GIZ GENDER CAFÉ : 9th MARCH, 2018, NEW DELHI, INDIA
Topic : Digital Transformation Together : Leave No One Behind
Connectivity doesn’t always equalize opportunity : The overarching vision of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development is inclusive and sustainable growth with its promise to ‘Leave No One Behind’.
Empowering of women in the economy and closing of gender gaps are not only central to this vision but they also form a cornerstone of the SDGs. Digital transformation is bringing about a sweeping change at an economic, political and social level throughout India. The digital evolution continuously changes the way in which we work and communicate. The Gender Café provided an opportunity for GIZ India employees to explore, question, listen, participate and understand and contribute to the discussion which revolved around the following topics:
(1) Empowerment of Women through Digital Solutions
(2) Using Digital Communication Platforms for Gender Equality
(3) Potential of digitalisation for Gender Equality
(4) Position on key issues related to Digital Change, Gender Equality and Human Rights
The above topics were led by Café Table Hosts from within GIZ India (Ms. Annette Roeckel, Mr. Navin Horo, Mr. Jasper Schulz and Ms. Scherry Siganporia) and also a private sector firm – ZMQ Software (practical examples of Digital Technology for Development) who shared the vision that if Digital Technology does not address the current ongoing gender digital divides and gaps, this would only lead widen the Gender Gap further. The table hosts addressed issues concerning financial access services for women which affects Economic Growth, Differential Requirements for Men and Women in accessing technology, Digital Literacy, Best practices and Sharing of GIZ India Project Experiences with Digital Technology, and the potential of digital technology to empower individuals. What was also addressed were issues concerning Digital Privacy, Digital Data, Freedom of Expression (specific to social media), Censorship, Net Neutrality, Online Harassment, Use of Social Media and other factors that affect individuals on a personal and a social level.
The discussions were fueled with coffee, donuts and sandwiches: the aim to come up with concrete recognition of the fact that although Digital by Default, No Digital Technology can ignore the differential requirements of both men and women. In fact people need to be central to Digital Technology Transformations. The Gender Café was a platform which addressed issues that are pertinent to Development Cooperation. The Café captured project based experiences, sharing of knowledge and ideas which were quite useful to all the participants. The overall concept of Digitalisation as a cross-cutting issue which also looks deeply at the existing Gender Digital Divide, was thought provoking and triggered ideas of how projects must also a use technological tools to empower and influence their impacts.
As a next step : It would be pertinent to look at innovative digital solutions that are inclusive and promote equality, empowerment and equity for Development in India.