NDI conducted a study to better understand how women within NDI’s programming interact with digital technology and the particular challenges they face with regard to access, comfort and competencies. For this study, digital technology has been defined as encompassing computers, the Internet, e-mail, standard mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and social media applications. Working in partnership with the research firm Ipsos, NDI explored how female participants in its programs are using digital technology to increase their participation in politics as office holders, candidates, advocates and voters, with the goal of improving future program design and ensuring democracy-focused technologies are better able to address women’s needs and challenges. The following report summarizes the highlights of the survey. It includes a short overview of NDI’s work in this area and desk research on women’s use of digital technology for political engagement. The report then shares the outcomes of the quantitative survey, which was taken by 1,160 women from 58 countries in 2014, either at an NDI program activity, in-country office or through a targeted email distributed to members of the International Knowledge Network of Women in Politics (iKNOW Politics). Finally, NDI will propose recommendations for better integrating a gender perspective into technology relevant democracy and governance programming. Through this report, NDI hopes to build awareness of the opportunities digital technology presents in the mission to empower women as political actors and seeks a better understanding of how women access and use technology to enhance their political participation.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015