Digital gender divide or technologically empowered women in developing countries?

This article by Martin Hilbert (USC – University of Southern California) was published in Women’s Studies International Forum journal in 2011.


The discussion about women’s access to and use of digital Information and Communication Cover JournalTechnologies (ICT) in developing countries has been inconclusive so far. Some claim that women are rather technophobic and that men are much better users of digital tools, while others argue that women enthusiastically embrace digital communication. This article puts this question to an empirical test. We analyze data sets from 12 Latin American and 13 African countries from 2005-08. This is believed to be the most extensive empirical study in this field so far. The results are surprisingly consistent and revealing: the reason why fewer women access and use ICT is a direct result of their unfavorable conditions with respect to employment, education and income. When controlling for these variables, women turn out to be more active users of digital tools than men. This turns the alleged digital gender divide into an opportunity: given women’s affinity for ICT, and given that digital technologies are tools that can improve living conditions, ICT represent a concrete and tangible opportunity to tackle longstanding challenges of gender inequalities in developing countries, including access to employment, income, education and health services.

Read the full article (Web – Elsevier) >>

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Why universities need more women at the top – Working towards gender balance at the top

Article published by Curt Rice in University World News

European universities are failing in the way they use human resources. Women are underrepresented at the top levels of academia, and there are good reasons to think that this damages universities.

In the 27 countries making up the European Union, 59% of university graduates are women, but only 18% of full professors are women. And only 9% of universities have a women at the top of the organisation. For more statistics, see the European Commission’s SHE figures.

Why should we care? Why is this a problem? Why should we work harder to achieve gender balance at the highest levels of academia?


Read the full article >>

Women in ICT: International Research from a Lifecourse Perspective

In the link below you can access a special issue of the International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, with the published outcome of a conference that was held last November (2010) in Barcelona. It is called Women in ICT: international research from a lifecourse perspective, and features many articles from different leading researchers from the Internet Interdiciplinary Institute (IN3) Gender and ICT Programme of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and other institutions. The articles cover the issues facing women in ICT in different points of their lives. This papers constitute a valuable account of the challenges to women’s participation, from education to employment, and in their senior careers.

Find the article list with the download links of all abstracts and articles at:

International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology:

Thanks to Juliet Webster, from the Gender and ICT Programme for passing on this information!

IN3 Gender & ICT Programme Blog |

Programa de Becas UNESCO-L'Oreal para Jóvenes Científicas 2012

Fuente | Comisión Española de Cooperación con la UNESCO


La UNESCO ha abierto recientemente el plazo de presentación de candidaturas para el Programa de Becas UNESCO-L’Oreal para Jóvenes Científicas 2012. El objetivo de estas becas es potenciar el papel de la mujer investigadora en la búsqueda de soluciones científicas a los problemas que afronta la humanidad en el siglo XXI.

La temática concreta de los proyectos de las becas es Ciencias de la Vida (biología, bioquímica, biotecnología, agricultura, medicina, farmacia y fisiología. Proyectos que involucren modelos animales -experimentación con animales vertebrados de laboratorio- serán rechazados, y propuestas en el ámbito de la investigación de cosméticos NO serán especialmente consideradas, dando preferencia a la investigación NO relacionada con la cosmética).

Las candidatas no deben tener más de 35 años. La becas son de 12 meses por un valor de $20.000 y pueden extenderse 12 meses adicionales (con $20.000 adicionales), previa aprobación del Comité de Selección. La mitad de la beca debe desarrollarse en el extranjero y debe empezarse entre el 1 de marzo de 2012 y 1 de marzo de 2013.

Se dará preferencia a las candidaturas de jóvenes científicas de países en vías de desarrollo.

Las candidaturas españolas se presentarán a través de la Comisión Nacional Española de Cooperación con la UNESCO, en inglés o en francés. La fecha límite de presentación es el 30 de junio.

Podéis consultar las bases al detalle en:



Fotografía por | David Dee bajo Licencia CreativeCommons BY-NC-SA 2.0

The Most Influential Women in Technology

Women Tech

Fast Company Magazine has compiled a list of the most influential women in technology. They did it last year (2010) and now it’s time to know who are the leading female experts in technology for 2011. The list includes different caterories depending onthe expertise fields: The Entrepeneurs, The Gamers, The Brainiacs, The Advocates, The Media, The Executives.

Full list of the Most Influential Women in Technology for 2011 at Fast Company Website

Image by | Fast Company

mWomen: Empowering women through Mobile Techology


Source |

In February 2010, the GSMA, in partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, identified a gender gap in mobile phone access in the developing world – 300 million less women than men own mobile phones and the potentially life changing tools that they can provide, such as access to health services, banking, employment opportunities and educational tools.

The GSMA mWomen Programme addresses the key barriers to women’s access to mobile phones, including total cost of ownership, technical literacy, and cultural barriers to adoption. We will do this by creating an enabling market environment, which includes designing and implementing the mWomen business case in collaboration with the mobile industry and developing and delivering life changing services via the mobile channel through public/private partnerships with the international development community.

To date there are 22 MNOs and Ericsson, Google and Nokia who represent the mobile industry in the GSMA mWomen Working Group; key international development community partners include: USAID, the U.S. State Department, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and the BBC World Service Trust.

The vision of the programme is that by increasing access to mobile connectivity and services, women living on less than $2 per day will achieve a greater sense of security, independence, economic opportunity and connection with the world outside their homes. This in turn will lead to greater empowerment and control over their lives and those of their families. Specifically, the programme aims to close the mobile phone gender gap by 50% over three years, increasing access to mobile phones for 150 million women and leveraging the mobile channel to provide value added services at scale in women’s health, education, finance and entrepreneurship. The programme is aligned with the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Full overview | GSMA mWomen Programme Overview

When dinosaurs talk: "Women Make Boardrooms Prettier and More Colorful"

Corporate women

As Germany is debating whether to instate a mandatory minimum quota for the proportion of women manning corporate boardrooms, Josef Ackermann, Deutsche Bank CEO, made some “unfortunate” (¿?) comments that heated the debate about gender equality:

“[…] having more women in management positions would make life “more colorful and prettier”

Indeed, everybody may have a different opinion on the convenience of having minimum quotas for the proportion of women in corporate boardrooms, but that’s not the best way to express it, Mr. Ackermann…

Read the full Story at | Spiegel Online

Photo by | Search Engine People Blog under a CreativeCommons License CC BY 2.0

Roundtable on Gender & ICTs with Chat Garcia Ramilo (APC)

On Monday, November 29, we are pleased to host Ms. Chat Garcia Ramilo, who is Coordinator and Analyst of Association for Progressive Communications (APC).

Association for Progressive Communications
APC is a twenty year old global organisation that works to empower and support progressive organisations, social movements and individuals in and through the use of ICTs. One of APC’s strengths is its work in women’s rights and gender equality. Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) developed by APC is now used in many countriesfor the integration of a gender analysis into evaluations of initiatives that use ICTs for social change.

Venue: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)
Av. Tibidabo 39-43 (Barcelona). Sala Jordi Pujol

Working language is English; If help with it needed, we will provide it.

This is by-invitation-only event.

For more info contact us at: catedraunesco[@]

Image by | Association for Progressive Communications (CreativeCommons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0)