Can the digital revolution promote gender equality?

The rapid proliferation of the internet and mobile phones has been one of the most significant social phenomena of the new millennium. In this talk, I will discuss the implications of this digital revolution for the realisation of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 5 on gender equality. First, drawing on the survey data linked with geo-spatial satellite data in Sub-Saharan Africa, I will present findings that show how the ownership of mobile phones has empowered women to access information and resources important for health and well-being and bolstered their ability to make independent decisions. This highlights the need to monitor and close digital gender gaps to promote sustainable development. Monitoring this progress however is often challenging due to the limited availability of gender-disaggregated data on internet and mobile access, particularly in low-income countries. In this data-sparse context, I will describe how data generated from social media marketing APIs can be repurposed to track global digital gender gaps.