New technologies and innovations are reshaping our world and its future, often at a dizzying pace. Yet women and girls continue to be left behind in this burgeoning digital universe. How, then, can we harness these developments to create a better future for all of us? This year’s International Women’s Day theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” seeks to answer exactly that question.
We know that women and girls are less likely than men and boys to use the internet or own a smartphone. In fact, only 54% of women in Asia and the Pacific have digital access, cut off from opportunities to move any digital needles forward. The root causes are many and varied: deep-rooted discriminatory social norms, increased gender-based violence (including online violence), and the unequal distribution of unpaid care and domestic work. Addressing these impediments to women realizing their full potential requires our joint and immediate attention and response.
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