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GIST OF SANSAD TV : Empowering Women Digitally

Published: 11th Mar, 2023


The perspective on ‘Empowering Women Digitally’ is based on the celebrating International Women’s Day observed on 8th March every year. The Theme for this year is 'Innovation & Technology for gender equality’. The Day is also important as it is seen as promoting achievements of multifaceted Women, a call to action for accelerating gender parity and to educate and raise awareness for Women’s equality.

Women specifically in terms of India are empowered to an extent that they are getting basic rights like Maternity benefits and Property rights; however the picture has a dual side where women still lacks digital participation and rural inclusion of digital payments. This makes them a step behind than their counterparts. This discussion has focused on the same.

Key Points of Discussion:

The Need

There is need to consider the digital gender disparity in order to:

  • To acknowledge contributions women are making to technology, e-learning.
  • To bring attention to addressing online gender based violence.
  • To explore impact of digital gender gap on economies, social inequalities.
    • Study of 51 countries shows 38% women experience online violence.
  • To focus on protecting rights of Women Digital space.

The current gender digital divide (the numbers)

  • 259 million fewer women have access to Internet than men.
  • Only 63% women uses internet till 2022.
  • Women are highest number in those have not’s of digital divide.
  • Women are 30% less likely to owe a smartphone than Men.
  • United Nations: Women’s exclusion from Digital world has massive costs.

Causes of Gender digital divide

Importance to include Women to Digital space

  • Inequitable access to technology
  • Lack of awareness and digital education
  • rural-urban divide
  • income-based divide
  • Social bias against women and girls
  • Helps in socio-economic development.
  • Helps to unexplored women participation in field like STEM, entrepreneurship
  • Would add to economic development.
  • Make them financial independent
  • Open up space for rural women

Digital Gender-biasness for Women:

  • Replicating Physical inequality to Digital Space: Women participation is confined to more skincare, branding and more feminine or household entrepreneurship.
  • Huge time poverty for Women: Digitisation can solve these issues, but biasness is a serious issue amongst now in Digital space as well.
  • Safety and security issues: Digital issues include cyber-attacks on personal information, threats to data leakage and stocking.

Way forward:

  • There is a need for proper implementation of government schemes and initiatives for women in Digitisation.
  • On the other hand it is also important for stakeholders and Women users of internet to raise awareness and literacy about threats of internet.
  • The steps like PM SHAKTI, DAKSH and scheme protecting Women and Children from online fraud and exploitation must be made known to its stakeholders.

Value Addition:

Key-Government interventions for digital empowerment of Women

  • Digital Saksharta Abhiyan: The Digital Saksharta Abhiyan is a government initiative in India that aims to provide digital literacy training to people in rural areas, including women. The program was launched in 2015 by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology as part of the Digital India campaign. 
  • Mission Digital Shakti: Started in 2018, it aims to help women across the nation to raise the awareness level on the digital front.
    • National Commission for Women (NCW) has launched it in collaboration with CyberPeace Foundation and Meta.
    • It is helping women in reporting & redressal mechanisms, data privacy and usage of technology for their benefits.
  • Digital Shakti 4.0: Digital Shakti 4.0 is focused on making women digitally skilled and aware to stand up against any illegal/inappropriate activity online. It aims to ensure safe cyber spaces for women.
  • Pradhan Mantri Gramin Digital Saksharta Abhiyan (PMGDISHA): Launched under Digital India programme, it aims to bridge the digital divide specially targeting rural population including the marginalised sections of society, women and girls by covering 6 crore rural households.

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