Kozhikode

‘Continuing digital divide a hindrance to gender parity’

The continuing digital divide was projected as one of the key obstacles in achieving the concept of gender parity in a session hosted on “Leveraging innovation and maximising social good” at the International Conference on Gender Equality in Kozhikode on Friday.

‘Greater role for women’

Innovation thought leader Irfan Malik, who chaired the 90-minute online discussion, said the modern world required women to gain better access to technological solutions as much as the administrations and companies earning awareness about gender equality. “From formulating policies to earning funds to handling finances, women merit a greater role for the improvement of socio-economic indices,” he said.

Sydney-based activist Barbara Ward said COVID-19 showed how the women workforce was a major casualty in the event of a worldwide tragedy. “It is the lowly-paid who end up becoming the most affected in times of big upsets. Women form a major presence here,” she said.

Role of technology

Ambarish Mitra, founder of Blippar, specialised in augmented reality, artificial intelligence and computer vision, explained how technology had infused traits of gender-neutrality in households. “I don’t mean some kind of software here, but routine devices such as washing machines, dishwashers or mixer-grinders. They have unburdened women with some of their traditional responsibilities as home-makers,” he explained.

Different meanings

Cynthia Castro, co-founder of Latin American Company Boomerang Effect, observed that gender equality didn’t mean the same for all communities across the globe.

“It was when I realised the toughness of convincing men the need to be gender-sensitive I launched my own firm,” she said.

Hayley Saddington, founder of Health-Tech, moderated the panel discussion, which also drew the participation of experts from various other technological sectors.

The three-day conference will draw to a close on Saturday.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 5:03:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/continuing-digital-divide-a-hindrance-to-gender-parity/article33825514.ece

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