The world has made great strides in connecting parts of the world that lack internet access to the world wide web, but an unsurprising group of people are getting left behind.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Digital India Initiative has been relatively successful in connecting the majority of the country’s population to the internet in the past year. However, some Indians are resistant to the government’s campaign to provide access for its citizens.
According to Mashable, traditional village councils are banning the use of mobile phones for young women because they view it as a threat to the values of a patriarchal system. In early February, the Suraj village in Modi’s home state of Gujarat proclaimed that teenage girls and single young women are banned from using mobile phones.
While many may believe access to the web empowers women, some think otherwise. The village council in Mehsana district voted in favor of the ban as they felt mobile phones were comparable to liquor and detracted from girls’ focus in their studies and house chores. The members of the council believe technology is a “nuisance to society.”
A violation of the policy will result in a fine of Rs 2,100 ($30) and those reporting the incident will be rewarded Rs 200 ($3). An exception to this rule permits women to talk to relatives if they are using their parents’ phones.