“For an Inclusive Digital World: Innovation and Technology for Gender
Equality”, in line with the priority theme of the Sixty-seventh Session of the
Commission on the Status of Women: “Innovation and technological change,
and education in the digital age to achieve gender equality and the
empowerment of all women and girls”.
The United Nations celebration of International Women’s Day recognizes and
honors women and girls and women’s organizations that are fighting for the
advancement of transformative technology and access to digital education.
International Women’s Day 2023 will explore the effects of the gender digital
divide on the growth of social and economic inequalities. It will also highlight the
importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and
addressing gender-based violence online and that facilitated by new
Incorporating women, as well as traditionally marginalized groups, into technology
allows for more creative solutions and has greater potential for innovations that
meet women’s needs and promote gender equality. Its lack of inclusion, on the
other hand, comes at an enormous cost.
According to UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report, women’s exclusion from
the digital world has cut $1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low- and
middle-income countries over the past decade, a loss that will increase to $1.5
trillion by 2025 if no action is taken. Reversing this trend will require addressing
the problem of online violence, which, according to a 51-country study, 38% of
women have personally experienced.
Transformative gender mainstreaming in innovation, technology and digital
education would help women and girls become more aware of their rights and
empower them to exercise their rights and activism. Advances in digital technology
offer new possibilities for solving humanitarian and development challenges and
realizing the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. Unfortunately,
the opportunities opened up by the digital revolution also pose the risk of
perpetuating current dynamics of gender inequality. Growing inequalities are
increasingly evident in the context of digital skills and access to technologies, a
digital divide that leaves women behind. Therefore, the development of digital and
inclusive education and transformative technology is a fundamental requirement
for a sustainable future.
The United Nations International Women’s Day Celebration under the theme
“Towards an Inclusive Digital World: Innovation and Technology for Gender
Equality” will include a high-level international event on Wednesday, March 8,
2023, bringing together technology and innovation specialists, representatives of
governments, the feminist movement and gender equality activists, as well as the
private sector, to discuss the responsibilities and role of the entire digital
ecosystem in improving access to digital tools and bridging the digital gender gap.
Source: UN Women, 2023
Ivonne Pereira Diaz
World Vice President 2022-2026
World Federation Methodist & Uniting Church Women (WFMUCW)
Chile, Talcahuano, February 2023