Spot on SDG 5: Addressing Gender (In-)equality Within and With AI

Marisa Tschopp, Hanan Salam

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The use of technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to inequality (e.g., SDGs 5, 10, 16) has gained momentum in the recent years. SGD 5, which aims to achieve gender equality and empowering all women and girls, is one of the goals that could largely benefit from “AI solutionism”, but also risks being hindered if certain consequences of AI solutions are not accounted for. For instance, research has shown evidence of how AI maintains, strengthens, and reproduces gender-related bias, thus contributing to increasing gender inequalities in the society. On the other hand, despite various efforts to use “AI for Good”, the question of how AI can be used to solve issues specifically in the area of gender equality is still under-explored and lacks empirical support. In this chapter, we highlight how AI solutionism can be an inhibitor and an enabler for achieving SDG 5 goals. To investigate the use of AI technologies for the promotion of gender equality, we conducted a qualitative study focusing on five different target areas: Gender-related violence, gender-related inequality in healthcare, gender pay gap, unpaid work, and uneven funding. The study involved semi-structured expert interviews, local focus groups in three different countries, and a global workshop. Discussing AI for gender equality from a technical, ethical, and legal perspective, experts are rather optimistic that AI can play a role and help solve pieces of the great gender inequality puzzle, if used wisely with a transdisciplinary, multi-stakeholder approach. However, caution is advised as there is a substantial risk of ethics washing, in this case so-called fem washing, and/or a much lower impact than claimed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechnology and Sustainable Development
Subtitle of host publicationThe Promise and Pitfalls of Techno-Solutionism
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781000886078
ISBN (Print)9781032350592
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


Dive into the research topics of 'Spot on SDG 5: Addressing Gender (In-)equality Within and With AI'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this