Women’s Pathways to the Digital Sector: Stories of challenges and opportunities – BMZ (2017)

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BMZ, 2017 – 52 pages

This study aims at understanding the role of ICT in realising women’s rights, gender equality and WEE. It identifies the challenges and opportunities for women and girls to partake in ICT education and employment. Furthermore, the study portrays 22 women working in different roles in ICT, coming from developing as well as emerging countries from all continents.

Main takeaways:

  • There are too few opportunities that target girls outside of formal education.
  • Cost is one of the most significant barriers to initial access to, and use of, ICT for women.
  • The challenges for girls and women participating in the digital sector are compounded by content considerations even when affordable technology access is possible. Firstly, there is a distinct lack of content, or content missing in local languages, which facilitates the development of digital literacy skills. Moreover, there is a dearth of localised content for women online, that corresponds to their needs and interests.
  • The overall lack of support for girls and women’s engagement with ICT in every life stage can negatively impact their ability to develop the self-confidence needed to access and use ICT.
  • Women contend with several socially constructed barriers which impact their ability to work in the digital sector.
  • There is a need to initiate and increase the frequency of measurements for the gender digital divide in terms of access to and use of ICT.