EQUALS Research Group: Advancing Research for Gender Equality in the Digital Age
EQUALS is a global partnership of governments, private sector leaders, NGOs, communities, and individuals collaborating to promote gender equality in ICT access, skills, and leadership. The EQUALS Research Group ensures an evidence-based approach towards achieving the Partnership goals.
EQUALS: The Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age is a coalition of programs dedicated to promoting digital gender equality. The Partnership was launched in September 2016 and co-founded by ITU, UN Women, UNU, ITC, and GSMA. EQUALS consists of three Coalitions representing three areas of action – Access, Skills, and Leadership. UNU-CS leads the EQUALS Research group and supports the Partnership’s work with data and evidence.
Stakeholders have identified inadequate gender-specific data as one of the main barriers to success for gender equality programs. Inadequate information can both mask unrecognized challenges and underestimate progress, leading to misguided policy and action or inaction. Data and research evidence are thus critical components of the EQUALS initiative. In addition to the Access, Skills and Leadership Coalitions, EQUALS has a fourth crosscutting function, Research. UNU-CS leads the research function and is forming a Research Group to ensure an evidence-based approach towards achieving the Partnership goals.
The Research Group will consist of institutions from academia, the private sector, civil society, international organizations and governments. Members will contribute one or more tangible inputs such as research funds, data, research design and analysis expertise or human resources. The Research Group’s functions will include developing a research agenda for EQUALS, carrying out primary research and collecting secondary data on gender equality, tracking progress towards the Partnership goals and facilitating knowledge-sharing. Amongst other outputs, the Research Group will produce a flagship annual report on the state of gender equality in each of the three Coalition areas. As leader of the Research Group, UNU-CS will recruit members and collaboratively develop and manage the research strategy of the Group based on the needs of the EQUALS Partnership. (See Research Group concept note for more)
The Research Group will be guided by several broad concerns identified by the Access, Skills and Leadership Coalitions: access strategies and policies; affordability; infrastructure; safety; mentorship; content; administration; digital entrepreneurship; and retention. More and better data is needed in these areas to improve comprehension of the dimensions of digital gender gaps and to develop and test appropriate solutions. The Research Group will generate specific research questions within each area.
Gender, ICTs, Access, Skills, Leadership, Evidence
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