International Women’s Day is an important time to reflect on the progress we have made towards achieving gender equality, but also to acknowledge the work that still needs to be done. On the 8th of March 2023, the Centre for Digital Cultures and Innovation at the University of Brighton hosted an event to highlight the role of digital research and innovation in mobilizing gender equality.

The theme for the event was “Break the Bias: Mobilising Gender Equality through Digital Research and Innovation,” a continued reflection on the theme for last year and a nod to this year’s theme of #EmbraceEquity. The event aimed to address the unique challenges that women face in accessing and utilizing technology, as well as the gendered outcomes of digital research and innovation. It brought together a wide range of presenters including: Dr Bahawodin Baha, Isilda Almeida, Dr Mary Darking, Dr Gemma Graham, Comfort Oko-Joseph and Siju Yusuf from the University of Brighton; and guest speaker Shellie Baxter, Founding CEO of Our Genetic Legacy, California.

One of the key issues that the event focused on was the barriers and biases that prevent women from accessing and utilizing technology. Despite the fact that technology has the potential to empower women, many women face structural and societal barriers that prevent them from fully participating in the digital world. The event discussed strategies for increasing the participation of women in digital innovation and research and highlighted the importance of policies that address these barriers and biases.

The event also explored the gendered politics of digital innovation, and how digital research and innovation can be mobilized to address gender inequality. Speakers discussed the gendered impacts of the digital divide, and how digital health innovation and research can be mobilized to promote gender equality.

Creative practice and the digital empowerment of women were also discussed, with presenters highlighting the importance of using creative approaches to engage women in digital innovation and research. The event also explored the intersections of gender, marginalization, and digital exclusion, and how civil society and activism can be mobilized to promote gender and digital equality.

Overall, the event was a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle for gender equality and the need for continued action to break down barriers and biases that prevent women from fully participating in society as we embrace equity. It highlighted the important role that digital research and innovation can play in mobilizing gender equality and provided a platform for presenters to share their research, practices, and experiences.

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