Ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is one of the controversial issues that slow our progress in sustainable development. This is because providing equal opportunities in education and employment for women and girls can stimulate economic growth and development.
Many initiatives like company and government policies, and contributions from non-governmental organisations, have been implemented to support gender equality. Recently, technology has been tested to play a massive role in improving gender inequality.
Most companies in developed countries are going beyond gender-inclusive policies and programs, to using technological initiatives in eliminating gender biases. Human resource teams and recruiting agencies are adopting cloud computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence technologies to help provide meaningful impact.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used to eliminate all forms of sexist language in the advertisements of job offers. This is effective because it is easier to use technology to recognise and root out unconscious bias than relying on human resources. Additionally, AI interfaces can be a great way to measure and track improvements and objective behaviour patterns between workers.
In addition, machine learning is being used to identify ideal candidates and adjust salaries to the difficulty of tasks and responsibilities, independently of gender.
Outside the working world, women in conflict-prone areas are increasingly turning to technology to build peace. Women unable to join main protests—including rural women, who are particularly hemmed in by deeply rooted patriarchal structures— can record and share their activity supporting the movement on Facebook and Twitter.
Also, private Facebook groups are being used to discuss and expose abuses women face in their homes to raise funds to support them. Occasionally, some governments block social media to avoid the international communities from following what is happening. Nonetheless, virtual private networks (VPN) are used to hide their locations and enable them to forge ahead with the work. This shows the relevance of integrating digital literacy skills into girls’ and women’s education. As such, women’s digital power will be boosted to affect sustainable development across various sectors effectively.
In practice, technologies are rarely gender-neutral. However, the progress achieved by innovative technologies must be acknowledged as it is one of the fastest routes in achieving SDG 5 - Gender Equality.