ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

ECPR

Install the app

Install this application on your home screen for quick and easy access when you’re on the go.

Just tap Share then “Add to Home Screen”

The Challenge of Mainstreaming Gender in Digital Policies: Europe and Beyond

European Politics
Gender
Governance
Public Policy
Women
Internet
Claudia Padovani
Università di Padova
Claudia Padovani
Università di Padova

Abstract

The paper addresses issues of gender equality in the context of the governance of digital communication twenty years after the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, where gender mainstreaming was identified as a core resource towards gender equality, also in relation to the nexus between gender and the media. The communication environment has since been profoundly transformed by digital developments, but the goal of mainstreaming a gender perspective in relevant policy interventions appears even more challenging. It has been highlighted that governing arrangements for the media do not fully recognize gendered disconnections (Byerly 2012, Byerly and Ross 2006; Sarikakis and Shade 2008; EIGE 2013). While the idea of fostering gender equality in the governance of the media has for a long time been peripheral to both media scholars and media policy analyses (Jensen 2005; Gallagher 2011; Padovani & Pavan 2015). It is nevertheless to be noted that most recent contributions to the ongoing scholarly debate on gender and media, stress the importance of the policy dimension of issues as diverse as women’s access to information and media structures, the relation between media and gender violence, employment opportunities and leadership roles (Vega Montiel 2014, Byerly 2014, Ross 2014). While a focus on the need to include gender inequalities in policy-oriented analytical frameworks to investigate the developments of digital policies is emerging (Gurumurty 2011, Shade 2014). In this context, the paper builds on a study conducted on the European Digital Agenda (Padovani 2014) to critically examine a number of issues – of persisting discrimination and lack of gender sensitivity in the adoption of national and regional strategies for digital futures - that are emerging not only in Europe, but also in other geo-cultural contexts, from Latin and North America to the Indian continent.