Empowering women through digital skills in Argentina

A tale of two stories





smart economics, women empowerment, gender equality, gender digital divide, Argentina


“Promoting gender equality is smart development policy,” says the World Bank. In line with this narrative, many companies have promoted gender equality in terms of bridging the gender digital divide. In Argentina, a growing number of grassroots initiatives sponsored by corporations have emerged and provide training in digital and soft skills as well as entrepreneurship and leadership opportunities. Without denying the efforts, importance, and value of the work of these groups, this paper studies some of the contradictions inherent to the increasing power that corporations have in the discourse and practice of reducing the gender digital gap. My argument is that these projects contribute to reinforcing current economic, social, and geographical divides, to discriminating against gender non-conforming people, and to further limiting government intervention in this area.


Ada IT (2017): Como estamos duplicando el salario de las mujeres en Argentina. Available online at https://medium.com/ada-it/como-estamos-duplicando-el-salario-de-las-mujeres-en-argentina-2518a0c90415, last accessed on 06. 02. 2019.

Ada IT (2018): Carrera de Desarrollo Web Frontend. Available online at https://ada.com.ar/, last accessed on 06. 02. 2019.

Batliawala, Srilatha (2007): Taking the power out of empowerment. An experiential account. In: Development in Practice 17 (4–5), pp. 557–565. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/09614520701469559

Bercovich, Néstor; Scuro, Lucía (eds.) (2014): El nuevo paradigma productivo y tecnológico. La necesidad de políticas para la autonomía económica de las mujeres. Libros de la CEPAL 131 Santiago de Chile: CEPAL.

Chant, Sylvia; Sweetman, Caroline (2012): Fixing women or fixing the world? ‘Smart economics’, efficiency approaches, and gender equality in development. In: Gender & Development 20 (3), pp. 517–529. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13552074.2012.731812

Chicas en Tecnología (2018): Chicas en Tecnología. Available online at www.chicasentecnologia.org, last accessed on 30. 01. 2019.

Cornwall, Andrea; Rivas, Althea-Maria (2015): From ‘gender equality and ‘women’s empowerment’ to global justice: reclaiming a transformative agenda for gender and development. In: Third World Quarterly 36 (2), pp. 396–415. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2015.1013341

Drucker, Peter (2018): Changing families and communities. An LGBT contribution to an alternative development path. In: Corinne Mason (ed.): Routledge Handbook of Queer Development Studies. New York: Routledge, pp. 19–30. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315529530-2

Google (w/o y): Women techmakers. Available online at https://www.womentechmakers.com, last accessed on 30. 01. 2019.

Gosine, Andil (2018): Rescue, and real love. Same-sex desire in international development. In: Corinne Mason (ed.): Routledge Handbook of Queer Development Studies. New York: Routledge, pp. 193–208. DOI: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315529530-13

Harcourt, Wendy (2012): Review essay. Beyond ‘smart economics’. The World Bank 2012 report on gender and equality. In: International Feminist Journal of Politics 14 (2), pp. 307–312. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14616742.2012.673800

Hilbert, Martin (2011): Gender digital divide or technologically empowered women in developing countries? A typical case of lies, damned lies, and statistics. In: Women’s Studies International Forum 34, pp. 479–489. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wsif.2011.07.001

La Nación (2018): F82018. Quién es Celeste Medina, la argentina a la que Facebook destacó en su conferencia. Available online at https://www.lanacion.com.ar/2131462-f8-2018-quien-es-celeste-medina-la-argentina-a-la-que-facebook-destaco-en-su-conferencia, last accessed on 06. 02. 2019.

Lorber, Judith (1997): The variety of feminisms and their contribution to gender equality. In: Oldenburger Universitätsreden 97, pp. 8–43.

Microsoft (2013): Creating opportunities for women in Latin America (Microsoft Corporate Blogs). Available online at https://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2013/04/09/creating-opportunities-for-women-in-latin-america/, last accessed on 30. 01. 2019.

O’Neil, Tammy; Domingo, Pilar; Valters, Craig (2014): Progress on women’s empowerment. From technical fixes to political action. Development progress working paper No. 6. London: ODI.

OECD – Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2018): Bridging the gender digital divide. Include, upskill, innovate. Available online at https://www.oecd.org/going-digital/bridging-the-digital-gender-divide.pdf, last accessed on 29. 01. 2019.

Pavez, Isabel (2015): Niñas y mujeres de América Latina en el mapa tecnológico. Una mirada de género en el marco de políticas públicas de inclusion digital. Buenos Aires: UNESCO, SITEAL.

Roberts, Adrienne; Soederberg, Susanne (2012): Gender equality as smart economics? A critique of the 2012 World Development Report. In: Third World Quarterly 33 (5), pp. 949–968. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2012.677310

United Nations (w/o y): Digital skills for decent jobs for youth. Partnership for the SDGs. Available online at https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnership/?p=23539, last accessed on 30. 01. 2019.

UN DAW – United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women (2005): Gender equality and empowerment of women through ICT. New York: United Nations.

World Bank (1995): Enhancing women’s participation in economic development. A World Bank policy paper. Washington DC: World Bank Group.

World Bank (2015): World Bank Group Gender Strategy (FY16-23). Gender, equality, poverty reduction and inclusive growth. Washington DC: World Bank Group.




How to Cite

Martinez Demarco S. Empowering women through digital skills in Argentina: A tale of two stories. TATuP [Internet]. 2019 Jul. 3 [cited 2024 May 22];28(2):23-8. Available from: https://www.tatup.de/index.php/tatup/article/view/215