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Daily-current-affairs / 04 Apr 2024

Understanding the Importance of Inclusive Digital Policies : Daily News Analysis



The digital revolution has transformed various aspects of our lives, including how we work, interact, and conduct business. Particularly noteworthy is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which accelerated the adoption of digital technologies, emphasizing the importance of remote work and digital connectivity. As we look deeper into this digital landscape, it becomes evident that inclusive digital policies are essential for fostering gender equality and empowering women leaders. In this comprehensive analysis, we will explore the current challenges faced by women in the digital realm, the significance of gender-sensitive policies, and strategies for promoting women's participation and leadership in the digital age.

Challenges Faced by Women in the Digital Sphere

Despite the increasing importance of digital skills in today's workforce, women continue to lag behind their male counterparts in acquiring these skills. Studies indicate that women are 25 percent less likely to utilize technology for basic tasks, highlighting a significant digital skills gap.

Moreover, the rise of user-friendly artificial intelligence (AI) technology and automation poses a threat of job displacement, disproportionately affecting women. The Gender, Technology, and Future of Work report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimates that around 180 million women worldwide are at high risk of losing their jobs due to emerging technologies.

Additionally, digital technologies, especially AI itself, exhibit biases against women. Studies have also indicated that AI systems used in resume screening tend to replicate and intensify existing human gender biases, impacting women's chances in recruitment processes. A study commissioned by UniBank discovered that AI algorithms mimic the gender biases shown by human recruiters in resume screening, favouring male candidates over female candidates. Such advanced systems, mainly when operating without sufficient transparency, heighten concerns due to their potential to perpetuate and amplify existing biases.

Strategies for Promoting Women's Digital Empowerment

Women contribute diverse perspectives to corporations, enhancing workplace values and driving financial success. McKinsey research shows that companies with gender-diverse leadership teams are 48% more likely to achieve financial outperformance. Closing the gender gap could add $12 trillion to the global GDP. Retaining women in the workforce and advancing their careers is both a moral imperative and a wise economic decision.

       Access to Digital Education and Training

One key strategy for bridging the digital skills gap is to provide women with access to comprehensive digital education and training programs. These programs should focus on equipping women with essential, in-demand skills and empowering them to thrive in the rapidly evolving digital landscape. By offering flexible formats and gender-neutral content, such initiatives can cater to the diverse needs of women and ensure their active participation in emerging tech sectors. Additionally, it's crucial to tie these training programs with clear career progression opportunities, financial gains, and promotions to incentivize women's participation and advancement.

       Empowering Women Through Digital Coaching

Digital coaching presents a promising avenue for empowering women in their professional development journey. These coaching programs offer a flexible and accessible platform for women to enhance their leadership skills, confidence, and overall effectiveness in navigating workplace challenges. By catering to individual learning styles and schedules, digital coaching programs accommodate women who may be juggling multiple roles or facing geographical constraints. Furthermore, these programs facilitate networking opportunities, connecting women with mentors and peers from around the world, thus broadening their professional horizons and providing valuable support.

       Addressing Gender Bias in AI

Gender bias in artificial intelligence (AI) presents a significant challenge that must be addressed to ensure fair and inclusive digital environments. Diversifying the datasets used in AI training and promoting diversity among AI developers are essential steps toward mitigating bias. By incorporating a range of genders, ethnicities, and ages in training data, AI systems can better reflect the diversity of human experiences and perspectives. Additionally, recruiting and supporting women and underrepresented groups in AI roles can bring diverse viewpoints to the design and implementation process, thereby minimizing biases in AI outputs. Continuous monitoring for biases and adherence to industry-wide ethical standards are also crucial for ensuring the fair and unbiased deployment of AI technologies.


In conclusion, inclusive digital policies are imperative for promoting gender equality and empowering women leaders in the digital age. By addressing the digital skills gap, promoting access to digital education and training, and mitigating gender bias in AI, we can create a more inclusive and equitable digital environment where women can thrive and contribute meaningfully. Policymakers, industry leaders, and stakeholders need to collaborate effectively in implementing gender-sensitive policies and initiatives that foster women's digital empowerment. Only by embracing diversity and inclusivity in the digital sphere can we unlock the full potential of women as leaders and innovators in the global economy.

Probable Questions for UPSC Mains Exam-

1.      Discuss the significance of gender-sensitive policies, and strategies for promoting women's participation and leadership in the digital age. (10 Marks, 150 Words)

2.      How the digital revolution has transformed various aspects of our lives, including how we work, interact, and conduct business. In this context, discuss the challenges Faced by Women in the Digital Sphere. (15 Marks, 250 Words)


Source - ORF