Being Digitally Savvy Australian Women’s Access and Ability to Use Broadband

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Melissa Tsafkas


women, digital inclusion, Australian Digital Inclusion Index, Online Skills Check and Resources (OSCAR)


Research into the rates of digital inclusion over the last three years, from the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII), has shown differences in digital access and abilities of women compared to men. Deploying a gendered analysis, it is possible to explore the drivers behind differences in some areas where women scored above men and in other areas below. This paper reviews data from the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) and NBN’s Online Skills Check and Resources (OSCAR). Focusing on the perspectives of women living in regional areas, living with a disability, from low-income households and senior women allows parallels to be drawn between digital inclusion and social inequality. Understanding factors that increase women’s agency remains significant in the context of also improving women’s digital inclusion. Factors that increase agency are required to fulfill women’s digital potential. Solutions presented to address these gaps and narrow the gender digital divide include education and capacity building to provide opportunities and support for women, the importance of social networks, addressing narratives and, finally, targeting gaps in research. A continuous theme in this paper is the importance of an inclusive approach to investing time, effort and research to address gender equality within digital inclusion.



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