Sustainable development and women’s empowerment: the challenges and opportunities of digitalization

This study looks at digitalization from a gender and development perspective. It investigates which countries and, within countries, which segments of the population have been able thus far to benefit from the dynamism provided by digitalization, especially through e-commerce and technological advances in agriculture. The study points to digital divides between developed and developing countries, as well as to other divides linked to gender, age and socioeconomic factors that determine individuals’ ability to have access to digital technologies and use them in a productive and beneficial manner. The analysis zooms in on the potential opportunities that digitalization provides to women, especially in the developing world, and on the obstacles they face to benefit from it. The study makes a distinction between having access to technology, using it and using it in a productive manner, and highlights the link with gender and other gaps in society and the economy. In the conclusions, the study puts forward some suggestions to help digitalization provide shared benefits and leave no one behind.

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