Gender and ICT statistics: the policy perspective

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10 th ITU World Telecommunications/ICT Indicators Meeting (WTIM) 25-27 September 2012, Bangkok, Thailand. Gender and ICT statistics: the policy perspective. Nancy J. Hafkin, PhD Senior Associate Women in Gender, Science and Technology (WISAT). Agenda. Intro to ICT Gender Statistics - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Gender and ICT statistics: the policy perspective

Gender and ICT statistics: the policy perspectiveNancy J. Hafkin, PhDSenior AssociateWomen in Gender, Science and Technology (WISAT)10th ITU World Telecommunications/ICT Indicators Meeting (WTIM)25-27 September 2012, Bangkok, Thailand1AgendaIntro to ICT Gender StatisticsWhere weve come, ways to goFramework on Gender Equality in the Knowledge Society (GEKS)New indicators, Paths for ITU and member States22Intro to ICT Gender statisticsWhat are gender statistics?Why are they important?Why pay special attention to gender in ICT/telecoms, especially in policy?3What are gender statistics?Kinds of gender statisticsSex-disaggregated statisticsGender-sensitive statistics and indicators provide a basis for effective development and implementation of gender-sensitive policy4What are gender statistics?Gender statistics are statistics differentiated by sex AND gender-sensitive statistics and indicators They make possible: Comprehensive coverage of gender issues and concernsIntegration of gender perspective in data collectionProvide a basis for effective development and implementation of gender-sensitive policy

As per Gender Statistics Manual, United Nations Statistics Division, 4th Global Forum on Gender Statistics, Dead Sea, Jordan, 29-29 March 2012]

4What do ICT/telecoms gender statistics do?Identify and document differential access to, use of and impact of ICTs by sex in order to inform national policy and set international policy goalsProvide insight into use of ICTs for economic and social development5Sonia will go more deeply into this latter point, as will I in the third part on GEKS5Why are gender statistics important for ICT/telecoms policy?To learn how men and women experience ICT/telecoms differentlyTo understand the scope and intensity of the gender digital divideTo ensure economic efficiency and national developmentFull utilization of human resources especially important in global knowledge societyCalled for in ECOSOC and Marrakesh resolutions6They are needed to advance human rights and to promote gender equality. But specifically, they are needed:

to learn how men and women may experience telecommunications/ICTs differentlyTo understand the scope and intensity of the gender digital divide, if ICTs can reduce poverty and inequality, both of which deeply affect women, we need to know the scope and intensity of the M/F digital divide to better respond to development challenges

to ensure economic efficiency and national developmentefforts

for national development with the global rise of knowledge society and economy, women fully accessing and using ICTs means full realization of 50% of the human potential of the country

Resolutions: UN ECOSOC resolution E/2001/L.29 (July 2001) on "Social and human rights questions: advancement of women calls for Mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes of the United Nations system

ITU Marrakesh resolution 70 of 2002 calling for the incorporation of a gender perspective in the work programmes, management approaches and human resource development activities of ITU

6Without data there is no visibility. Without visibility there is no priority

Observations and anecdotal evidence need to be substantiated.We need internationally comparable gender indicators to inform ICT policy makers, analysts and other ICT stakeholders.7From both observation and anecdotal evidence, we "know" that there is a gender gap in the digital divide in several developed and many more developing countries, but there are very few data to substantiate it. Without such data, it is difficult, if not impossible to make the case for the inclusion of gender issues in ICT policies, plans and strategies for policymakers.

]Obviously, sweeping generalizations based on identified trends and simplistic conclusions are of little value.]

7Why special attention to gender? Doesnt a rising tide lift all boats?Overall ICT/telecoms penetration doesnt guarantee equitable access by genderWomens rate of Internet access does not increase in tandem with increases in national rates of Internet penetrationSocial, political, and economic inequalities affect womens ability to access, use and master ICTs Differential access and impact M/F call for special attention to gender issues to realize gender equality and full utilization of a countrys human potential8A rising tide will not lift all boats because ICTs and technology are not gender neutral. Women and men do not have the same usage rates as ICT penetration rates in many cases. Just because a country has a high rate of internet penetration does not mean that womens rate will be at or near that of men. yes in us, new zealand, canada. australia, but not korea

Refrence: ITU/ORBICOM (2005) George Sciadas.with ITU/ORBICOM project, which began in 2005, to compile and analyse quantitative and qualitative gender-sensitive information from national and international sources. Women in the Information Society, as part of From the Digital Divide to Digital Opportunities.

8Few ICT/telecoms policies reflect gender concernsGovernments tend to regard ICT policy as a technical issueSocial and economic concerns often ignoredLike all technology, ICT is socially embeddedNeed to look at technical policy areas with a gender lensICT policy does not stand alone. Carryovers to/from education, health, governance, agriculture, finance, science and technology development, all with gender issues.9The lack of gender neutrality is reflected in the absence of gender concerns from ICTs and telecoms policies. Governments are often not fully aware of the connections between ICTs and social and economic policies, particularly in the case of gender issues in ICT/technology policy areas such as:Universal accessRegulatory frameworkLicensingTariffsSpectrum allocationInfrastructureLabour Issues

To see these things and ensure inclusion of gender issues, you need gender analysis, ongoing consultation with gender and ICT experts and data to document areas of unequal access and use.

We need statistics to ascertain if men and women are accessing, benefiting differently from ICTs/telecommunications and to enable policy makers to take corrective actions if this is the case.

9Differentials and complementarityICTs are not gender neutral; they impact men and women differentlyBut gender equality in ICTs (and other realms) allows women to be equal contributors to and participants in knowledge nationsDesired result: men and women both contributing to the building of national knowledge societies10On one hand, we can show that ICTS have differential impact on M/F: ICTs and all technology are socially embedded.

But at the same time, they are potential equalizers, bringing common benefit to society: They can allow women to BE EQUAL CONTRIBUTORS TO AND PARTICIPANTS IN THE GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY, maximize a countrys human resources and its development potential! They have the potential to alleviate poverty and inequality, which fall most heavily on women.

For this reason, it is vital for governments t0 identify gender issues and include gender equality goals in national ICT and telecoms policies in order to ensure equal access and use for both men and women.


How far we have come? Where we are now? Where do we have to go?11s11Basic problem: unavailability of gender statisticsWeve come a long way since 2003ICT/Telecommunications indicators at that timeFemale Internet usersNumber (but not levels) of telecommunications staff by sex12Unavailability of gender statistics was a problem in 2003, when ITU started major efforts to improve the availability of gender statistics, and is still a problem. ITU/Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development have come a long way, but many gaps remain.Where we started (pre-2004):

Collection of data on female Internet users (but mostly developed countries)Statistics on number (but not levels) of M/F telecommunications staff

12Whats being done nowTraining courses on measuring ICT access and use by households and individuals in developing countriesCollecting data gathered through official household surveys since 2005 thru annual questionnaire on ICT access and use by households and individuals Through Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development, Core ICT indicators by genderIndividuals who used a mobile cellular telephoneIndividuals who used a computerIndividuals who used the InternetLocation of individual use of the InternetInternet activities undertaken by individualsFrequency of individual use of the Internet

13After 2nd bullet point:By 2010 ICT use data collected by 34 developing countries (up from 30 in 2008)13Gaps remaining . . .Data on female Internet users still very sparseFrom sub-Saharan Africa, only SenegalRest of Africa not representative: Morocco, Egypt, MauritiusMajor countries missing: China, IndiaNo data from low-income Asian countriesMore work is needed with Asian and African countries on statistics ICT use and access and gender, especially Internet and mobile phones

14What do we know from latest data collection on Internet users by sex: Data on European countries is very complete. For the 39 countries outside of Europe for which there is data:

Of sub-Saharan countries, we have only Senegal!!! In all of Africa, we have only, additionally, Morocco, Egypt and Mauritius (none of them representative countries). For Asia, We have neither China (except for Hong Kong and Macao) nor India! No low-income Asian country has this data. (e.g. Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangla Desh, Myanmar, etc.).

Countries missing from latest: virtually no Africa (and Africa with lowest use Internet, but most rapid gains in mobile cellular: are there differential gender aspects in this?)

We need more work with developing countries on ICT use and access and gender, especially Internet and mobile phones

Sonia will give us examples of best practices. 14Stand-alone national ICT and household/individual surveysFew stand-alone national ICT surveys, except in EuropeOnly 23% of developing countries are doing ICT household/individual surveys

15Regarding household/individual surveys, only 23% of developing countries are doing them, but nearly 150 of ITUs 193 member States are developing economies, and not all of these 23% disaggregate data by sex.Thus, still a ways to go.

15Women in Global Science and Society (WISAT) Framework on Gender Equality in the Knowledge Society (GEKS)1616What is the GEKS framework?A data analysis framework for policy makers to identify economy and society sectors strategically significant to womens full participation in knowledge societyAccess to and use of ICTs are essential and defining inputs to and outputs of the knowledge society, butWomens access to and use of ICTs unlikely to be equitable without consideration of the other realms that affect gender equity.

17Origins in pre-WSIS 2005 ITU/ORBICOM project to collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative gender data from national sources

Based on 44 indicators of inputs and outputsIndicators go beyond information society to include wider factors affecting womens participation in knowledge society

The GEKS framework seeks to identify policy interventions to improve gender equity. It is a framework for policy makers to determine what sectors of the economy and society are the most strategically significant to influencing womens full participation in the knowledge society. Our indicators go beyond the traditional information society indicators that focus primarily on access to ICTs to include the wider factors that affect womens participation in the knowledge society and economy, including health, social and economic status, access to resources such as housing, electricity and loans, percentage of women in parliaments and ministries, professional associations and NGOs, engendering of policy, women in science and technology.Clearly, access to and use of ICTs are essentially and even defining inputs to and outputs of the knowledge society. They are central, but they will not be equitable without consideration of the other realms that affect gender equity.

17WISAT Framework on Gender Equality in the Knowledge SocietyGender inequities to ICT access and use can not be addressed through ICT policy and data aloneDigital gender gap reflects gender inequalities throughout societies and economiesA range of socio-economic and political factors affect gender divides

18Our work: origins with ITU/ORBICOM project, which began in 2005, to compile and analyse quantitative and qualitative gender-sensitive information from national and international sources (Bisnath 2004). Among the findings: Unfortunately, ICT policy, data and statistics alone, can not ensure equal access to and use of ICTs. Gender inequities in access to and usage of ICTs can not be addressed through ICT policies per se. They require policy interventions in other areas that would allow women and girls to enjoy the benefits of ICTs equally. education of girls, particularly in science, math, technology, engineering, if they are to work in this sector in numbers comparable to those of men. Many barriers, to ICTs among them, for women relate to social and cultural norms and practices that are difficult to legislate away. A range of socio-economic and political factors affect and frame the gender divide, including social and cultural barriers to technology use; education and skills levels; employment and income, media and content; privacy and security and local/mode of access. (Hafkin and Huyer: 2007:1).List factors: health and social status, economic status, access to resources, womens agency, opportunity and capability and enabling policy. Includes such things as including representation in government and politics, access to education, quality healthcare, financial resources. Equally important: government policies supporting childcare, equal pay, flexible work and gender mainstreaming. 18Questions addressedWhat are preconditions for women to become full participants in a national knowledge society?What resources and access do they need to achieve this?Where and how fast are women making progress?Use the results to answer:What policies and programs are most conducive to promoting womens participation?How can a country mobilize its full human resource capacity to become a knowledge-based society?19Organizing the FrameworkInput indicators(Base conditions)HealthSocial statusEconomic statusAccess to resourcesAgencyOpportunityPolicy environmentOutcome indicators(Participation and benefits)Participation in:KS decision makingKnowledge economyScience, technology and innovationLifelong learning2020

Seven country/area studies of emerging knowledge societies (2012)Brazil, India, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, South Africa, USA, EU

Women few in STI fields in worlds leading economiesIn studies of math, physics, engineering, ICTWorking in scientific-technical labour force, but decreasing almost everywhereAt low levels in decision-making and knowledge economy

Its not enough to increase girls access to education!There must be encouragement to study science and technology

Knowledge society fails to include women equally21In some cases, their inclusion is not only unequal but negligible

WISAT about to undertake 7 more GEKS studies in 2012-2013

Actually, In countries with the highest rates of female employment in the IT workforce, percentages fell over the last decade.

Women are not absent from the sciences; in health and life sciences they are highly represented almost everywhere. But they are dismally few in the important Knowledge Society-Knowledge Economy fields of engineering, physics and computer science.

21LeadersEuropean UnionFirst overall and first or second in every dimensionUnited StatesSecond overall, but near the bottom in womens health, agency, and social status and low in enabling policy environment.

BrazilFirst in womens participation in science, technology and innovation, with a highly enabling policy environment and effective policy implementation.South AfricaSouth Africa leads in womens agency, with the highest numbers of elected and appointed officials, but low in health (HIV/AIDS) and beset with racial inequalities.

22Overall, no country or region is ticking off all the boxes, and some are falling dismally short.

EU coming in first is remarkable, given the diversity of the 27 countries in the Union.

Brazil punched far above its weight by standard development measures. It was particularly high in women in the information technology workforce and in administrative and managerial positions.

In South Africa 45% of the members of parliament are women. South Africa also leads in the number of women ministers and deputy ministers. This is the result of government policy and quotas. But South Africas overall status is brought down by a poor health ranking (worlds highest rates of HIV/AIDS) and racial inequalities.22Falling behindRepublic of Korea

First in health and life expectancy, but Intro to ICT Gender statistics, second to last overall.

IndiaExcellent enabling policy environment for women, but lowest overall among the countries surveyed, as a result of womens low social and educational status.

Absence of any one empowerment factor creates a vulnerability for economies competitive position in the knowledge society23South Koreas low position overall indicates that excellent health and long longevity are in themselves insufficient, and illustrating the lack of correlation between a countrys GDP and gender equality. Women have a low presence in public life or in management in the private sector in Korea.

Excellent health and long longevity are in themselves insufficient., illustrating the lack of correlation between a countrys GDP and gender equality. Women are rarely found in public life or in management in the private sector.

India illustrates the limits of excellent policy without implementation and in face of enormous social and economic challenges, particularly in education.


New Indicators, Paths for ITU and member States24What indicators are needed?Gender-specific indicators in stand-alone national ICT surveys:Gender-awareness in ICT telecommunications policiesGender issues in technical ICT policy areasPolicy encouragement for girls to study science and technologyWomens share of leading positions in ICT-industry, government positions in science and ICTWomens participation in telecommunications and ICT decision-making

25GEKS framework leads us to indicators needed to provide insight into use of ICTs for economic and social development and to see the impact of inequalities in economic and social development on the diffusion and use of ICTs.

Among the ICT policy areas, there are policy areas where ICT policy can remove or alleviate inequities that hit women particularly hard e.g. low-cost business models, price regulation, targeted universal service fund allocations, technology choice.

This is why it is important that we need gender-aware ICT policy. An indicator could uncover these as well as raise awareness on it.25New indicators: household and individual ICT access and useMobile ownership (handset and/or SIM card)

Do girls/women have equal access to all the ICTs in the home?

Highly desirable for all individual indicators be disaggregated by sexEspecially re education and labour force participation26ITU is Mobile ownership (handset and/or SIM card)If there is a computer in the home, do girls/women have equal access? Do girls/women have equal access to all the ICTs in the home?

mandated to cover gender issues and concerns in statistics. Table 16 of itu, Manual for Measuring ICT Access and Use by Households and Individuals (2009) shows a tabulation for reporting on individual use of ICT by age and Gender, but the instructions that sex breakdowns will not always be possible. This is not well enforced in the manual, which states (p.27) If users require breakdowns by gender [or other variables], then this needs to be established at the planning stage. It is actually discouraged by saying that this, however, would require higher sample sizes.

Breakdowns by sex would be very useful for education [especially for correlations between gender and education and ict access and use] and for labour force participation [similar correlation].

Table 17 on reporting individual use of ICT broken down by highest education level received does not disaggregate by sex, same for Table 18, on labour force status or table 19, occupation.thus, it is recommended that all individual use statistics include a breakdown by sex (and age), if at all feasible.26Action Paths for action ITUAssume leadership in raising all member States awareness of sex-differentiated and gender-sensitive data in telecommunications/ICT data collectionEncourage reporting of gender statistics Get different policy groups talking to each other.Continue work with UN-Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics

27Just as the ICT/Telecommunications statistics and indicators people have to take account of gender, the gender advocates need to take account of ICT. It appears that the former is ahead of the latter! Formerly, composite ICT indexes did not deal with gender and composite gender indexes did not mention ICT. Only now are gender statistics coming to awareness of ICT.

Only in 2012 did the UN-Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics adopt any ICT statistics into its minimum recommended set of gender indicators, thanks largely to the hard work of Susan Teltscher and others from ITU.

Now, Minimum Recommended Set of Gender Indicators includes:Proportion of population using Internet by sex, Proportion of population using mobile cellular telephones by sex, Access to mass media and ICTs (but indicator definition not yet available).

27Action Path for member StatesEnsure coordination between NSO and national telecommunications policy goals, and between NSOs, ICT policy organs and gender machineries on data collectionEnsure gender analysis, gender-awareness in all ICT and telecommunications statistics and indicators work

2828Takeaways, please!Gender statistics have to be mainstreamed in national ICT/telecoms statistics and a gender perspective integrated into ICT telecoms/data collection

Gender ICT statistics efforts have to be coordinated with national planning efforts and gender machineries

Gender advocates must become knowledgeable about ICT/telecommunications, science and technology

ICT/telecoms gender statistics have to be seen in context of overall gender equality

29This is what I hope I have conveyed.29Thank you


For further information on GEKSwww.wigsat.org30


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