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Employed ICT specialists

Employed ICT specialists

Employed ICT specialists

As the ‘digital revolution’ expands into more areas of our lives, from the way we work, to how we consume, look after our health, learn and take part in politics, it is increasingly clear that this is not just a purely technical – or economic – process, but also a social one, and one which is not gender-neutral. Analysis of the risks and benefits finds that new information and communication technologies can be a gateway for women and girls to access new opportunities, means of expression and participation, and a powerful tool for advancing gender equality. In employment, for example, the digital sector offers highly skilled, better-paid jobs that could help to eliminate the gender pay gap. Likewise, the convergence between traditional and online media is blurring the boundaries between consumers and creators, and opening spaces for new voices, forms of awareness-raising and mobilisation – as the recent wave of ‘hashtag activism’ against sexual harassment has shown. On the other hand, if access is unequal, if algorithms or content available online are gender biased or do not reflect women’s needs and realities, or if women themselves are not involved in shaping that content, digitalisation can reinforce existing gender inequalities. It can also create new risks and barriers, not least the colonisation of online spaces by misogyny and cyber-violence.

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