Access to technology has shown to be often disproportionately more empowering for girls relative to boys, with wider benefits which expand beyond formal education.
Most studies suggest there is a significant existing gender digital divide: cultural bias and gendered assumptions about girls’ competence and enjoyment of technology, and the benefits and risks they accrue from using it, mean that girls are afforded less access to technology, both inside and outside the classroom.
Parents and teachers are key gatekeepers to girls’ access to technology. Unless parents and teachers are involved in programme development and receive adequate and ongoing training in technology usage and gender-responsive teaching, there is concern that increased use of technology may only increase the gender digital divide.
Exploring a broader range of technology options — particularly mobile phones — may provide opportunities to overcome persistent gender barriers and infrastructural challenges and facilitate more inclusive and empowering learning opportunities for girls.