3/13/23 · Research

Barcelona's first Congress of Feminist Economics will bring together more than 400 participants from 50 countries

This year's international symposium, organized by the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and Barcelona City Council, will focus on the digital side of feminist economics
The event will take place from March 16 to 18 at Nau Bostik, and will be inaugurated by the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau
Leading names in feminist economics and digital feminisms, including Flora Partenio, Catherine D'Ignazio, Sasha Costanza-Chock, Yayo Herrero and Alex Hache, will be among the participants
The Congress will focus on the digital side of feminist economics (Photo: Yan Krukau / Pexels)

The Congress will focus on the digital side of feminist economics (Photo: Yan Krukau / Pexels)

It has been almost three decades since the digital revolution started and the digital economy and digital society took their first steps towards development. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitalization of the economy and everyday life, with profound implications. Studies of the link between digitalization and gender equality point to a reproduction and even an increase in gender inequalities in the digital economy. Feminist economics studies have pointed out that the current economic system is not only based on profound gender inequalities, but is also unsustainable for life and the planet.

This area of study raises various questions: Do digital platforms mitigate gender inequalities, or take advantage of them? What can feminist economics contribute in the fight against the exploitation of natural resources, and unsustainability linked to climate change? What would digital degrowth entail? What are the characteristics of a feminist digital platform? And of a sexist one? How can the gender perspective be incorporated into fiscal policy? What practices to overcome the gender divide in technology are emerging? What digital skills are related to a feminist economy?

These and other questions will be discussed at the 8th Congress of Feminist Economics, which will be held in Barcelona for the first time, at the Nau Bostik cultural centre from 16 to 18 March. The event is being organized by Barcelona City Council and the UOC's DIMMONS research group, within the Barcelona UOC Chair in Digital Economy (Open Chair), and aims to reinforce the links between the academic world and the city's socio-economic fabric. The international meeting is a benchmark in feminist economics studies in Spain, and this year's event will make the transition into the international arena, as it becomes consolidated by participants from Latin America and other countries around the world: more than 400 registered participants will be attending, from over 50 countries. The event is scheduled to be opened by the mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, and the vice president for Competitiveness and Employability of the UOC, Àngels Fitó, who will become president of the UOC on 13 April. The deputy mayor for Social Rights, Global Justice, Feminism and LGTBI, Laura Pérez, will also be participating in one of the round table discussions at the congress.

This year's event will focus on the digital dimension of feminist economics, paying particular attention to the readings of feminist theory around technology, the digital economy and the digitalization of life. It will therefore be covering seven core themes: digital technologies and economies, macro (crisis, ecofeminisms, global health and work), micro (organizational alternatives and transitions), gender violence, care, public policies, and feminist epistemologies and methodologies.

Feminist economics has always sought to be more than just a school of economic thought and to provide a transformative framework. For this reason, the congress will feature a wide range of formats and initiatives aimed at promoting academic exchange and the convergence of social and economic agents. It will also be a forum for digital experimentation, with a datathon on economic, digitalization and gender equality, to consider what a feminist economy index should look like.

In order to foster debate and share experiences on the subject, leading figures in the field of feminist economics and digital feminisms will be participating in the event. They include Flora Partenio, an Argentine feminist activist and member of the Global DAWN network of feminists from the South; Yayo Herrero, anthropologist, professor and ecofeminist activist; Tiziana Terranova, expert on the impact of technology on society and professor at the University of Naples; Catherine D'Ignazio, professor at MIT, director of the Data + Feminism Lab and one of the leading international voices on feminist data activism; Sasha Costanza-Chock, researcher and designer focusing on social movements in networks and justice in design processes; Alex Hache, cyberfeminist and member of Donestech; and Joana Varon, the founder and director of the Coding Rights feminist collective in Brazil.

The congress, which includes more than 170 contributions, will be held in an in-person format, and can be followed on social media with the tag #EcoFemBCN.

Participation of representatives of the European platform P-WILL (COST)

The event will welcome more than 50 representatives from over 35 countries from the Platform Work Inclusion Living Lab (P-WILL), which is funded by COST (European Cooperation in Science & Technology). This network, led by Mayo Fuster Morell, the director of the DIMMONS group at the UOC, promotes inclusion of the gender perspective in the platform economy in order to increase well-being, economic justice and the rights of traditionally excluded groups, while aligning the platform economy with social rights and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

This event supports Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 5, Gender Equality, 8, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and 10, Reduced Inequalities



The UOC's research and innovation (R&I) is helping overcome pressing challenges faced by global societies in the 21st century by studying interactions between technology and human & social sciences with a specific focus on the network society, e-learning and e-health.

Over 500 researchers and more than 50 research groups work in the UOC's seven faculties, its eLearning Research programme and its two research centres: the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) and the eHealth Center (eHC).

The university also develops online learning innovations at its eLearning Innovation Center (eLinC), as well as UOC community entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer via the Hubbik platform.

Open knowledge and the goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development serve as strategic pillars for the UOC's teaching, research and innovation. More information: research.uoc.edu.

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