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Women and ID in a digital age: Five fundamental Barriers and New Design Questions

– Caribou Digital

Savita Bailur and Hélène Smertnik of Caribou Digital and Devina Srivastava of ID2020 explore five barriers women around the world face in accessing the human right of identity

Bailur, Srivastava, and Smertnik draw on Caribou Digital UK’s research and experience of ID2020 Alliance members to outline case studies and learnings about women wanting to access identification, struggling to control their own IDs, and asserting their identities.

The researchers outline the five main barriers they have found women across the world face while accessing ID:

  1. Barriers of information
  2. Barriers of access
  3. Barriers of ownership
  4. Barriers of societal expectations
  5. Barriers of intersectionality

The women assert that these barriers must be overcome in the design phases of identification systems, and ID systems being developed in a digital age need to be gender-sensitive to truly serve the identification needs of women and girls.

The trio also note that for identification system design to be truly inclusive and digital ID to be a success, the “locus of control” must shift from implementing institutions and towards the individual.

Privacy, portability persistence, and personal are necessary elements for digital identity systems to meaningfully empower and protect individuals

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