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Wednesday April 24, 2024

UN commission calls for closing the gender digital divide

By AFP
March 20, 2023

UNITED NATIONS: The UN’s premiere global body fighting for gender equality on Sunday called for wide-ranging efforts to close the gap between men and women in today’s technology-driven world and urged zero tolerance for gender-based violence and harassment online.

In a document approved by consensus after all-night negotiations at the end of a two-week meeting, the Commission on the Status of Women expressed grave concern at the interrelation between offline and online violence, harassment and discrimination against women and girls — and it condemned the increase in these acts.

It called for a significant increase in investments by the public and private sector to bridge the gender digital divide. It also called for the removal of barriers to equal access to digital technology for all women and girls, and new policies and programs to achieve gender parity in emerging scientific and technological fields.

Sima Bahous, executive director of UN Women, an entity of the United Nations focusing on gender equality and the empowerment, called the document “game-changing” in promoting a blueprint for a more equal and connected world for women and girls. The challenge now, she said, is for governments, the private sector, civil society and young people to turn the blueprint “into reality for all women and girls.”

At the start of the commission’s two-week meeting, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said its focus was very timely because women and girls are being left behind as technology races ahead. wo to one in the tech industry.