Using the Digital Age to Boost the Power of Women and Girls

Date:

Using the Digital Age to Boost the Power of Women and Girls

  • News by AUN News correspondent
  • Wednesday, March 01, 2023
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • New financing methods tailored to the needs of women business owners around the region are now available thanks to technological advancements.

  • The Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship project of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has gained about USD 65 million in funding to assist women business owners in various nations.

  • Empowering women to lead inclusive innovationWe may have found the solution to fixing many of the injustices and inequalities caused by previous generations if we combine the unrealized potential of women and girls to contribute to our shared future with the possibility of the advances of digitalization, science, and technologies.

  • Technology is already being used by female leaders in Asia and the Pacific to combat gender inequality and violence.

  • She Loves Tech, a Singapore-based organisation founded by Virginia Tan, Rhea See, and Leanne Robers, hosts the most significant start-up competition for women in technology and intends to raise more than $1 billion for female-owned firms by 2030. Anyone can submit their experiences of sexual harassment in public settings on the crowdsourcing platform Safecity, which also enables communities to pinpoint issues and work towards solutions.

The author is the Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and Under-Secretary-General of the UN (ESCAP)

The following opinion post in a series will be published on March 8 in honour of International Women’s Day. Innovations and new technology are frequently changing our planet and its future at a dizzying rate. Nevertheless, women and girls are still left behind in this rapidly developing digital world. So how can we use these advancements to build a better future for everyone?

That is the question that this year’s International Women’s Day theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” aims to address.

We know that women and girls are less likely to use the internet or own a smartphone than males and boys. In Asia and the Pacific, just 54% of women have access to the internet, leaving them without any opportunity to advance the digital world.

The underlying causes are numerous and diverse, including entrenched discriminatory social norms, an uptick in gender-based violence (including online harassment), and an uneven distribution of unpaid domestic and caring duties. We must give these issues our immediate, collective attention and appropriate response if we want to help women reach their full potential.

A teacher, a student, and a pen

We fail to support women and girls when and where barriers prevent them from pursuing STEM careers. And we have abandoned an entire generation of women and girls. The boardrooms and coding rooms need to hear the skills and voices of women and girls.

To the detriment of half of the world’s population, many breakthroughs in AI, medicine, entertainment, transportation, employment, and other areas consider men the standard and disregard women’s physical and social differences.

Dismantling the gender stereotypes that discourage girls from studying STEM fields is the first step in encouraging more women to pursue technological jobs. A wide range of modifications to how STEM courses are taught is required, as are specialised initiatives to promote girls’ development.

The Ministry of Education and Training has changed Viet Nam’s National Early Childhood Education curriculum to “de-stereotype” women and girls. Gender-sensitive budgeting has been incorporated into the Education Sector Plan. Governments may encourage girls’ excitement for technology through initiatives like these, boosting the size of the future digital workforce.

Utilising technology to aid female entrepreneurs

In underdeveloped economies, female entrepreneurs are crucial. Encouraging their use of technology to launch and expand businesses will result in more equitable and long-lasting economic growth. Because they are less familiar with financial possibilities, women have historically had difficulty accessing capital.

They are less likely to be landowners or to have sizable savings that may be used as collateral, and they are not a part of conventional financial networks. New financing methods tailored to the needs of women business owners around the region are now available thanks to technological advancements.

The Catalyzing Women’s Entrepreneurship project of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has gained about USD 65 million in funding to assist women business owners in various nations.

The initiative has supported women-led micro, small, and medium firms by discovering and supporting several experimental technology-driven business models. These solutions include payment systems, online marketplaces, bookkeeping, and inventory management.

Empowering women to lead inclusive innovation

We may have found the solution to fixing many of the injustices and inequalities caused by previous generations if we combine the unrealized potential of women and girls to contribute to our shared future with the possibility of the advances of digitalization, science, and technologies.

Women are skilled at utilising innovation and technology. If given equal opportunity, they will thrive and contribute to developing innovative solutions to the many problems facing the world today.

Technology is already being used by female leaders in Asia and the Pacific to combat gender inequality and violence. She Loves Tech, a Singapore-based organisation founded by Virginia Tan, Rhea See, and Leanne Robers, hosts the most significant start-up competition for women in technology and intends to raise more than $1 billion for female-owned firms by 2030.

Anyone can submit their experiences of sexual harassment in public settings on the crowdsourcing platform Safecity, which also enables communities to pinpoint issues and work towards solutions. Three women, including the platform’s current head Elsa Marie D’Silva, founded it in reaction to instances of gender-based violence in the area.

Antonio Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations, recently said, “We can all do our share to unlock our world’s immense untapped ability, starting with filling schools, labs, and boardrooms with women scientists. To speed up inclusive innovation, we need more women in leadership positions across all fields of science and technology.

Let’s achieve gender equality and give all women and girls the power they deserve. What better way to accomplish this than by using innovations and cutting-edge technology to combat inequality in the digital age?

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