This is interesting. It may be the harsher conditions that limit options, and part of it is likely class. Part of it may be the acceptance of over-the-top misogynistic behavior in some Western tech communities is constrained by tighter constraints on speech overall. The US is doing terribly at inclusion of women in cs and engineering. The percentage of women in engineering and in CS peaked in the eighties and continues to decrease. Microsoft being cool with a rape joke for Xbox One and the widespread acceptance of rape not only as a trope for every female character in gaming but also as a trivializing verb is part of the problem. Gender hate speech in tech culture is a problem in the West, I do not know if it is a problem in tech forums in other languages. The same sexual repression that harms women may have a minor positive secondary effect in the prohibition of the explicitly sexually violent language. In India, for decades nearly half the engineering classes have been female. So there is a significant pipeline issue. If women are 50% of the graduates and 35% of start-ups, well that is better than the numbers here. (About 14% in EE last year, about 3% of start-ups.) Another possible explanation is that these are places where rape is more endemic and there are more women is start-ups. The happy idea that the internet is a gender-free meritocracy is funny to anyone with access to a search engine. However, if some people are actually prevented from traveling alone outdoors, either by law in Saudi or by threat of rape, then doing your own start-up is one of fewer employment options. So women may be driven to this. Constraints on women working with men in some cultures may mean that there can be no situations where one woman gets a team of men. A college education is much more of a luxury good in these countries. A much much smaller percentage of the population has a college degree. Thus, those with those degrees are more likely to have access to capital to have a start-up; even if it is as simple as having housing, health insurance and subsidized Internet. This is interesting. There are many possible explanations. Perhaps we could learn something applicable locally.