To coincide with Girls in ICT Day 2022 (28 April), UN Women has released a statement covering some of the most important factors surrounding young women and their access to technology.
The statement beings: “We are inspired by young activists such as 18-year-old Ana Vizitiv from the Republic of Moldova, whose work promotes gender equality in ICT and STEM, and by role model and entrepreneur 20-year-old Yordanos Genanaw from Ethiopia, who participated in the African Girls Can Code initiative and is now developing a website and coaching others. These young women are using their skills to inspire other girls to pursue coding and basic IT skills, regardless of gender biases.”
It also talks about the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and other world crises on the education and opportunities available to young women and girls in regard to technology: “Those situations have accentuated the importance of technology as a solution for young women and girls to access essential services and information, communicate in school, keep in touch with friends and relatives and as a key aspect of their autonomy and future prospects.”
There are, however, still major inequalities in the area of technology when it comes to gender. The statement reads: “Women and girls use the internet 12.5% less than men and boys, with some 46% of boys accessing the internet on their phones, compared to 27% of girls. A study by UN Women and ITU shows that girls access digital technology at a later age than boys, and that their use of this technology is more often curtailed by their parents.
“In addition, young women and girls are disproportionately exposed to online and ICT-facilitated violence and harassment, which can negatively impact their physical, mental and emotional well-being, and influence how they access and use digital tools for the rest of their lives.”
The UN secretary-general has reportedly called for a global digital compact for improved digital cooperation. It continues: “Digital tools must be both accessible and safe to use for every girl. This is a key priority of the Generation Equality Action Coalition for Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality.”
Read the full statement here. UN Women statement for International Girls in ICT Day 2022: Access and Safety | UN Women – Headquarters