History study tried to find the association between

History
demonstrates that out of all deprived and unprivileged group, women are most
suffered group. In the third world countries, the scenario is most deplorable. Hence,
gender equality depends on tremendous increase of the empowerment that is the
women’s empowerment, so that the women’s empowerment and gender equality both
are interrelated, inter-connected and inter-dependent to each other. It was
assumed that due to digitalization, the scenery could be compromised and shaped
in a rational level. Also it was expected that e-governance which is the
by-product of the digitalization, could make provisions for gender equality through
women’s empowerment. This cross-sectional study tried to find the association
between digitalization through e-governance and its impact on gender equality
in terms of women empowerment. The data obtained indicates that there is a
significant association between these two variables.

While
there is recognized that e-governance as a tool for the promotion of gender
equality and the empowerment of women, a “gender divide” has also been
identified, reflected in the lower numbers of women accessing and using ICT
compared with men. The distance to reach the parity is tremendously increasing
in last couple of years. While the country progressed in e-governance
development index, the country also experienced decreasing trends in gender
wise labor force participation and gender inequality indices.  It could also be proved by cross-cutting data
and information of national gender inequality and empowerment ratio presented
earlier. Where we saw that the country has advanced in e-governance index but
there is little or no mentionable progress in its gender and women empowerment
index. The qualitative findings also showed that after the emergence of
e-governance with a vision of digitalization, the perceptions towards women and
their work environment also changed. Diverse connotations regarding the women’s
empowerment have also found. The challenges to attain the gender parity and
women’s empowerment through employment, participation and decision making are also
identified.
Women are not wide apparently supposed to hold the positions of technology
based service sectors as they are supposed to other service sectors.
E-governance processes are not gender-neutral, they are not accessed, managed
and controlled by all men and women equally. As a result, the employment
opportunity for them are narrow downing that promotes a new inequality in our
society. This is especially true for women in developing country contexts like
Bangladesh where women lack the opportunities that men have (Schuppan 2009; ITU
2013), especially in accessing and using ICTs. In addition, in recent, ILO
World Employment Report shows that women are more likely to be engaged in the
lower management and data entry jobs where the men are in senior management in
most of the ICT based sectors.  The ILO
also warns that “as teleworking is emerging as an important mode of working in
the information economy, existing social inequalities—particularly gender
inequalities—will be reinforced unless proper policy measures are implemented.”

Though, the
country adopted National Information and Communication Technology Policy in
2015 incorporating some of the terminologies indicating the women, but it has
no positive and visible reflection on women empowerment and to reduce the
gender inequality. There are outspoken for social equity, equal participation
and equal opportunity for those men and women. Importantly, it is not just
creating a level playing field for all, but it is an issue for building a
positive discrimination for the women. Thus, it can be said that, women and
gender equality issues are not directly addressed in e-governance policy and
legal frameworks of the country.

Current evidence
indicates that national e-governance strategies and policies are designed on a
“supply driven” basis, with little or no inputs based on gender. Furthermore,
most of these strategies are focused to a large extent on e-administration,
with a handful focusing on e-services—let alone delivery of basic services for
the poor and marginalized. Not surprisingly then, most e-governance strategies
tend to be gender-neutral and do not explicitly address equality issues or
women’s concerns. A gender neutral policy doesn’t have a proper affirmative
impact on women because they are unprivileged in various sectors.
Unless this gender divide is specifically addressed, there is a risk that ICT
may intensify existing inequalities between women and men and create new forms
of inequality.