Keywords: digital divide, gender equality, information society, ICT, composite indicators, Europe, information technology, communications, Europe
The digital divide from a gender perspective in Europe: measuring with composite indicators
In this paper, we introduce a system of composite indicators developed by a research team in the E–equality Observatory at the Complutense University of Madrid. This tool, called Gender & ICT Indicators System (GICTIS), aids in the advancement of the measurement and analysis of the differences between men and women in the information society. It was designed to analyse data that may contribute to offering a clearer picture of the true reach of the gender digital divide, which has been largely underestimated to date. Its application allows us to: a) make inter–gender comparisons, determined by the degree of e–equality; b) carry out intra–gender analysis according to the degree of e–inclusion of each sex; c) contextualise the results for the corresponding 31 European countries. By studying the data for several countries, we endeavor to provide a more international perspective. Countries have been ranked and classified under five categories of typologies according to the level of ICT use, combined with the degree of existing gender equality. Lastly, a brief analysis is made of the gender digital divide in each of the countries studied by comparing their respective data for the dimensions and variables that comprise the GICTIS.