Events

Webinar

Closing the digital gender gap: lessons from the pandemic

Date: Wednesday, 27 October 2021
Where: Online
Woman speaks on the phone.

In Kenya, ownership and expenditure on mobile phones is greater in men compared to women, contributing to the gender divide (Photo: Barbara Minishi/European Union via FlickrCC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This IIED Debates event explored why and how the digital world should consider the needs of both women and men of all ages to enable progress.

Technology and the internet can be a great enabler. But while easy and cheap access to digital tools and channels has opened opportunities for some during the COVID-19 pandemic, many people still face barriers and are being left behind.

This IIED Debates online event considered how to make a digital world more inclusive and how we can apply gender mainstreaming strategies to digital technology to create equal and better opportunities for women and drive true progress in gender equality.

We all read about new digital tools and channels and the assumption is that these are developments that everyone can enjoy. But is that true?

Does a person in a rural area of Kenya, for example, have access to these tools or access to the internet? And if a young woman wants to take advantage of opportunities or information via digital channels, will it be as easy for her to do that as it would be for a young man?

The pandemic has accelerated the transition to digital with many events, opportunities and sharing of information happening online. This is certainly progress in many ways – but is it sustainable and fair?

Any digital development should give an equal chance to women and men of all ages to participate in work and in their communities, seize opportunities and prepare for the future. If it doesn’t, then there’s an increasing risk that power imbalances will be reinforced, potential will be lost, and some people will get left behind.

At this IIED Debates webinar, speakers shared their experience of these issues and the solutions they are testing in their work.

Contact

Juliette Tunstall (juliette.tunstall@iied.org), IIED's internal engagement and external events officer