Toward Gender Equity Online
Werehaus worked with Google to help produce a still photography need spanning six countries. The project involved a documentation of the women their research was targeting, all in a quest for a more equitable access to the internet.
Lavinia, a student from Brazil, doesn’t put a photo of her face on social apps out of fear that it will be copied and circulated in men’s private groups. In fact, 68 percent of women in our research across seven countries (compared to 49 percent of men) don’t use a profile picture that shows their face. Online threats—like cyberstalking, malicious editing and the fear of strangers sharing personal content without consent—can result in destroyed reputations and even physical harm. Because of these safety threats, women limit their participation online.
The internet isn’t gender equitable. Estimates show there are fewer women online than men in two-thirds of countries worldwide. Stories like Lavinia’s begin to tell us why. To understand why these inequities exist and how to address them, we conducted interviews and surveys with nearly 4,000 participants in Bangladesh, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan over the course of a year.