, and TikTok.

Notably, platform preferences vary across age demographics, with older women showing a liking for WhatsApp and Facebook, while younger females gravitate towards Instagram and TikTok.

Addressing the gender gap in social media usage is paramount to fostering digital inclusivity and ensuring equitable access to information and opportunities for all segments of society. Efforts geared towards enhancing digital literacy, bridging the technological disparity, and fostering more inclusive online spaces are pivotal steps towards achieving this imperative goal within Pakistan and beyond.

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