Doubling digital opportunities: enhancing the inclusion of women & girls in the information society

Doubling digital opportunities: enhancing the inclusion of women & girls in the information society

ICT policy development is often seen merely as a technical issue with little relationship to other development areas. At the same time, many national gender-centered policies do not take into consideration the use of ICTs or broadband as key enablers to expand the reach of those policies to accelerate progress.

This report frames the challenges and opportunities faced in achieving gender equality in an era of rapid technological change. It closely examines critical gender issues with respect to new information and communication technologies (ICTs) and broadband. It aims to show ways in which the sustainable development agenda can be advanced by promoting the use of new technologies in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The report expands on five major policy recommendations:

  • integrate gender and national ICT and broadband policies - policy needs to cover universal access, regulatory frameworks, privacy and security, licensing, spectrum allocation, infrastructure, ICT industry development and labor issues, and draw onavailable expertise, frameworks and tools that provide relevant guidelines

  • improve sex-disaggregated ICT statistics and measurement - gender statistics should be mainstreamed in national ICT statistics and a gender perspective integrated into ICT data collection

  • boost the affordability and usability of ICTs - women need access to affordable, pervasive broadband services, and the equipment necessary to use it

  • improve relevant and local content online - there is an urgent need to address the lack of relevant content and services for people in marginalised areas. The creation of local content and applications should therefore be stimulated, such as development of websites, software and mobile tools in indigenous languages or information systems for those in rural areas


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