There’s no denying that for many people, 2016 was an annus horribilis, and 2017 hasn’t exactly gotten off to the best start either. This is particularly true for women’s rights and gender relations - you can read our thoughts on this in our blog post from 2 weeks ago.
However, amidst all this bad news and genuine fears for women’s rights and gender equality, there is one thing about 2016 in the world of gender and ICT that we’re celebrating - the growing increase in the availability of gender disaggregated data for ICT access and use. My Panoply Digital colleague Ronda Zelezny-Green and I run a bi-monthly Gender and Mobiles newsletter, and one of the things we were most excited and hopeful about about is the growing availability of gender data in ICT. It's so important to understand the current situation of women's access to, and use, of ICT, and to be able to benchmark any changes, but there's been a relative lack of reliable large-scale data to date.
However, this is changing: in 2016 alone, we had a number of big reports that have specific data points around women's access to and use of ICT, both at a country level and at a national level. We thought it might be useful to lay out some of our favourites here - to serve as a resource for others, and to draw attention to this exciting trend, one we hope will continue in 2017.
- The Web Foundation’s Women’s Rights Online Report has full quantitative data sets from 10 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America that looks at women’s internet access in these countries in particular.
- Following on from this, the Web Foundation’s Digital Gender Audit released report cards that assess progress on closing the digital gender divide in 10 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, looking at five barriers in particular, and how the countries score against them.
- The ITU has recently put out the Measuring the Information Society 2016 Report, its annual report on the world’s ICT data, giving data points on who is and who isn’t connected. Compiled from national statistics databases, 2016’s report looks particularly at the ICT indicators that track progress towards the SDGs. SDG Goal 5 is around gender, and the report has some excellent country-level data to benchmark women’s access to, and use of, mobile phones and the Internet. It also has a section on barriers to mobile adoption, and focuses particularly on gender.
- Our good friends at mSTAR and FHI360 recently put out an ICT Works blog post about gender disaggregated data, and put together an extensive list of key gender and ICT resources, that we at Panoply Digital were lucky enough to feed into. You can read the blog post here, and find the list here.
- Speaking of mSTAR, they’ve worked with USAID to put together a Gender and ICT Survey Toolkit designed not only to help users collect gender disaggregated data of their own, but also to help users analyse that data and use insights for ICT4D and gender programme design and delivery. Again, we at Panoply Digital have fed into the Toolkit, and we’re looking forward to seeing it launched publicly in Spring 2017 - watch this space!
Are there any other reports that help drive the discussion forward around gender and ICT? Any big data sets you’d add to this list? Let us know in the comments!