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Technology Is Not the Great Equalizer: A Feminist Perspective on the Digital Economy

Abstract

This article looks beyond the hype around the digital economy’s potential to create gender justice by busting the myths and illustrating the facts, as well as proposing holistic solutions. It is mainly an adaptation of the webinar ‘Does the digital economy promote women’s rights? Unpacking the Myths!’. In its essence, it is a call for action to create and shape technology that breaks with traditional gender biases, creating digital justice and opportunities for the many not the few in a world that is increasingly restructured and unequal.

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Notes

  1. https://wideplus.org/2019/09/20/recording-available-of-webinar-does-the-digital-economy-promote-womens-rights-unpacking-the-myths. Accessed 8 October 2019.

  2. https://www.fes.de/en/themenportal-gender-jugend-senioren/gender/translate-to-english-the-future-is-feminist. Accessed 8 October 2019.

  3. The Gender and Trade Coalition is a global feminist alliance for trade justice confronting the co-optation of women's rights as a means for further liberalization, and increasing consciousness, capacity, research, and advocacy for equitable policy alternatives.

  4. WIDE + is a European network of associations and activists that fights for women’s rights, as part of a larger struggle for social justice, sustainable livelihoods and human rights. https://wideplus.org/.

  5. Scheaffer Okore, Vice Chair of the Ukweli Party, Kenya.

  6. Scheaffer Okore ‘Does the digital economy promote women’s rights? Unpacking the myths!’ https://wideplus.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Unpacking-digital-economy.pptx. Accessed 8 October 2019.

  7. Sofia Scasserra, Researcher and Lecturer, World Labor Institute “Julio Godio”, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), Argentina, and Economic Advisor FAECYS—Presidency UNI Global.

  8. Sofia Scasserra ‘Why Do Algorithms Treats Us Different?’https://wideplus.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/sesgos-algoritmicos-1.pptx. Accessed 8 October 2019.

  9. https://fortune.com/2018/02/06/uber-gender-pay-gap-study. Accessed 8 October 2019.

  10. Nandini Chami, Digital Justice Project—a collaborative research and advocacy initiative of DAWN and IT for Change.

  11. Nandini Chami ‘Are WTO debates on gender and e-commerce working for women’s empowerment? What needs to shift?’ Justice Project of DAWN and IT for Change, September 2019. https://wideplus.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Digital-Justice-Project-FES-Webinar-September-2019.pdf. Accessed 8 October 2019.

  12. https://knowledge.insead.edu/responsibility/how-the-digital-economy-has-exacerbated-inequality-9726. Accessed 8 October 2019.

  13. https://www.oecd.org/dev/development-gender/Unpaid_care_work.pdf. Accessed 8 October 2019.

  14. http://apwld.org/press-release-164-womens-rights-groups-call-on-governments-to-reject-the-wto-declaration-on-womens-economic-empowerment/. Accessed 8 October 2019.

  15. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/11/tsunami-of-data-could-consume-fifth-global-electricity-by-2025. Accessed 8 October 2019.

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Correspondence to Lamìs Shejni.

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Shejni, L. Technology Is Not the Great Equalizer: A Feminist Perspective on the Digital Economy. Development 62, 128–135 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41301-019-00228-x

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Keywords

  • Gender justice
  • Digital justice
  • Digital economy
  • Technology
  • Feminist economics
  • Algorithms