Policy cycle in digital agenda
In this phase, it is recommended that information is gathered on the situation of women and men in a particular area. This means looking for sex-disaggregated data and gender statistics, as well as checking for the existence of studies, programmes or projects reports, and/or evaluations from previous periods.
Examples of gender and digital agenda statistics
Eurostat - Information Society database
The statistics in this section track the usage of Information and Communications Technologies (ICT). More specifically, statistics on the information society monitor three aspects:
- the completion of a single European information space
- innovation and investment in ICT research
- achieving an inclusive European information society.
Specific sections include statistics at individual level, in particular broadband and connectivity, ICT usage in households and by individuals and e-public services. Data given in these domains are collected annually by the National Statistical Institutes and are based on Eurostat's annual model questionnaires on ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) usage in households and by individuals. A large part of the data collected is used in the context of the Digital Agenda Scoreboard, Europe's strategy for a flourishing digital economy by 2020. The characteristics to be provided are drawn from the following list of subjects:
- access to and use of ICTs by individuals and/or in households
- use of the Internet and other electronic networks for different purposes by individuals and/or in households
- ICT security and trust
- ICT competence and skills
- barriers to the use of ICT and the Internet
- perceived effects of ICT usage on individuals and/or on households
- use of ICT by individuals to exchange information and services with governments and public administrations (e-government)
- access to and use of technologies enabling connection to the Internet or other networks from anywhere at any time (ubiquitous connectivity).
Relevant breakdowns relating to individuals are present, in particular sex and age.
Eurostat: The European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS)
This provides the main aggregated statistics on labour market outcomes in the European Union. The EU-LFS is the main data source for employment and unemployment. Tables on population, employment, working hours, permanency of job, professional status etc. are included. It provides disaggregated statistics by sex, age groups, economic activity, education attainment and field of education, from which it is possible to measure the characteristics of the labour force of women, by age. Number of women and men in the labour force by economic activities related to ICTs (telecommunications, computer programming, consultancy and related activities, information service activities) are available.
Eurostat – Education and Training database
This database produces and publishes data, indicators and analysis on the operation, evolution and impact of education from early childhood through formal education to learning and training throughout life. Data and indicators disseminated include participation rates at different levels of education, enrolments in public and private institutions, third-level education graduates, pupil-teacher ratios, foreign language learning, expenditure on education per student and relative GDP. Data are disaggregated by sex, age, educational level and field of education. The data collection on education statistics is based on the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED). For data on educational attainment based on the EU Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS) the International Standard Classification of Education 2011 (ISCED 2011) is applied as from 2014. Number of women and men by education attainment and field of related to ICTs (e.g. science, mathematics and computing, computing, computer science, computer use, engineering and engineering trades) are available.
The UNECE statistics database
This website aims to bring together both gender statistics and policies. Focus is on the production, dissemination and use of gender-related data. In addition to statistics, the website outlines some of the main gender issues relevant to the UNECE region, and provides examples of policies and other initiatives. It also contains thematic pages on topics consisting of important methodologies and examples of survey instruments. The UNECE Gender Statistics Database helps to monitor the situation of women and men in all UNECE member countries. The section Science and ICT includes data on use of computer and Internet by sex.
UN – gender statistics
The Global Gender Statistics Programme is mandated by the United Nations Statistical Commission, implemented by the United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD) and coordinated by the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Gender Statistics IAEG-GS. The dataset also includes data on ICT disaggregated by sex (Proportion of individuals using the Internet, proportion of individuals using mobile/cellular telephones, by sex, proportion of households with access to mass media (radio, TV, Internet), by sex of head of household).
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Statistics
ITU gathers data on ICT in the world, including on gender and ICT, and in particular the access to and use of the Internet by country.
The OECD Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC)
The Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is a household study developed by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 24 countries and sub-national regions. The goal of PIAAC is to assess and compare the basic skills and the broad range of competencies of adults. The assessment focuses on cognitive and workplace skills. Specifically, PIAAC measures relationships between individuals’ educational background, workplace experiences and skills, occupational attainment, use of information and communications technology (ICT) and cognitive skills in the areas of literacy, numeracy and problem solving. Data disaggregated by sex are available. Microdata of PIAAC 2012 are publicly available at the OCED website.
Examples of studies, research and reports
European Commission (2015) - She Figures
She Figures 2015 is the fifth publication of a key set of indicators that are essential to understand the situation of women in science and research and includes data on the proportion of females in ICT. The She Figures data collection has been undertaken every three years since 2003 by the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, in cooperation with the Helsinki Group and its sub-group of statistical correspondents.
Eurostat/Eurydice (2012) - Key data on education in Europe
The general key data on education report, published jointly with Eurostat, is a unique publication and a flagship product for the Eurydice Network as it combines statistical data and qualitative information to describe the organisation and functioning of education systems in Europe. It also includes data on ICT in education around Europe.
European Commission (2008) - Segregated statistics relating to gender and ICT in the EU 1998 – 2007
The specific objective of this study is to investigate statistical evidence relating to the participation of women in ICT. A set of gender indicators for measuring progress in this area is proposed.
OECD (2014) - Are boys and girls equally prepared for life?
Introduction to the PISA tests to compare countries’ achievements in education, provides a ‘gender brief’ on boys and girls in mathematics.
OECD Skills Outlook 2013: First results from the survey of adult skills
The OECD Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) was designed to provide insights into the availability of some of these key skills in society and how they are used at work and at home. It directly measures proficiency in several information-processing skills – namely literacy, numeracy and problem solving in technology-rich environments. This report presents the findings of the 2013 survey. It also includes data on digital skills of adult women in OECD countries.
One of the first steps to take when defining your policy/project/programme is to gather information and analyse the situation of women and men in the respective policy domain. The information and data you collected will allow an understanding of the reality and assisting you in designing your policy, programme or project. Specific methods that can be used in this phase are gender analysis and gender impact assessment.
Examples of gender analysis
European Commission (2013) - Women active in the ICT sector
Despite the evidence which proves that women’s access to an ICT career is essential for the sector’s long-term growth and the sustainability of the European economy, there remains a large gender gap in Europe’s ICT sector. This study uses desk research, statistical analysis and economic cases as well as stakeholder interviews and surveys to analyse the problem and come up with key priorities for action.
European Commission (2007) - Best practices for even gender distribution in the 25 Member States in the domain of information society
The objective of this study on best practices of even gender distribution in Europe 25 is to foster the participation of women in the ICT domain and to provide relevant input for further European policy developments and their implementation in the area. This has been done by identifying, selecting and analysing different best practice cases in major public and private European ICT organisations.
OECD (2006) - ICTs and gender
This report provides an overview of the gender distribution of ICT and ICT-related employment in OECD countries, and ICT employment patterns are contrasted with overall employment to highlight how different ICT employment patterns are. The document then focuses on participation in ICT-related education and training, and differences in ICT access and use by gender.
ITU (2012) - A bright future in ICTs: Opportunities for a new generation of women
This report surveys the global trends in women’s professional development and employment in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector, and offers a sample of the range of national policies, training programmes and initiatives targeting girls and women as potential students and professionals.
Shortt D, and O’Neill K (2009) - ICT and women
This literature review of women in ICT attempts to understand the constraints that underpin stagnant participation rates in the industry.
APAC (2014) - End violence: Internet intermediaries and violence against women online
This study focuses on the policies of three major Internet intermediaries, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, with respect to violence against women online. The study aims to map the corporate policies of these intermediaries that allow identification, reporting and rectification of incidents of harassment or violence against women via the service that the intermediary provides. In addition to providing a detailed summary of the user policies relevant to this issue, the study also compares the impact and effectiveness of those policies against the framework of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It is designed to provide advocates and activists with detailed information about policies related to violence against women in order that they may utilise, and criticise, such mechanisms and engage with Internet intermediaries to improve avenues for redress against technology-related violence.
APAC (2015) - Briefings on technology-related violence against women for the 29th Human Rights Council session.
APC has developed a brief and a background document on technology-related violence against women to support advocacy efforts at the 29th session of the Human Rights Council (HRC). There is special attention paid to the work with the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, the working group on discrimination against women in law and the annual HRC Resolution on VAW, which focuses on domestic violence in this edition.
APAC (2014) - Domestic legal remedies for technology-related violence against women: Review of related studies and literature.
The review presents different perspectives on the interrelatedness and interconnectedness between ICT and VAW. It covers the existing laws, prevailing policy frameworks and mechanisms in cases of technology-related VAW, and identifies gaps and emerging issues in particular from seven countries, namely Bosnia and Herzegovina, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Examples of stakeholders that can be consulted
- UN and UNESCO Broadband Commission for Digital Development (working group on gender equality in ICT)
- Council of European Professionals Informatics Societies (CEPIS Women in ICT Task Force)
- European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT)
- Women in global science and technology
In this phase, it is relevant to analyse budgets from a gender perspective. Gender budgeting is used to identify how budget allocations contribute to promoting gender equality. Gender budgeting gives visibility to how much public money is spent for women and men respectively. Thus, gender budgeting ensures that public funds are fairly distributed between women and men. It also contributes to accountability and transparency about how public funds are being spent.
Example of gender budgeting in the Digital Agenda
UNIFEM (2009) Gender responsive budgeting
UNIFEM (2009) Gender responsive budgeting, describes the gender budgeting methodology and provides recommendations for its use. Even though the report does not specifically target the ICT sector, it could be used to undertaken a gender budgeting analysis in this field.
Examples of indicators for monitoring gender and ICT
Frequency of Internet access by sex
Weekly and daily frequency of Internet access is available disaggregated by sex.
For example, in 2013 59% of women age 16 – 74 are using the Internet every day compared to 65% of men, while weekly frequency of access to the Internet (including every day) is 69% for women compared to 74% of men.
The indicator is available from the Eurostat database on Information Society – ICT usage (online data code: isoc_bde15cua).
Access to and use of ICTs by sex
Indicators on access to and use of ICTs disaggregated by sex are available, in particular:
- Internet access at home
- Internet access at place of work
- Internet access at place of education
- Internet access at other people's houses
- Internet access at other places
- individuals accessing the Internet through mobile devices away from home or work
- individuals using selected mobile devices to access the Internet
- individuals using a laptop, notebook, netbook or tablet computer to access the Internet
- individuals using a portable computer or a handheld device to access the Internet away from home or work
- individuals using the mobile phone network (e.g. GPRS, UMTS) to connect the handheld device to the Internet
- individuals using a mobile phone (or smart phone) to access the Internet
- individuals using a device other than a mobile phone (or smartphone) or a portable computer (e.g. laptop, tablet) to access the Internet.
For example, in 2013 70% of women age 16 – 74 had Internet access at home compared to 74% of men, while at work, it was 29% of women compared to 35% of men. Women with a laptop, notebook, netbook or tablet computer to access the Internet stood at 21% compared to 27% of men. Finally, 32% of women had a mobile phone to access the Internet compared to 39% of men.
The indicator is available from the Eurostat database on information society – broadband and connectivity (online data code: isoc_bde15b_i).
Use of the Internet and other electronic networks for different purposes by sex
Indicators on use of the Internet and other electronic networks for different purposes disaggregated by sex are available, in particular:
- seeking health information
- sending/receiving emails
- playing/downloading games, images, films or music
- finding information about goods and services
- job search or sending an application
- reading/downloading online newspapers/news
- subscribing to news services or products to receive them regularly (in the last 3 months)
- downloading software
- making an appointment with a practitioner via a website
- telephoning or video calls
- creating websites or blogs
- listening to web radio and/or watching web TV
- playing networked games with others (in the last 3 months)
- uploading self-created content to any website to be shared
- posting messages to social media sites or instant messaging
- participating in social networks (creating user profile, posting messages or other contributions to Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
- reading and posting opinions on civic or political issues via websites
- taking part in online consultations or voting to define civic or political issues (e.g. urban planning, signing a petition)
- consulting wikis (to obtain knowledge on any subject)
- participating in professional networks (creating user profile, posting messages or other contributions to LinkedIn, Xing, etc.)
- participating in social or professional networks
- posting opinions on civic or political issues via websites (e.g. blogs, social networks, etc.)
- listening to web radio
For example, in 2013 the percentage of women age 16 – 74 using the Internet for finding information about goods and services is 57% compared to 62% of men, while for finding information on health it is 48% of women compared to 40% of men, and for downloading software, it is 18% of women compared to 33% of men.
The indicator is available from the Eurostat database on Information Society – ICT usage (online data code: isoc_bde15cua).
When preparing calls for proposals in the framework of funding programmes, or terms of reference in the context of public procurement procedures (notably for contractors to be hired for policy support services), don’t forget to formalise gender-related requirements. This will ensure that the projects and services which the European Commission will fund are not gender-blind or gender-biased.
In the implementation phase of a policy or programme, ensure that all who are involved are sufficiently aware about the relevant gender objectives and plans. If this is not the case, set up briefings and capacity-building initiatives according to staff needs. Think about researchers, proposal evaluators, monitoring and evaluation experts, scientific officers, programme committee members, etc.
Examples of capacity-building initiatives in the Digital Agenda
The UN (2009) Gender statistics manual
The UN (2009) Gender statistics manual was prepared following the recommendation of IAEG-GS in 2009 and the request made by the United Nations Statistical Commission at its 42nd session in 2011. The manual aims to foster a gender perspective in national statistics. It provides information needed to accomplish three main goals: (a) to achieve a comprehensive coverage of gender issues in data production activities; (b) to incorporate a gender perspective into the design of surveys or censuses, by taking into account gender issues and avoiding gender biases in measurement; and (c) to improve data analysis and data presentation and to deliver gender statistics in a format that is easy to use by policymakers and planners. The manual includes a specific section dedicated to education in ICT for women.
The United Nations, Economic Commission for Europe, and World Bank Institute - the manual Developing gender statistics
In 2010 the United Nations, Economic Commission for Europe, and World Bank Institute published the manual Developing gender statistics: a practical tool, which aims to guide statistical organisations. The manual explains the importance of producing and analysing statistics on gender differences. It provides guidance on data production, looks in detail at selected topics relevant to gender statistics and the implications for data collection. It also examines methods for improving the use of gender statistics through communication strategies and dissemination platforms such as interactive databases and websites. Furthermore, it provides guidance on ‘making it happen’ through campaigning for top management support, creating legislation and defining a gender statistics programme. The manual includes a specific section on ICT.
Engendering ICT toolkit
The purpose of the Engendering ICT toolkit: Challenges and opportunities for gender-equitable development, designed by the World Bank, is to identify opportunities, highlight innovative projects and activities, and suggest how the World Bank and other agencies can help realise the potential for gender equality. The toolkit is divided into 10 sections and it contains checklists, evaluation tools, examples of good practice, and resources that can be used to incorporate gender into ICT projects and project components.
UN and UNESCO Broadband Commission (2013) - Doubling digital opportunities: Enhancing the inclusion of women and girls in the information society
This publication frames the challenges and opportunities we face in achieving gender equality in an era of rapid technological change. It closely examines critical gender issues with respect to new information and communication technologies (ICTs) including broadband. Most important, it shows ways in which we can further advance the sustainable development agenda by promoting the use of new technologies in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Institute of Development Studies (2004) - Gender and ICTs
This is a toolkit that provides insights on the gender dimension of ICT and makes recommendations for future policy actions in this area.
The 2001 Gender mainstreaming in science and technology: A reference manual for governments and other stakeholders
The 2001 Gender mainstreaming in science and technology: A reference manual for governments and other stakeholders, provides recommendations on how to mainstream gender at multiple governmental levels and provides guidelines and information on how to develop an action plan.
Example of gender language in the Digital Agenda
The Gendered Innovations website
The Gendered Innovations website presents a case study for bringing a gender perspective into video gaming.
A policy cycle or programme should be checked both during (monitoring) and at the end (evaluation) of its implementation.
Monitoring the ongoing work allows for a follow-up of progress and remedying possibly unforeseen difficulties. This exercise should take into account the indicators delineated in the planning phase and data collection based on those indicators.
At the end of a policy cycle or programme, a gender-sensitive evaluation should take place. Make your evaluation is publicly accessible and strategically disseminate its results to promote its learning potential.
Example of monitoring and evaluation of gender in the Digital Agenda
The gender evaluation methodology for Internet and ICT (GEM)
The gender evaluation methodology for Internet and ICT (GEM) was developed by the Association for Progressive Communications. A manual was issued in 2005 and is the result of the collection, evaluation and in-depth analyses of experiences from 32 projects by ICT development practitioners. The methodology was tested in evaluation of ICT and gender in Central East Europe, Asia and Latin America.
The GEM Practitioners Network
The GEM Practitioners Network is a network of individuals and organisations that apply gender evaluation methodology for Internet and ICT (GEM) and want to learn more about gender and ICT evaluations. The network aims to enhance GEM expertise and build partnerships in order to incorporate a gender perspective in evaluation of ICT initiatives. It also promotes gender accountability in global, regional, national and local ICT policies and initiatives.
The APC’s Gender evaluation for rural ICT for development
The APC’s Gender evaluation for rural ICT for development is a guide to be used for evaluating ICT for rural development.
Craig, A., Fisher, J. and Dawson, L. (2011). Women In ICT: guidelines for evaluating intervention programmes
Craig, A., Fisher, J. and Dawson, L. (2011). Women In ICT: guidelines for evaluating intervention programmes. ECIS 2011: European Conference on Information Systems (pp. 1 – 13). Finland: Aalto University School of Economics.