The positive impact of the digital economy on women is largely a myth. In trade and economic policy spaces, there is a strong belief that digitalization will automatically empower women. In particular in the Global South, new opportunities for entrepreneurship and flexible employment are thought to promote women’s economic independence. However, only a small group of women does in fact benefit from these opportunities, including female entrepreneurs and female consumers in Western countries. Women without formal education or internet access remain excluded.
Instead, the new organization of the economy creates or expands precarious jobs women. The supposedly ‘new’ configuration is in fact another avenue to promote the neo-liberal economic and trade models. These models are still based on a narrow conception of economic growth and profit-maximization and relegated the well-being and human rights of people to the sidelines.
Sharing various perspectives from the Global South, our three speakers unpack some of the myths surrounding the digital economy and discuss avenues towards a feminist trade and economic policy. Feminist approaches allow us to regulate digitalization in our economies in a way that will empower all and protect the rights of all people.
Nandini Chami, Digital Justice Project -- a collaborative research and advocacy initiative of DAWN and IT for Change
Scheaffer Okore, Vice Chair of the Ukweli Party, Kenya
Sofia Scasserra, Researcher and Lecturer, World Labor Institute “Julio Godio”, Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (UNTREF), Argentina, and Economic Advisor FAECYS – Presidency UNI Global.
Facilitator: Crystal Dicks, a feminist activist, currently working as an independent gender and development practitioner, while completing a writing fellowship at the University of the Witwatersrand.
Organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Wide+ and Gender Trade Coalition
Arbeitseinheit: Internationale Entwicklungszusammenarbeit | Globale Politik und Entwicklung