The impact of ICT on the lives of girls, boys and adolescents
VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL | VERSÃO EM PORTUGUÊS
Qualitative sudy presents gender differences and inequalities in the use of technologies by children and adolescents and was developed by Cetic.br|NIC.br, UNESCO Montevideo and UNESCO Regional Chair Women, Science and Technology in Latin America
UNESCO Montevideo presents the study on gender differences and inequalities in the access to and use of ICT by girls, boys and adolescents, prepared by Cetic.br|NIC.br and the UNESCO Regional Chair Women, Science and Technology in Latin America, of FLACSO-Argentina.
There is no doubt that information and communication technologies (ICT) play an increasingly important role in the lives of new generations, however, gender inequalities that go beyond access still persist.
The implications of these technologies for the daily life of children and adolescents are holistic: they impact their education, physical and mental health, entertainment, socio-cultural development, political life, among other aspects. And, although public policies are often designed to integrate these impacts, they do not always account the opinions, considerations and experiences of girls, boys and adolescents.
In this context, the UNESCO Office Montevideo and Regional Bureau for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean, through its Information and Communication program, presents the publication Children, adolescents and the use of the Internet in São Paulo and Buenos Aires: studies from a perspective of gender equality (available in Spanish and Portuguese), prepared by researchers from the Regional Center for Studies on the Development of the Information Society (Cetic.br), department of the Brazilian Network Information Center (NIC.br), and the UNESCO Regional Chair Women, Science and Technology in Latin America, of FLACSO-Argentina. The publication explores the gender inequalities related to the experiences of girls, boys and adolescents using digital technologies in the cities of São Paulo (Brazil) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).
“ICT represents the most rapid and profound technical change experienced in the region and, indeed, in the world. That is why a robust global teaching method has been developed to facilitate the education of a large number of boys and girls. However, it is essential to discuss and offer recommendations for children and adolescents to engage in laws, policies and strategies related to these technologies,” said Lidia Brito, director of the Regional Bureau for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The results of the study show how the online experiences of girls and boys are influenced by gender issues, as well as the differences in benefiting from opportunities, the great concern with self-presentation on social networks, the risks related to privacy and the violence experienced in digital environments.
“The study was based on an under-explored premise: ICT use by children and adolescents are more shaped by their socialization spaces than by the characteristics of digital environments themselves. The findings demonstrate the importance of analyzing the digital gender gaps and their relationship with different groups and social contexts”, said Gloria Bonder, coordinator of the UNESCO Regional Chair Women, Science and Technology in Latin America, FLACSO-Argentina.
The purpose of this publication is to raise awareness among the different actors on the relevance of considering a gender perspective when developing public policies related to the use of ICT by girls, boys and adolescents. Joint efforts to reduce the inequalities identified in this study are essential to harness the positive aspects of the Internet and maximize opportunities for both girls and boys.
“Analyzing the access to and use of ICT by girls, boys and adolescents through a qualitative approach and based on a gender perspective is extremely important for the development of inclusive public policies that address both the opportunities and consequences of technologies, often unequal", expressed Tatiana Jereissati, coordinator of Qualitative Methods and Sectoral Studies at Cetic.br|NIC.br.