Gender Equality Is Central to Technology and Democracy

Our Secure Future Director Sahana Dharmapuri recently published an OpEd in Foreign Policy in collaboration with OSF Fellow Jolynn Shoemaker urging policymakers that gender should not be sidelined from global technology governance efforts.

“For the U.S. and many other countries, determining the future of technology and pursuing gender equality remain two very separate lines of effort. As technology reshapes society with repercussions for democratic values, governance systems, and civic participation, how can this gender blind spot be addressed?

We launched Project Delphi to explore this missing piece. We are examining the intersections among gender inequalities, emerging technologies, and peace and security that still remain relatively invisible to many in the technology and policy arenas. Based on more than 40 interviews with experts and leaders in the public sector, technology space, and civil society, we were able to identify five trends that are interlinked and that amplify inequalities within the emerging digital ecosystem.

  • Underrepresentation of women and communities of color in the technology sector, including in senior leadership and in the design of new technologies;
  • Gender disparities in the access and use of technologies;
  • Targeted gender-based harassment and abuse through technology tools and platforms;
  • Widespread gender data gaps; and
  • Gender and racial biases in machine learning and AI.”

Read the full publication here.