Dealing with the cause, rather than trying to clear up afterwards: changing men’s attitudes to women and technology

Dealing with the cause, rather than trying to clear up afterwards: changing men’s attitudes to women and technology

Digital technologies are created and sold primarily to generate profit; in contributing to economic growth, their use has been one of the most important reasons for increasing global inequalities. They are designed and crafted for particular purposes by people with very specific interests; these interests are usually not primarily to serve the poorest and most marginalised. It is therefore scarcely surprising that multifaceted poverty and marginalisation have increased alongside the global spread of digital technologies.

Poverty and marginalisation are multi-dimensional. Yet one of the most significant axes of inequality that the use of digital technologies continues to sustain is that between men and women. Despite all of the initiatives created to reduce gender digital inequality, this still remains persistently high.

One reason is that many of these initiatives have been developed by women for women. Most are trying to deal with the impact of male uses of technology, both intended and unintended, rather than with the root causes of the problem. We must change men’s attitudes and behaviours towards women in and through digital technology if we are to have any fundamental impact. TEQtogether has been created to do just this: informing men how their actions impact gender digital inequality; providing guidance notes on the actions they can take to change this; providing research evidence on the use of digital devices for sexual harassment; and reverse mentoring. Join us; only by working together can we indeed achieve gender digital equality.

This article was first published (12th November 2019) online via hiig.de and is part of the publication "Critical Voices, Visions and Vectors for Internet Governance". In order to find the sources and literature used for the individual statements, please visit the publication.

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