International Women’s Day 2023: Women in Digital Innovation

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International Women’s Day 2023: Women in Digital Innovation

“Empowering women is a prerequisite for creating a good nation, when women are empowered, a society with stability is assured. Empowerment of women is essential as their value system leads to the development of a good family, society and ultimately a good nation.” APJ Abdul Kalam.

This quote by a widely respected former Indian president reminds us of the role of women in society. Reformers and intellectuals have tried to bring focus on the importance of women’s empowerment in our world time and again. This is also the reason why International Women’s Day is celebrated every year on March 8.

It is the day when we celebrate the women in our lives and acknowledge their contribution to the world. At the same time, the purpose of International Women’s Day is to bring our attention to crucial issues like gender equality, violence against women, reproductive rights, and much more.

Similarly, International Women’s Day 2023 is not just about celebration. It is also about looking at the role of women in our society and world. Gender equality and women’s empowerment should not be used only as buzzwords. Rather, it is important to provide women with the opportunity to compete at an equal level in this world.

Technology and Women Empowerment

One of the biggest shifts in the modern world has come with the rapid evolution of technology. We moved from industrialized societies to digital or information societies within a century. Today, we live in a predominantly digital world. Technology has helped the world in many ways.

Through technology, we have been able to democratize our societies, include marginalized communities in mainstream discourse, and find innovative solutions to long-term problems. Also, the impact of technology on women’s development cannot be ignored.

Technology has essentially removed barriers to knowledge that existed in the past. Today, women can access information from wherever they are and achieve academic and professional growth. Then, there are more direct initiatives like applications which improve safety for women.

With better access to opportunities and weakened barriers to mobility and growth, women can achieve bigger things in life, thanks to technology. Digital technology has also enabled women to voice their concerns in public openly. The Me Too movement is one such example where women used technology to talk about a highly sensitive issue of sexual harassment.

Therefore, the impact of technology on gender equality and women’s empowerment is immense. Not just women, technology has also helped other groups that did not have any platforms for representation in the past.

Now, to be able to leverage digital technology for the further betterment of women and other marginalized groups, we need more women contributing towards digital innovation. When women actively participate in digital innovation, they come up with solutions and ideas that empower other women.

Women and Digital Innovation

A report by the United Nations says, 37% of women do not use the internet or do not have internet access. In comparison to men, 259 fewer women use the internet. In the 21st century, this digital inequality can directly translate into social inequality.

Not just that, the UN report also states that a study of 51 countries found about 38% of women face online violence. This can make digital platforms equally unsafe for women and restrict their usage of the internet as a tool for growth. Women have faced violence in the physical world which has caused them to stay behind in many areas.

Estimates sa that three-quarters of all jobs by 2050 will be related to STEM areas. Yet, women are underrepresented here too. Only 22% of women hold positions in artificial intelligence-related roles. Therefore, women must be encouraged to be a part of the digital innovation process.

Women need technology for the same reasons men do: to increase their employment chances, develop marketable skills, take part in informed decision-making, network, advertise themselves as individuals, or just for pleasure. To engage in modern society on an equal footing, women need technology.

In the past, reports have also found that improvement in women’s digital empowerment can have a strong impact on global GDP growth. A report by Intel Corporation found that the addition of 600 million women internet users can lead to a rise in global GDP by 13 to 18 billion USD.

International Women’s Day 2023 Theme- DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality

This is the theme for International Women’s Day 2023. The focus this year is to explore how digital inequality impacts the social positioning of women in society. The UN Women’s Gender Snapshot Report 2022 has found that the exclusion of women from the digital world has caused a loss of $ 1 trillion for various countries. This loss is expected to grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025.

Therefore, the UN Women has chosen DigitAll as the theme for this year. It is being done to highlight the importance of digital education for women and the contribution of women to digital innovation. The event, according to UN Women, will highlight the importance of women’s security in digital spaces.

“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,” UN Women states.

We celebrate International Women’s Day since the early 1900s. With time, the theme for this day has evolved as the world changes. Today, in 2023, the focus of this day is to ensure the digital participation of women. It is also highly relevant because our world is moving towards a second digital revolution. As we enter this new era, we must ensure that the 50% population of our world participates equally in this growth story.

Smile Foundation and Women Empowerment

Smile foundation wants an equal world for all. Equality would need women participation in all aspects to be in the same stead as men. Also, with the nation formally legalising the third gender, their rightful space in every area must be accounted for as well. The world always does better both with diversity and inclusion.

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2 replies on “International Women’s Day 2023: Women in Digital Innovation

Very good thinking and writing. Elaborately we can think women’s use of technology and social change.

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