Women at the Table

Closing the gender digital divide – Gender gaps in trade and development: Does digitalization hold solutions?

Creating an enabling environment for digitalization and e-commerce is an important component of policymaking. Digitalization of the economy has the potential to increase productivity, sustainability, and resilience, with expected benefits for all countries but especially developing countries. 

For women small entrepreneurs, digitalization and e-commerce can represent an important economic and empowering opportunity. Yet, digital gender divides persist. A lack of digital literacy, inadequate understanding of the benefit of Internet use, a lack of access to smartphones and computers, a lack of relevant content in terms of local community needs and language, and high cost are the main reasons for limited internet use by women.

The side event will discuss opportunities, bottlenecks and key strategic interventions at the international and national levels that can help women benefit from the digital revolution and enhance their beneficial participation in the economy and in trade more specifically.

The session also discusses data needs for evidence-based policy making in this area. Gender-

disaggregated economic statistics are scarce. Data on the size of e-commerce and companies that operate in it are often not available. This leads to difficulties in assessing gender differences between the ways women-owned and men-owned enterprises have access to ICT and benefit from new digital solutions. Collecting these data is important when seeking to determine whether a country is making full use of its human capital and is providing equal opportunities to all.

Organized by UNCTAD & Chile, Undersecretariat of International Economic Affairs

Moderation by Women At The Table

Last modified: February 28, 2023