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International Women’s Day 2023: “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023 (IWD 2023) is, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. This theme is aligned with the priority theme of the sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.

The UN observance of IWD 2023 recognizes and celebrates the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education. The observance explored the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities, and it also spotlighted the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence.

The high-level event brought together technologists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and gender equality activists to provide an opportunity to highlight the role of all stakeholders in improving access to digital tools. Watch the event recording on UN Web TV.

In his message to mark the day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stresses that “technology can expand pathways to education and opportunities for women and girls (…) but it can also be used to amplify abuse and hatred. Today, women make up under a third of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and maths and when women are under-represented in developing new technologies, discrimination may be baked in from the start. That is why we must close the digital divide and increase the representation of women and girls in science and technology.”

Did you know?

Only 63%of women are using the Internet in 2022 compared to 69% of men.

– ITU, Nov 2020

By 2050, 75% of jobs will be related to STEM areas. Yet today, women hold just 22% of positions in artificial intelligence, to name just one.

WEF Report

Over the past decade, women’s exclusion from the digital sphere has shaved $1 trillion off the GDP of low- and middle-income countries.

– UN WOMEN Report

On International Women’s Day 2023

  • ESCAP hosted a regional commemoration highlighting the crucial roles held and contributions made by women and girls working to transform the world into a more connected place.
  • ECLAC calls to guarantee women’s access to digital technology, increase the number of women majoring in STEM and eradicate gender cyber violence.
  • UNCDF highlighted the benefits of digital remittances, particularly for migrant families and women in the second episode of Digital@TheLastMile podcast series.
  • UPU Gender Equality Champion discussed ways that Posts can lead change towards a more equal world, how the UPU and partners work to promote this leadership, and how small steps can make a big difference.
  • ILO explored whether digital technology can be harnessed to be a force for good, for positive change and more inclusion in a podcast episode.
  • ITU published a handbook providing insights on how to best influence policy-making processes and advocate for gender equality in digital policies.
  • The World Bank steered its focus towards closing the digital gender divide in Eastern and Southern Africa with one blog article and is prioritizing three key accelerators for women’s digital inclusion.
  • IFC highlighted that women’s participation in digital learning can drive career growth and economic development.
  • The African Development Bank featured its Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa (AFAWA) initiative for its role in equipping women-owned businesses to drive the continent’s economy.
  • The Commonwealth Secretariat recommitted to pursuing gender-responsive legal reform for equality in law for women and girls everywhere in a joint statement.
  • UNCTAD sent an important message that we must have more women in technology, we need to support women digital entrepreneurs, and build more inclusive ecosystems.
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