The Digital Gender Gap in Healthcare: Progress, Challenges, and Policy Implications

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  • 2021•12•08     Kuala Lumpur

    Image: Pexels

    Digital technologies, services, products, and skills are transforming people’s lives and livelihoods. However, despite the rapid proliferation of digital tools and services, significant challenges remain in ensuring women’s meaningful use of digital technology in their lives and society. Meaningful participation in today’s digital age requires addressing the numerous barriers that exacerbate the digital gender gap.

    Gender inequalities, intersecting with and compounded by other social differences such as class, race, age, urban/rural and (dis)ability, continue to shape the extent to which different women, men and gender diverse people are able not only to access but also use and benefit from these modern technologies.

    The digital gender gap, if left unaddressed, has the potential to exacerbate existing health inequities. 

    Closing the digital gender gap requires a multifaceted approach to address all the intersectional inequalities faced by women and girls from diverse backgrounds. This entails finding ways and solutions how to include women and girls in the design of digital health interventions.


    1. Understand and address the harmful gender norms, practices, and stereotypes that hinder women’s safe and meaningful use of digital technology.
    2. Establish more inclusive and gender responsive education and digital training that focus on the specific needs of women.
    3. Develop laws, policies, and strategies that support women to stay online including laws to protect online rights, and preventing cyberbullying and sexual harassment.
    4. Ensure the collection of gender-disaggregated data on the digital gender gap – considering other intersectional factors – to inform policy and business decisions that seek to close the digital gender gap.

    Read the Policy Brief here.