Gender Digital Divide Primer
Date published: Aug. 1, 2020
COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD are in the midst of a historic digital transition. As noted in the USAID Digital Strategy, the rapid development and adoption of digital technology is transforming industries, governments, economies, and societies. Digital ecosystems—the stakeholders, systems, and enabling environment that together empower people and communities to use digital technology to access services, engage with each other, or pursue economic opportunities—hold immense potential to help people live more free and prosperous lives.
At the same time, digital transformation comes with the risk of increasing inequality. Despite the global prevalence of mobile phones and the Internet, the reality in many communities does not yet reflect the potential of a digital ecosystem that drives sustainable and equitable growth, often excluding vulnerable and marginalized groups. The USAID Digital Strategy aims to strengthen open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems in each country where we work. Through the Digital Strategy, the Agency is further demonstrating its commitment to closing the gender digital divide, by building awareness and capacity of USAID staff, partners, and partner countries to overcome the barriers to women’s access and meaningful use of digital technology. No country will be self-reliant if all members of its citizenry cannot benefit equally from the gains of a global digital ecosystem.