Time Poverty, the Data Gap and Technology
At the Social Good Summit, Elizabeth Gore encouraged the audience to not only invest in women but to diminish “time poverty”, the lack of a time a person has. In her talk about gender quality, Elizabeth Gore mentioned “Time Poverty” and “Data” topics that many speakers of gender equality fail to mention. In the session Elizabeth spoke of time as vital for a woman to escape poverty and contribute to their economy. She said “women are putting 90% of their income into their families” and therefore “they need access to time.” Elizabeth not only talked about time poverty but also the gender gap when it comes to data. Bringing up this topic was incredibly important because so many people are unaware of what a lack of data could be for a woman, and many people do not understand the concept of time poverty. In fact, Data2X is an organization with a mission to improve the quality, availability, and use of gender data in order to make a practical difference in the lives of women and girls. Data2x and their work remained prevalent in the conversation as the topic changed to the power of data technology and its effect on getting rid of time poverty for women worldwide.
One of the modern technologies brought up during this session was the Wonderbag which is used to heat food when cooking and continues to cook for 10 hours. It was created by Sarah Collins because she realized that “one of the things that are keeping women out of workforce is that they have to cook for their families – they have to spend 4 to 8 hours over an open fire.” The Wonderbag is proof that technology can make massive impact on a woman’s life and easily give her more time. At the conference Collins called Time Poverty “a global phenomenon” because women are spending over five hours a day doing unpaid work. Realizing that technology can change the way a woman lives, by making it easier and giving her time, changes the playing field for her. Giving women time allows her to have extra time to spend on more economic value.
Take a moment to think about what technology has done to make you have extra time in your life. Think about how convenient technology is in your life and how it makes your time efficient. In order to work towards an end to time poverty, women need more access to new innovations that change the way they do things.