The United Nations is calling for more inclusive technology and digital education for women and girls worldwide, announcing “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality” as the theme for International Women’s Day 2023.
In a statement released today, the UN said the theme aligns with the priority theme for the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
The UN will mark International Women’s Day on March 8th with a high-level event highlighting the role of stakeholders in improving access to digital tools for women. The observance will also explore the impact of the digital gender gap in widening economic and social inequalities.
“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,” the statement read. “Their lack of inclusion, by contrast, comes with massive costs.”
According to the UN, excluding women from the digital world has cost low- and middle-income countries $1 trillion in gross domestic product over the last decade. That figure could rise to $1.5 trillion by 2025 without meaningful action.
Advancements in digital technology provide opportunities to achieve the UN’s 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals, the organization said. However, digital divides risk perpetuating gender inequality patterns.
“The opportunities of the digital revolution also present a risk of perpetuating existing patterns of gender inequality,” the statement said. “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.”