Stage 4
12:30 - 13:30
Let´s talk about tech, baby! Slam against the gender digital divide

Short thesis

The session looks at the inclusion of women in tech as a global challenge. Women’s employment in the digital economy is often marred by gendered barriers and stereotypes. The good news: Times are changing, there are plenty of inspiring women who are following their dreams despite the challenges they encounter along the way. The session brings together development professionals, policy-makers and women from tech from South Africa and Nigeria and explores what is needed to better reflect the diversity of women’s know-how and creativity in the digital economy. The session is convened by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).


The digital revolution is progressing at a fast pace. Access to the Internet is an important prerequisite for social and economic participation. Yet, more than 250 million fewer women than men are online worldwide. In fact, the latest figures even show an increase in the digital gap between men and women since 2013. Women – particularly in developing countries – often lack the necessary skills to use digital technologies. Consequently, they are also underrepresented in technology-related jobs. And yet digital technologies have great potential for achieving the political, economic and social empowerment of women and girls.

In this session we want to explore the contradictions and enablers women face when pursuing a career in the digital economy. With a mixture of unorthodox, controversial statements, examples from development practitioners and a storytellers’ slam, the session seeks to inspire thoughts and reflections on the gender digital divide. The session is organized by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of the initiative #eSkills4Girls launched under Germany’s G20 presidency in 2017. The initiative aims to improve the digital skills and employment perspectives for girls and women in emerging and developing countries.