Gianna Avellis participated as Women20 Delegate Italy, representing the ONG ICoRSA/ItalianRSA, to the Inception Meeting of Women20 in India, AURANGABAD, taking part to a Panel on Session IV – Monday 27th Feb 3.30 p.m to 4.30 p.m. The Theme of the Panel Session was “Improving Access through Infrastructure & Skill to bridge the Gender Digital Divide”
While Information Communication Technology (ICT) is recognized as having the potential to promote
gender equality and women’s empowerment, a digital gender divide—that takes the form of girls and
women having less access to and making less meaningful use of ICTs—has been identified which risks
exacerbating gender inequalities. The digital divide can be explained as the inequalities between the
digital “haves” and “have-nots” in terms of access to and use of the internet and the ICTs. The gender
digital divide specifically refers to the global phenomenon of women and girls’ access and use of ICTs
being less than that of men and boys.
For example, women are twenty percent less likely than men to own a smart phone, and those they
possess are less likely to support mobile internet use and more likely to have simpler features.3 Women
are also rarely the primary owners of a mobile device, and are more likely than men to share or borrow a
mobile phone, often within a household or from a male family- member. Women also use digital services
less often and less intensively, and they access the internet less frequently, as compared to their male
counterparts. In addition, NFHS data indicates that a higher percentage of urban women own mobile
phones than rural women. All these disparities in ICT use risk limiting the ability of girls and women to
take advantage of the opportunities offered by digital technologies, and to be full political, social and
economic actors in the digital society.
The Session Objective was to identify causes of and effective action to mitigate the Gender Digital Divide, in order to the close the gap and foster increased uptake of digital technologies by women and girls at both the urban and grassroots levels.
Gianna intervened during the Session above by addressing how the digital divide has been tackled in Italy during COVID-19 and by pointing out some recommendations on Bringing Digital Divide to be included in the G20 Leaders’ Declaration on Digital.