Despite several important initiatives, including in the COVID-19 context, a significant digital gender gap remains globally, limiting the equitable realisation of the benefits of the digital transformation across high-, low- and middle-income countries. Going beyond access to digital technologies, there is a need for a gender perspective to tackle the challenges related to exclusion from economic opportunities and employment, the perpetuation of biases and discrimination through AI-based technologies and increased online harassment and violence. Building on the Generation Equality Forum (2021) and its Action Coalitions, the session highlighted key results the EU Global Gateway shall achieve to contribute to strengthen connections between Europe and the world and help partner countries address the digital gender divide.
The digital gender gap includes a lack of access to digital tools for girls and women, with panellists also noting that online gender based violence is experienced by 38% of women. The Generation Equality Forum works on bridging the digital access gender gap, investing in technology for women, building inclusive innovation ecosystems and eliminating online gender based violence and discrimination. Panellists heard that Finland will raise these topics at international forums and that the EU is also taking action. They added that, as this is a new topic, there is a lack of tools and guidelines in place; however, there is a lot of eagerness to address issues in this area.