The IN3 Blog has published an interview with Milagros Sáinz, principal investigator of GenTIC, in which she reflects on nowadays digital gender gaps, the main reasons behind these gender inequalities and how to confront them.
Milagros Sáinz points at gender stereotypes and social roles as some of the factors that explain the different uses that women and men make of digital technologies. As a result, girls and young women do not develop an interest and expectations in relation to the creation of technology and fewer women than men are involved in technological design and production.
Regarding the different types of digital gaps, the director of GenTIC highlights the unequal access to digital tools and infrastructures (first digital gap), differences between men and women in the digital uses and competencies (second digital gap) and social and gender inequalities in the benefits of using the internet (third gender gap). Milagros Sáinz emphasizes that reducing the digital gaps is fundamental and a matter of social justice. “Digital competencies lead to greater participation by women in the community and political life”, she affirms. Also, digital competencies help women obtain employment, reduce the gender gap, and ensure their safety, both online and offline.
Finally, Milagros Sáinz remarks that generational renewal does not guarantees the disappearance of gender gaps and states that each digital gender gap requires the implementation of specific measures which consider the needs and characteristics that arise at each stage of life.
Milagros Sáinz, Lídia Arroyo and Cecilia Castaño co-author the book Mujeres y digitalización. De las brechas a los algoritmos [Women and digitalization. From gaps to algorithms] published by the Spanish Institute for Women and the National Observatory of Telecommunications and Information Society (ONTSI) of Red.es. The publication explores the research literature on the gender digital gaps and analyses the transformations and current challenges of the digital society from a gender perspective (download it here).
Photo by: Christina Morillo on Pexels.