You are here : Home / International Women’s Day 2023

International Women’s Day 2023

March 8

The United Nations Observance of IWD recognizes and celebrates the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education. IWD 2023 will explore the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities. The event will also spotlight the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence. A study of 51 countries revealed 38 per cent of women had personally experienced online violence (UN Women). Moving forward, there is also a lot of work to be done to prevent violence against women online.[1]

Our lives depend on strong technological integration: attending a course, calling loved ones, making a bank transaction. Everything currently goes through a digital process.

However, 37% of women do not use the internet. 259 million fewer women have access to the Internet than men, even though they account for nearly half the world’s population.[2]

If women are unable to access the Internet and do not feel safe online, they are unable to develop the necessary digital skills to engage in digital spaces, which diminishes their opportunities to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields.

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.

COVID-19 has exacerbated already existing gender inequalities. Numerous reports point to an increase in violence against women, as well as a greater negative economic impact due to the increase in unpaid care and the occupation of women in more precarious, poorly paid and informal.

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. Their lack of inclusion, by contrast, comes with massive costs: as per UN Women’s Gender Snapshot 2022 report, women’s exclusion from the digital world has shaved $1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries in the last decade—a loss that will grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025 without action. Reversing this trend will require tackling the problem of online violence, which a study of 51 countries revealed 38 per cent of women had personally experienced.

A gender-responsive approach to innovation, technology and digital education can increase the awareness of women and girls regarding their rights and civic engagement. Advancements in digital technology offer immense opportunities to address development and humanitarian challenges, and to achieve the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals. Unfortunately, the opportunities of the digital revolution also present a risk of perpetuating existing patterns of gender inequality. Growing inequalities are becoming increasingly evident in the context of digital skills and access to technologies, with women being left behind as the result of this digital gender divide. The need for inclusive and transformative technology and digital education is therefore crucial for a sustainable future.

The United Nations Observance of International Women’s Day under the theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, will be marked by a high-level event on Wednesday, 8 March 2023, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. EST. The event will bring 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 and be followed by a high-level panel discussion and musical performances.

For UN Women, partnerships are crucial in accelerating change in business sectors and removing barriers to the advancement of women and girls in innovation, technology and entrepreneurship. UN Women’s innovation strategy emphasizes:[3]

  • Developing the market for innovations that advance gender equality and girls’ and women’s empowerment. UN Women created the Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC) in 2017 with private sector, academic and non-profit institutions that collectively wish to improve women access, participation and ability to innovate ;
  • the development of tools and methods with partners from different sectors with the aim of adopting a gender-sensitive approach to innovation ;
  • Promoting innovations created by women, for women  ;
  • De-risking high- impact innovations that benefit marginalized women.