Gender and Technology: A rights-based and intersectional analysis of key trends
This report employs an intersectional feminist framework to identify and analyze key trends related to gender and technology. It aims to provide a holistic picture of how gender and technology are embedded in and influenced by a myriad of intersecting issues and challenges that complicate how ICT for development (ICT4D) initiatives concretely impact women’s lives. Based on synthesized research, the report provides recommendations for relevant stakeholders on how to approach the field of international development using technology as a tool for social good in ways that benefit the most marginalized members of our global community.
Many of the report’s key findings highlight the fact that women’s lack of access to digital technologies and ICTs is a principal reason why gender inequalities persist in today’s technologically driven world. Particularly in low-and middle-income countries, many women still struggle with basic access to ICTs; for instance, they may be unable to afford ICT devices, or they may face barriers to joining online networks because of a lack of digital connectivity owing to geographic, economic, social, or political factors. This contributes to a gendered digital divide that impacts women’s potential to use ICTs and digital technologies for social, civic, and economic purposes.
This report urges stakeholders to develop gender-sensitive, context-specific, evidence-based, and accountable legal frameworks and policies that promote and formalize digital rights for all. What is most essential, however, beyond legal frameworks, is truly listening to the needs and priorities of women and marginalized communities as they relate to digital technologies. Ultimately, fostering gender equality through ICT4D must begin with the recognition that, by virtue of a shared humanity, every woman is inherently entitled to digital rights and citizenship. As such, women must be centered in all ongoing and future conversations about ICTs’ capacity for systemic and transformative change.