A new study reveals how the digital gender gap in Spain is larger than the European average. Presented in the journal Reis, the study investigated the use and frequency of the Internet in Spain and 30 other European countries. The findings indicate that Spanish men use the Internet more frequently than Spanish women do.
Compared with the average of all 31 nations, Spanish men rank 17th and Spanish women rank 19th. This puts Spain under the average in Europe for information and communication technologies (ICT) use. With respect to the level of gender equality in the digital world, Spain fares even worse by ranking 20th.
'Spanish men and women score lower than the European average on ICT use,' explains Juan Martín Fernandez from the Complutense University of Madrid in Spain and one of the authors of the study. 'For women, internet use frequency is lower than that of men and the gender gap is wider than the European average.'
The countries that report the highest levels of ICT use along with the smallest gender gap are Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, followed by France and Slovenia, with the Netherlands just behind. With respect to Germany, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, users in these countries score low in gender equality despite reporting high ICT activity.
Hungary, Malta, Portugal and Slovakia rank somewhere in the middle of the road, with Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Romania just behind. Belgium and Poland post high levels of gender equality in Internet use but not when it comes to society at large. Joining Spain in lower Internet use and gender equality are Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Italy and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Women in Spain rank just above the average in Internet use when it is linked with specific areas, namely: public administration, leisure, employment, health and education.
'Women in Spain come in lower than average of internet use and frequency on far more occasions,' says Dr Fernandez, 'so much so that this far outweighs the few occasions in which they come in higher than the European average.'
He goes on to say that equality, frequency and integration of ICT uses come hand in hand. 'Sometimes it is thought that with the extension of infrastructures and the passing of time, the gap will be bridged. Our results show that this is not the case. Active and encouraging policy is required in order to overcome this inequality,' Dr Fernandez concludes.
Earlier this year, Internet World Stats reported that the EU had more than 338 million Internet users, with a penetration population of 67.3%. This figure is much higher than the rest of the world, which had a penetration population of 27.3%.
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Complutense University of Madrid:
Castaño, C., et al. (2011). 'La brecha digital de género en España y Europa: medición con indicadores compuestos', Reis, 136,127-140.
The publication opens the series of case studies summarizing best practices in OER in non-English-speaking countries. The publication will be of help for educational decision makers and practitioners as it identifies and offers solutions to the challenges that countries usually encounter on the way of promoting open content to raise accessibility and quality of education.
Fun for All: II International Conference on Translation and Accessibility in Video Games and Virtual Worlds: Searching for Best Practices
Theme of the conference
In four decades the video game industry has become a worldwide phenomenon, generating millions in revenue every year. Video games are increasingly becoming more elaborate and sophisticated, with advanced graphics and intricate story lines, and developers and publishers need to reach the widest possible audience in order to maximise their return on investment. Translating games into other languages and designing games that can be played for a wide spectrum of players, regardless of their (dis)ability, are two obvious ways to contribute to increasing the audience for the game industry.
However, to date, both industry and academia have paid little attention to the emerging fields of game localization and accessibility, as well as accessibility to virtual worlds, also known as metaverses, and the role translation plays in them. Academic studies focusing on game localization and accessibility of games and virtual worlds are few and far between, despite the fact that further research in localization and accessibility is beneficial to all. The industry can benefit by reaching the broadest possible audience, while the audience can benefit from having improved access to games and virtual worlds. A more systematic and interdisciplinary approach bringing together academics from different disciplines with various research backgrounds and methodologies, such as translation studies, media studies, psychology, usability, engineering and computing, human rights, is required to promote further advances in these areas of study.
The successful I International Conference on Translation and Accessibility in Video Games and Virtual Worlds, held at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in December 2010, became a meeting point for academic and professionals working in the game industry and the game localisation industry, as well as students interested in this field. The second edition of the conference, Fun for All: II International Conference on Translation and Accessibility in Video Games and Virtual Worlds, aims to continue fostering the interdisciplinary debate in these fields and contribute to the development of best practices.
In March 2012, OBESSU will hold a Study Session on the topic of disabilities thanks to the financial support of the Council of Europe. Disabilities and education is a very relevant and current topic and it is important to discover the European framework as well.
The area of Education and Training is a very special cause and very close to OBESSU’s values and standpoints. The topic of disability is also present in the European Commission’s strategic framework “Education and Training 2020" within its objective to “promote inclusive education and lifelong learning for pupils and students with disabilities”. By the use of this framework the Commission has a more powerful instrument to try to influence national level education policies.
On 15th November 2010 the European Commission adopted the EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020 setting new goals within the framework of the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The United Nations Convention sets the minimum standards that each country should achieve regarding the safeguard and well-being of people with disabilities. In Europe there are around 80 million people falling within the scope of the UN Convention: they often live at the edge of our society and not every Member State is doing the same to help and integrate them. The EU Disability Strategy aims at making it easier for people with disabilities to go about their daily lives like everyone else and enjoy their rights as an EU citizen.
The Strategy contains the 8 “Areas of Action” where improvement is needed: Accessibility, Participation, Equality, Employment, Education and training, Social protection, Health, and External Action.
Num esforço de promover a inclusão e a acessibilidade digital, a unidade de Novas Tecnologias na Educação da U.Porto lançou uma nova área no portal de e-learning com guias dedicados à produção de documentos acessíveis. Os documentos, destinados a toda a comunidade académica, apresentam as boas práticas e as técnicas para a criação de documentos acessíveis. Docentes, funcionários e estudantes têm agora à disposição um conjunto de manuais que facilitam a criação de documentos nas ferramentas mais usadas na universidade como o Word, Powerpoint e PDFs. De futuro, novos conteúdos serão disponibilizados à comunidade.
The Council invites Member States to support relevant initiatives aiming to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to quality education and training on an equal basis with others.
One of the main objectives is to increase their knowledge, skills and qualifications in order to promote persons with disabilities' mobility and employability.
The invitation also calls to promote the exchange of good practices, including comparative studies, with regard to support and assistance for persons with disabilities, with a view to improving their access to the education system at all levels, including, for example, the use of assistive technologies.
Given the substantial growth of Web users that create and update knowledge all over the world in languages other than English, multilingualism has become an issue of major interest for the Semantic Web community. This process has been accelerated due to initiatives such as the Linked Data project, which encourages not only governments and public institutes to make their data available to the public, but also private organizations in domains such as medicine, geography, music etc. These actors often publish their data sources in their respective languages, and as such, in order to make this information interoperable and accessible to members of other linguistic communities, multilingual knowledge representation, access and translation are an impending need.
Given the success of the first edition of this workshop, which was co-located with the 19th International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2010), encouraged them to organize the second version of this series.
“OpenCourseWare” es un programa internacional de publicación de asignaturas de las universidades. Estas asignaturas tienen acceso abierto y gratuito y, además, son susceptibles de ser utilizadas para otros proyectos docentes puesto que sus contenidos tienen una licencia libre, es decir, son open content.