Disparities in various contexts and geographical locations are becoming more apparent, drawing greater attention to these issues. An issue of particular concern is the absence of universal access to technology, which is now a necessity for the continued operations of numerous organisations and educational institutions. The pandemic has highlighted the world’s shift to digital solutions to slow down the spread of infection, widening the gap among those who don’t have adequate resources to access important technologies.
Technology could potentially provide solutions to the current issues we are facing today. Even before the pandemic, businesses, developers, and people globally have been exploring how technological advancements can address social inequalities that have persisted for centuries. This article highlights some technological interventions that could help solve these problems.
Throughout history, smaller vendors have struggled to compete with larger organisations because of limited resources. Nonetheless, e-commerce websites are now creating opportunities for small businesses to promote and sell their products in novel ways.
Taobao.com is a leading example of a vast online marketplace owned by the Alibaba Group. This platform has gained immense popularity in economically growing countries due to the opportunity it provides to small sellers to sell their products without incurring the high fees charged by middlemen in conventional business models.
According to a report by the Globe Economic Forum, small businesses based in rural and remote areas have tremendously benefited from e-commerce platforms such as Taobao, which enable them to reach a global customer base. Additionally, consumers in secluded regions can now access products and services that were previously unavailable to them.
Divergence of Wealth
Inequalities in wealth are often cited as an example of imparity. Nevertheless, various fintech solutions aim to address this situation.
Recent developments in financial technology have largely focused on promoting equal opportunities in the economy. For instance, non-traditional credit and loan options are now available that can determine an individual’s creditworthiness without factoring in their credit history. This resource was not widely accessible to people from low socio-economic backgrounds and those residing in emerging markets. Instead, these services utilise data such as an individual’s or a company’s online presence to assess their creditworthiness, thus making it simpler for them to obtain loans.
Fintech can enhance financial literacy, providing those without convenient access to traditional banking services with its numerous advantages. Online banking is progressively becoming more favoured as the primary mode to manage finances and earn returns. Apart from this, a lot of people are resorting to financial management apps and online professionals for financial counselling.
The issue of access to educational opportunities is a significant concern. The pandemic has brought to the forefront the problem of many students not having a computer or reliable internet connection, which makes it challenging for them to engage in online classes. While some schools are now providing students with computers, and some companies offer free internet to households with students, more efforts are required to address this problem.
The creation of educational technology solutions to counter global inequalities has been a continuous process for some time. Schools situated in impoverished and remote areas, for instance, often struggle to have access to necessary resources and adequate training for their staff.
By advocating for the installation of cameras in schools located in major cities like Beijing, the YouChange Foundation is dedicated to tackling the problem of education disparities. This will empower students in less privileged and remote areas to access classroom teaching from a distance.
The use of educational technology, particularly assistive technology, can be advantageous for students with learning difficulties. Tools that transform spoken language into written text are one example and can provide substantial benefits to students with difficulty processing auditory language. This is simply one way in which individuals with disabilities can avail of assistive technology.
Accessible resources are a vital component of a well-functioning education system. The goal of the open-access movement is to enhance the availability of educational resources like textbooks, journals, platforms, data, and tools that can be accessed and employed without cost. Copyright laws and licences for these materials are more flexible, permitting their use by educators and professionals in classrooms and workplaces.
For numerous students, textbooks can be unreasonably expensive, prompting teachers to consider alternatives instead. In addition, this practice ensures that previously unavailable information is now open to all.
Prospects of Lucrative Employment
The pandemic of COVID-19 has opened up more opportunities for telecommuting. Nevertheless, the notion of working remotely was already gaining popularity for companies and organisations in many different industries prior to the disease outbreak.
How does this assist in addressing inequality? Working remotely presents a valuable chance for individuals residing in regions with limited job prospects. By employing technologies such as video conferencing and messaging tools, individuals can work remotely while staying connected with their colleagues.
The availability of remote work options can contribute to advancing gender equality in the workplace. The ongoing pandemic has drawn attention to the unequal weight of domestic and childcare duties that women are forced to bear, and working from home has the potential to help them maintain a balance between their job and family obligations.
Innovations in technology are encouraging accessibility and supporting equity in domains like finance, education and professional growth. However, there is still a long way to go in confronting the numerous barriers such as financial, gender, racial, geographical, educational, and others that result in unequal opportunities in society.
There is likely to be a rise in investment in technology and methods aimed at lessening the impact of inequality which affects a large proportion of the global population, in the coming years.