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Technology driven approaches to Women’s Economic empowerment – successes and challenges
Friday, 07/July/2023:
8:30am - 10:20am

Location: Virtua/Hybrid
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Technology driven approaches to Women’s Economic empowerment – successes and challenges

Chair(s): Mitra, Sona (IWWAGE-IFMR (KREA UNIVERSITY), India)

Presenter(s): Ghosh, Anweshaa (Institute of Social Studies Trust), Surie, Aditi (Indian Institute of Human Settlements), Buteau, Sharon (LEAD at Krea University), ., Sreerupa (Institute of Social Studies Trust)

Technology holds the promise of improving women’s labour market status and empower them in terms of enhancing their incomes, creating income-generating opportunities and facilitating access to public services and social protection measures in the current world system. This is true especially in the post COVID-19 world where technology is heralded as a panacea for the challenges faced by women workers. The newly emerging digitized platform work have opened opportunities for women’s engagements. Digitised platforms are being used for delivery of government services, effective governance for tracking service delivery mechanisms and improve the efficacy of programmes by providing newer avenues to access information, services, markets. It has also created scope for further strengthening women’s integration with technology and digital systems to improve their life, labour and well-being.

This session proposes four presentations on the different forms in which digital technology is enabling women’s economic empowerment in India. The papers critically examine the technology driven approach and highlight the successes, challenges and shortfalls of integrating women within a digital economy. The first two papers look at the conditions of women workers, emerging forms of organizing the work using platforms and use both the employee/partners’ and the employer’s perspectives in building the narratives. The papers highlight the strengths and weaknesses of such work in specific sectors like domestic work, beauty services, ecommerce, food deliveries, education services, etc. The third paper focusses on the role of a digitized approach to last mile service delivery of critical social protection measures and its impact on women. The last paper examines the impact of the changing nature of work performed by the Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) workers in India due to the adoption of digitized practices of data collection and service deliveries. The papers use both qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches for the studies.