EQUALS Research Group

EQUALS: The Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age is a coalition of stakeholders dedicated to promoting digital gender equality. Co-founded by ITUUN Women, UNU, ITC, and GSMA, the Partnership was launched in September 2016. EQUALS consists of three Coalitions representing three areas of action – Access, Skills, and Leadership – and a crosscutting Research Group. UNU Institute in Macau leads the EQUALS Research group and supports the Partnership’s work with data and evidence.

The EQUALS Research Group consists of institutions from academia, the private sector, civil society, international organizations, and governments. As at February 2018, the group has recruited 36 member institutions from 16 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America. Members’ expertise includes gender studies, development studies, technology and society, communications, information science, computer science, business. Members contribute one or more tangible inputs such as research funds, data, research design, and analysis expertise or human resources.

The functions of the Research Group 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 evidence-based knowledge-sharing. The research group examines official national statistics, industry data and community data to inform Partnership activities. Individual group members contribute findings from their ongoing research projects on related topics.

The first major output of the research group, Taking Stock: Data and Evidence on Gender Equality in Digital Access, Skills and Leadership, was released on March 15, 2019 at the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women. The report summary, subsections and full download can be accessed here.


The group has three working groups focusing on each of the EQUALS action areas. The subcommittees work directly with their related EQUALS Coalitions to design research activities in support of the Coalition’s ongoing or planned activities.



  1. Sey, A. & Hafkin, N. (Editors). (2019). Taking stock: Data and evidence on gender equality in digital access, skills and leadership.
  2. Sey, A. (March 2019). Barriers, not the pipeline, prevent gender equality in tech. Harvard Business Review Digital Initiatives.
  3. Junio, D. (October 17, 2018). Beyond increasing and deepening basic access to ICT for women. [Blog post]
  4. Sey, A., Kang, J., Junio, D. (2018). Taking stock: Data and evidence on gender equality in digital access, skills and leadership. Preliminary findings.