THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION AND GENDER EQUALITY: PERSPECTIVES FROM DIGITAL DEMOGRAPHY
The rapid proliferation of the internet and mobile phones has been one of the most significant social phenomena of the new millennium. In this talk, I will discuss the implications of this digital revolution as a social revolution for the realization of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 5 on gender equality. First, I will present findings from low and middle-income countries (LMICs) that show how the ownership of mobile phones has empowered women to access information and resources important for health and well-being and bolstered their ability to make independent decisions. This highlights the need to monitor and close digital gender gaps to better understand the social and demographic impacts of technologies. Monitoring this progress however is often challenging due to the limited availability of gender-disaggregated data on digital connectivity in traditional data sources such as surveys, particularly in LMICs. In this data-sparse context, I will describe how data from social media populations available from social media marketing APIs can be repurposed to track global digital gender gaps.