As we know, technology has greatly revolutionized work processes, enhancing efficiency, transparency, accountability, and innovation in various sectors like fintech, edutech, and health tech, particularly in low- and middle-income economies. However, technology also poses several challenges of inequality, accessibility, ethics, and potential backlash.
Understanding the gender-specific impact of digitalization is crucial, as it affects individual identity, labor dynamics, culture, and information access. A "gap within the gap" exists, influenced by the intersecting discrimination faced by marginalized groups, including women, people with disabilities, and LGBTIQ+ individuals, who face heightened risks of technological exclusion.
Gender-based violence in digital spaces such as cyberbullying and online pornography forces many women to avoid or limit their online engagement, leading to missed opportunities that could contribute to their well-being.
The 2022 GSMA (The Groupe Speciale Mobile Association) report underscores the gender gap in digital spaces in low- and middle-income countries, with 18% fewer women owning smartphones than men and 16% fewer women’s mobile internet use compared to men.
Drawing on our expertise in women and work and our understanding of gender diversity, power dynamics, and the evolving work landscape in India, we explore the subject of Gender and Digitality. Our focus is on understanding the gendered experiences of both paid and unpaid labor in digital spaces and addressing the denial of rights and opportunities for women.
Within this context, several pertinent gender concerns arise, including the platformisation of women's work, barriers to access, and the impact of platformised governance on women's work. Additionally, we examine issues of technology access, internet connectivity, and mobile ownership, gender-based violence in digital spaces, the implications of big data, embodiment, privacy, and surveillance, and the gendered experiences in technology and digitalization in the broader "workplace" context.