GBI Tech Talks #techtalk How to Address Gender in Your ICT Projects February 21, 2012
#Gender and #ICT4D
AgendaWhy is improving women’s access to ICTs important?What happens if we ignore gender?How does gender change ICT access?What can we do?Example of Gender analysis – Mobile Apps!
ICT4D – a thoughtAt present, IT is reinforcing more than attacking inequality: men are benefiting more than women; the richare benefiting more than the poor. The challenge is to create the conditionsfor reversing the polarities; but that isa task for social movements more than computers (Richard Heeks, quoted by Acharya, 2003).
Why is improving women’s access to ICTs important? business & Community innovation dvlpmteconomic human growth rights untapped resource
Cost of Ignoring Gender ICTs are not gender-neutral! Knowledge Lack of data society can hampers full marginalizeunderstanding women Lost ICTs can causeopportunities harm (privacy, to leapfrog security)over barriers Gender inequality esp. in innovation & policy
Differences in ICT usage by gender1. Availability & Opportunities to use ICTs2. Social Expectations and Roles3. Time and Resources4. Education & Economic Growth5. Business Growth
Availability & Opportunities to use ICTs• ICT infrastructure (including electricity) – Nationally (rural vs. urban) – Within cities (business vs. residential)• Access mediated differently – Household – School – Business• Content (literacy)
Social Expectations and Roles• ICTs seen as a threat to women/girls – Mobile phones – Pornography and illicit material• Cybercafés inappropriate for women – Clientele may be young men – Distance/location – Biases based on perceived skills of women
Time and Resources• Less access to cash and credit – Purchase ICTs, such as phones/phone cards – Access training and support• Less mobility/control over time – Unable to travel – Higher need to multi-task – Household responsibilitiesIRONY: ICTs can overcome these limitations IFaddressed!
Education & Economic Growth• Education and Training – Girls prevented from access when ICTs in school – Biases about STEM education – Training materials biased – No pipeline for women in STEM leadership• Employment – Who gets training/access to ICTs – Manual labor vs. knowledge-based – Women in ICT labor often in lower level positions
Business Growth• Women entrepreneurs lack access to ICT business tools• Women underrepresented as: – ICT Inventors – ICT Business owners – ICT firm Board members – ICT regulators – Government ICT policy makers
Statistics and Data: Mobiles• A woman is 37 % less likely to own a cell phone than a man in South Asia, 23% in SSA, 26% in Egypt. – BUT women are MORE likely to use one in South Africa.• Strong concerns (by controlling men) about women’s “inappropriate usage” of mobile phones contributes to these gaps• Women are less likely to use their cell for information gathering then men• Significant lack of data on usage
What we can do?Improve data!Understand genderQuestion assumptions & biasesUse ICTs to address barriers
Status of Gender and ICT Data• Most NOT disaggregated by gender• Measuring by household – doesn’t recognize within household differences (esp. along gender)• Assumptions about KPA and ICTs• Access & usage subject to rapid change – hard to predict usage by gender• Economic impact of women’s usage estimated
Improve Data Default • Gender influences ICT useassumption • We need to measure it! • QuantitativeShare data • Qualitative /Best practices Sample • Régentic Gender Digital Divideindicators Indicators
Analyze demographics and question assumptions BaselineBe aware Perform & end line of measure Questioncommon gender ments biasesforms of analysis disag. bydisparity gender
Use ICTs to address barriers• Breaks location restrictions• Literacy technology – Text to voice/voice to text – Instant translation – Icon/visual based UX• Improved security• Crowdsourcing and distributed data collection• Anonymous access/contributions• Ecommerce and education opportunities
SummaryImproving women’s access to ICTs is essentialIgnoring Gender = exacerbating inequalityWomen and men access/use ICTs differentlyYES, WE CAN!• Measure• Question & Analyze• Use to overcome barriersExample of Gender analysis – Mobile Apps!
United States Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s IssuesBuilding Apps for the Developing World that Women (and Men) Will Use Ann Mei Chang February 21, 2012
Women Drive Economic Growth “Investing in women is aninvestment in families, communities,and countries. Investing in women’s progress is the most direct and effective way to invest in progresseconomically and socially globally.” - Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton at the mWomen launch
ICT Drives Economic Growth World Bank
Imagine whatWomen AND ICTcan do together! But…
The Mobile Gender Gap Is Real A woman is 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than a man in low- to middle-income countries. GSMA and Cherie Blair Foundation Report
The Internet Gap is Even Bigger?
No Shortage of Apps
But, Shortage of Users
How Do We Build Appsthat Women Will Use?10 Questions to ask…
1 Is there Network Coverage? Africa is suffering the most with just 50 percent of the rural population being covered by cell service - ITU
2 Is Data Service Affordable?
3• Are there Cultural Barriers? Ability to travel• Associations with promiscuity• Interaction with males at distribution points• Traditional beliefs about female asset ownership Photo credit: John Moore/Getty Images
4 Is there Adequate Literacy?Female literacy rates 25%+ lower in Africa andSouth Asia. – UNESCO Institute for Statistics
5 How about Technical Literacy? Photo credit: PicCell Wireless
6 Do Women Perceive a Need? Photo credit: William Owen Smith and Mayang Adnin
7 Is it Usable on the Device?• Small screen• 12-key entry• Clumsy navigation• Poor usabilityGoogle reported seeing 50x more searches on nextgeneration smart phones than WAP feature phones
8 Are there Existing Solutions?
9 How to Scale Awareness?• Carrier distribution!• Billboards, TV, radio• Word of mouthWill people remember yourservice when they need it?
10 Will the App be Maintained? Sustainability is 80% of the Problem!• Addressing issues in the field• Multiple platforms• Technology changes (tablets, OS update)• Changes in human processes and behaviors• Feature requests
Recommendations• Design for women’s actual needs and priorities• Consider proxies - where access or literacy skills are not sufficient in target population• Be open to a non-technical solution• Leverage existing platforms where possible• Build in an awareness and maintenance plan from the start