Taking Stock: Data and Evidence on Gender Equality in Digital Access, Skills and Leadership
The United Nations University in collaboration with EQUALS Research Group published report on Taking Stock: Data and Evidence on Gender Equality in Digital Access, Skills and Leadership which was presented at the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 63). The report looks at the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on women and girls in different aspects including jobs and wages, security and privacy, cyber-threats, and new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). The research notes that the gender digital divide is attributed to not only lack of access to ICT but also the lack of digital skills required to reap the benefits of these technologies in improving the economic and social conditions of women and girls. The report pinpoints six impediments to gender digital divide: (a) availability of infrastructure, (b) financial constraints, (c) ICT ability and aptitude, (d) interest and perceived relevance of ICTs, (e) safety and security, (f) socio-cultural barriers, and (g) institutional contexts. According to the report, the gender digital divide becomes persistent as technology becomes more sophisticated and expensive.