Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Implications of Digital Inclusion: Digitalization in Terms of Time Use from a Gender Perspective

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Abstract:  The implications of digital technologies for the transformation of gender relations and identities have been discussed since the early days of the internet. Although gender studies have identified clear gender gaps in terms of digital inclusion as well as potentialities for the transformation of women’s subjectivity, there is a lack of empirical evidence of the impact of digitalization in terms of time use from a gender perspective. Public policies have begun to address the digital gender gap, but the incorporation of a gender perspective in digital inclusion programmes which promotes women’s emancipation by challenging the gender division of time through use of the internet has been not incorporated in the digital policies agenda. This article aims to provide empirical evidence of the mutual interrelation between the time allocation and digital inclusion from a gender perspective. It considers how gender inequalities in time use shape women’s experience of digital inclusion and, at the same time, how digital inclusion promotes the reconfiguration of time in women’s everyday lives. Qualitative analysis based on episodic interviews explored the representations and practices of internet use by women in their everyday lives. The sample was made up of 32 women who were digitally included through a lifelong learning programme in Spain and had experienced the effects of the Spanish economic crisis. The article argues that digital inclusion does not automatically lead to a more egalitarian allocation of time use for women, but rather places greater value on women’s free time.

Keywords:  digital gender gap; digital inclusion; gender division of labour; gender inequalities; internet use; time use



© Lidia Arroyo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.