The Girls in ICT initiative from ITU is celebrating it’s 6th annual Girls in ICT Day. The initiative is working towards creating “a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of ICTs, enabling both girls and technology companies to reap the benefits of greater female participation in the ICT sector.” The effort stems from the pervasive gender digital divide which, according to ITU’s 2016 report, “grew from 11% in 2013 to 12% in 2016. The gap remains large in the world’s Least Developed Countries (LDCs) — at 31%. In 2016, the regional gender gap is largest in Africa (23%) and smallest in the Americas (2%).” Although people across the globe are coming online at a significant rate, there is a notable unbalance in uptake, threatening to further perpetuate gender inequalities by systemically putting women at a digital disadvantage.
By counteracting this growing divide, the digital world has potential to become a space of equal access to information and participation. Encouraging girls and women to consider positions in ICT opens up opportunities for economic advancement and skill building, while also guaranteeing a digital space built and maintained by women, supporting more women to come online around the world. Several TASCHA studies have examined the digital divide and explored the means women are using ICTs to supplement their education, and the impact that information access has on the advancement of women abroad. Below are a few examples of these projects examining the evolving and vital relationship between women and ICTs.
Development & Access to information
Access to information is a fundamental requirement that underpins the achievement of all development goals, and the role that libraries play in providing that access is critical in many places around the world. The Development and Access to Information project (DA2I) is a joint project between TASCHA and the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). This project will demonstrate just how access to information (A2I) and libraries contribute to the achievement of the United Nations (UN) 2030 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and will have a section dedicated to gender and information access. More >>
An examination of MOOC usage for professional workforce development outcomes in Colombia, the Philippines, & South Africa
The research in Advancing MOOCs for Development Initiative study was designed to analyze the MOOC landscape in developing countries and to better understand the motivations of MOOC users and afford insights on the advantages and limitations of MOOCs for workforce development outcomes. The key findings of this study challenge commonly held beliefs about MOOC usage in developing countries, especially around gender, defying typical characterizations of how people in resource constrained settings use technology for learning and employment. For example, women are more likely than men to complete or get certified in at least one course. More >>
Immigrant Women and e-Skills in Europe
The Immigrant Women & e-Skills in Europe Study investigates how ICT training programs effect the employability and social inclusion of immigrant women in Europe. TASCHA researchers surveyed 375 immigrant women and 155 native-born women in Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Romania. Data also included interviews with staff at non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Researchers found that strengthening e-skills among immigrant women advances their employability through: education and lifelong learning, social inclusion, and cultural inclusion. More >>