Gender Equality in a Tech-World
There is an urgency to bring to the knowledge of the general public ways in which they can participate in helping women attain gender equality in today's technologically driven society with availability and access to digital tools and services for women and girls today as an example.International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on the 8th of March brings attention yearly to issues on gender equality, reproductive health rights, and violence and abuse against women. This year, the 2023 theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, aligns with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”. The Growing inequalities between sexes are becoming increasingly evident in the context of digital skills and access to technologies, with women (and girls) being left behind due to this digital gender divide. The International Day of the Girl Child celebrated on October 11 aimed at amplifying girls’ voices, recognising their rights and the unique challenges girls around the world face, had the 2021 theme as “Digital Generation. Our Generation”. Just as this year’s IWD, it was focused on raising the consciousness of the gender gap in the digital revolution – from ownership to use of devices, and access to tech-related skills and jobs with girls more likely to be cut off.
The need for inclusive and transformative technology and digital education is therefore crucial for a sustainable future.In IWD 2023 we should seek to explore the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities. Also spotlight the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence. Bringing women and other marginalized groups into technology results in more creative solutions and has greater potential for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality, find innovative solutions to help women and girls unleash their human capital and become leaders, entrepreneurs, and agents of change for green, resilient, and inclusive development. Women’s economic empowerment, in conjunction with girls’ education, family planning, reproductive and sexual health, and reduced child marriage, helps improve resource use and assist in lowering environmental damage, as well as increase resilience. Also, the advancements in digital technology offer immense opportunities to address development and humanitarian challenges and to achieve the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals. There is more work to do, so, together, let us accelerate gender equality and empowerment today for a more sustainable tomorrow. Together we can forge women's equality. Collectively we can all embrace equality. -----
By Vanessa Akpelan
Editor, Loretta Enofe-Laurel