ESCWA Publication: E/ESCWA/ECW/2019/3
Publication Type: Reports & studies
Cluster: Gender Justice, Population and Inclusive Development
SDGs: Goal 5: Gender Equality
Keywords: Arab countries, Gender equality, Gender-based violence, Technology, Women
Information and Communication Technologies: Prospects for Promoting Gender Equality in the Arab Region
The present report examines how information and communication technology (ICT) can be used as a means of implementation to accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 5, and assist Government and key stakeholders in their efforts to attain this purpose. Based on the analysis of a wide range of good practices implemented in the Arab region or in developing countries whose development status is comparable to the region, the report shows that ICT plays a key role in empowering women and girls, and in promoting gender equality by facilitating and enhancing their access to resources, including information, services and capacity-building initiatives. It also provides a practical insight on how ICT can be employed achieve the targets of SDG 5: it examines how ICTs are used to circumvent or transform exiting norms and stereotypes; how ICTs can help combat violence against women by enhancing the security of women and girls and by organizing campaigns to raise women’s voices; how ICTs support women’s engagement in income generating activities and increase their access to information and financial services; how women are using ICTs to increase their participation in decision-making and political processes; how Governments are using ICTs to increase women’s access to services; and how ICTs increase access to health information. The report also sheds light on the possible threats generated by the improper use of these technologies, and proposes measures to seize opportunities and overcome threats.
The present report concludes with policy recommendations aimed at improving the affordability and accessibility of digital technologies, overcoming normative barriers, and increasing online safety to create a conducive environment for advancing women’s empowerment in the Arab region.