The EQUALS Research examines gender equality in digital access, skills, and leadership with the goal of identifying the state of equality, reasons for inequalities, and remedies to address the causes of gender digital inequality.
Globally, gender-based inequalities persist across a range of areas from violence to wage gaps (UN Women, 2015). The proliferation of technological tools such as computers, mobile phones, and the internet holds the potential to help reduce these inequalities. Against this backdrop, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seeks to harness the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to promote women’s empowerment (SDG 5, Target 8). Yet even on this front, stark disparities are evident, ranging from gaps in access to digital technologies to limits in women’s professional participation in the technology industry (ITU, 2016; World Economic Forum, 2016). Leveraging the potential of ICTs for gender equality requires equal opportunity to access, use and produce ICTs.
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. More and better data is needed to improve comprehension of the dimensions of gender-based digital gaps and to develop and test appropriate solutions. The EQUALS Research project aims to generate data and research evidence to support gender digital equality initiatives.
ADDRESSING THE FOLLOWING SDGs: