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Access to ICTs and its use of all population is considered a necessary condition for making possible informed citizens who use the potentialities of digital technologies to enhance more equal opportunities in political participation. But how to do it effectively? In terms of gender, these optimistic and technological deterministic discourses see digital inclusion as an opportunity to supersede the political participatory gap of women but they do not take into account several social factors that are also affecting the online political participation of woman, as more structural problems in gender inequalities, tendencies of contemporary societies and other inequalities such as age, education, cultural capital, socioeconomic condition or ethnicity.  From a more critical approach, studies have shown that gender inequalities persist both in access to ICTs and in the various social activities that imply their use (Eszter Hargittai, 2001; Bonder 2002; Wajcman 2004; Castaño 2008; Wyatt 2008; Casula 2011; Simões, Jerónimo, Barriga, 2011; Simões, Las Heras and Augusto, 2011; Simões, 2005; Barzilai-Nahon, 2006; van Deursen and van Dijk 2014, Arroyo, 2018). This paper will analyse the case of the different types and dimensions of political participation of women through the Internet use in Portugal and Spain, by using Eurostat indicators that measure the political participation. From a gender perspective, this analysis will embraces theoretical and conceptual reflections that can challenge how political participation has been measured. In this communication, contrary to the most optimistic theses, we intend based on the authors' and state-of-the-art research on ICT and gender, highlighting, in a more in depth analysis how gender inequalities have been maintained in terms of political participation. At the same time, we will identify simplistic approaches, from theoretical and conceptual point of view, that end up hiding present and recurrent gender inequalities, despite the advances already made.

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Lidia Arroyo 2218
Scientific production

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Maria João Simões 2569
Scientific production