The Gender Digital Divide: A Review and Future Research Agenda from a Feminist Perspective

Proceedings of The 4th Global Conference on Women’s Studies

Year: 2022



The Gender Digital Divide: A Review and Future Research Agenda from a Feminist Perspective

Grace Chenxin Liu



The gender digital divide, also known as real-world gender inequality replicated in the digital world, has become “the new face of inequality”. Bridging digital divides is vitally important for achieving the United Nations’ 5th Sustainable Development Goal on gender equality. By using a feminist approach, this paper reviews the existing literature on the gender digital divide published between 2010 and 2021 through keyword searching on ScienceDirect and Google Scholar databases. 42 articles were selected in total and analyzed using a systematic review method. It is found that the existing research could be divided into three categories: 1) the determinants of the gender digital divide, namely mobile phone ownership, socioeconomic factors, stereotypes and other root causes, availability and participation in information communication technologies (ICTs) and the Internet, and e-government; 2) the impacts of ICTs and bridging the gender digital divide such as positive effects on sustainability, gender equality, and empowerment of women, the economy, education, and politics; 3) the regional perspective consisting of case studies on specific regions and countries. The results from a feminist perspective analysis show the lack of change-seeking or definite policy implications in these studies. The research findings can provide an innovative perspective for future researchers to consider in gender digital divide studies, especially in the aspect of policy recommendations and future research agenda. Therefore, the results contribute to the literature on digital inclusion, women’s empowerment in technology, as well as gender and feminist studies in general.

keywords: Gender inequalities, digital inequality, literature review, gender sustainable development, Feminist approach