Women are dangerously disadvantaged on the internet, according to web inventor tim berners-lee. Thus, the desired gender equality could never be achieved, he wrote to 31. Anniversary of the invention of the world wide web.
The computer scientist had on 12. March 1989 presented his proposal for a system of information management, which gave birth to the world wide web. At that time, he was working at the european organization for nuclear research (cern) in geneva. "The web does not work for women and girls", wrote berners-lee.
Men are still 21 percent more likely to be online, and 52 percent more likely in the poorest countries. This would consolidate inequality, millions of girls and women did not have the chance to learn online, earn money and make their voices heard. In addition, according to studies, more than half of young women have experienced violence online, such as threats and insults. Many gave up their education or jobs because of it, others withdrew from social media and the world lost its votes with it.
Applications of artificial intelligence also partly discriminated against women. In 2018, for example, an application for job placement had to be stopped because the algorithms, based on historical data from times when men predominantly held certain jobs, preferred men in the selection process.
Berners-lee appealed to web designers, scientists and government officials to address the problem. "Action by governments and companies is coming too slowly, and they are doing too little," berners-lee criticized. The 65-year-old is now involved with his web foundation to enforce manners on the web and ensure that people all over the world have equal opportunities.
Berners-lee, who won the turing award for his invention in 2017, also emphasized in his appeal that the coronavirus outbreak shows how urgently action is needed. "When offices and schools are closed, the internet is a lifeline that allows us to continue to work, educate our children, and read information that is vital to our safety and health."A world in which so many women and girls have been deprived of these basics is completely unacceptable. If we need the web more than ever, it must work for everyone."