Women at the Table

Lessons in leveraging digital education, technology, and innovation for gender equality in the Global South


Larysa Lysenko, Research Coordinator Concordia University 

Claudia Sugimaru, Researcher GRADE

Caitlin Kraft-Buchmann, CEO Women at the Table 

Jasmine Turner, Researcher War Child Holland 

Suzie Dunn, Researcher CIGI 


Building equitable, inclusive, and resilient digital education, technology and

innovation systems across the Global South is a lingering development challenge, magnified by the

COVID-19 crisis. The 2021 Global Sustainable Development Report showcased how the pandemic

negatively impacted progress towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 (Quality Education), SDG 5

(Gender Equality), and SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure), all central to CSW’s priority



Technology and innovation can play a key role in promoting accessible and quality education that can be

widespread, adaptable, and less prone to disruptions. Similarly, rapidly emergent technologies, including

artificial intelligence (AI), are and will continue to play a critical role in shaping the nature and quality of

jobs for women. Understanding which innovations work for Global Southern contexts and supporting

their responsible adaptation and scaling, including ensuring that teachers are trained to

use technological tools and that technology is leveraged fairly and with a gender-lens, is paramount to

address development challenges in the Global South, from the current education crisis to access to well-

paid and quality jobs for women in future.  


Equally important is to support that system-level efforts follow a gender transformative approach, one

that ensures that technology and innovation is leveraged with an aim to reach those most marginalized

and close rather than perpetuate or expand gender disparities, including gender-based violence and

gender bias. Moreover, there is a responsibility to ensure that digital education propels women’s

participation and leadership in growth-related fields including science, technology, engineering, and

math (STEM).  


Drawing on the lessons from IDRC’s programming on inclusive education, gender analysis in STEM,

artificial intelligence for development, and strengthening inclusiveness in science, technology and

innovation systems, this panel features supported partners from Canada and across the Global South.

They will outline the lingering challenges that hinder gender equality and inclusion in their local

contexts, showcase their experiences and findings propelling gender equality through research and

advocacy, and propose policy recommendations to leverage digital education, technology and education

for gender equality.


Last modified: February 28, 2023