New challenges and opportunities for gender equality in the era of post-pandemic digitalisation
The COVID-19 pandemic has unleashed a radical transformation in the use of digital technology at work and in education, dealing with administration, and other areas of life, having a great impact on the adoption of technology and the use of the Internet by men and women. Technology has allowed people to continue interacting during this period in the areas of health, social relations, and economic transactions, at a time when restrictions on movement for reasons of infection control during the pandemic made it impossible to do these activities in-person.
However, this accelerated adoption of technology by the population in general over recent years has not been the same for women and men. There are still major gender gaps in the access, use, ownership and design of digital technologies, which affects opportunities, especially for women, in setting up a business and innovating as well as in fully participation in the labour market. Moreover, the gap is greater in rural areas and for older women.
On the other hand, the digital transformation constitutes one of the cross-cutting routes of the recovery and resilience mechanism of the EU Next Generation Funds, and it brings together almost 20% of the budgetary resources made available to administrations. In order to improve the availability and efficiency of public services and for it to be truly inclusive and sustainable, the digital transformation must aim to totally remove the digital gaps between men and women.
The IEHPA Foundation, entity attached to the Regional Ministry of Economy, Finance and European Funds, organises this International Conference on Economy and Public Budget for Equal Opportunities with the goal of focussing the discussion on the main dimensions and challenges to gender equality in the context of the current digitalisation. It also aims to promote discussion about how gender budgeting, a practice implemented by the Regional Government of Andalusia to develop the effectiveness and efficiency of public policies, can improve the allocation of its resources and actions to correct inequalities within the framework of the priorities established by European finance.