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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

Gender Equality: A Model for Consulting with First Nations Women to promote access to the digital economy

By Georgiana Vine, Queensland University of Technology, OECD, 2021

Georgiana Vine is studying a Bachelor of Laws and Economics at the Queensland University of Technology. Her policy focuses Gender Equality: A Model for Consulting with First Nations Women’s to promote access to the digital economy 

Executive Summary

Indigenous Australians have lower levels of digital inclusion compared to the broader Australian population (The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2019). According to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index, Indigenous Australians score below the national average in digital accessibility, affordability and ability (The Australian Digital Inclusion Index, 2019). With the economy quickly becoming dependent on digital platforms, it is understandable how a level of digital literacy is required for most roles. The disadvantage of low levels of digital accessibility and literacy Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) communities encounter is poignant and can drastically impact employment opportunities (The Australian Digital Inclusion Index 2019). The Closing The Gap report acknowledges that “the employment rate for Indigenous Australians has not improved over the past decade”(Closing the Gap, 2019). Further, the ‘Measure for Measure: Gender Equality in Australia’ Report released in March 2020 reiterated that Indigenous women are amongst the most at-risk groups for unemployment in the country and that government-led programs are actively causing harm (Dawson et al 2020). Private sector entities have an opportunity to fill the gap produced by government-led programs. In many cases, autonomy and independence of private sector entities can allow for genuine, unique, and meaningful engagement with ATSI communities. The opportunity lies within the consultation process. Engaging with ATSI women in a culturally safe and respectful environment will facilitate collaboration to promote co-designed programs and strategies that open opportunities for ATSI women to participate in the digital economy through the use of digital tools.

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