DICT’s Lamentillo highlights PH efforts to bridge digital gender gap in UN meet
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Undersecretary Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo highlighted the Philippine government’s initiatives to address the digital divide and digital gender gap during one of the meetings of the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, USA.
Lamentillo, who is part of the Philippine delegation to the CSW67, is among the speakers at the Ministerial Round Table on the topic, “Good practices in addressing barriers to bridge the gender digital divide and promote education in the digital age for achieving gender equality.”
“While there are barriers that need to be addressed, the Philippines already has the advantage. The Philippines still leads among Asian countries in terms of closing the gender gap, based on the 2022 Global Gender Gap Report, where we placed 19th in the global rankings,” she stressed.
Lamentillo said that Philippine laws such as the Magna Carta of Women, Anti-Discrimination Against Women Act, Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Law, and Safe Spaces Act, among others, create an enabling environment where women’s and girls’ rights and safety are promoted and protected to allow them to achieve their full potential.
“These policies shape the programs that the Philippine government invests in to ensure digital inclusion and gender equality. Our Department of ICT has been implementing programs aimed at bridging the digital divide and digital gender gap,” she added.
Among these programs are the Free Wi-Fi for All, with more than 4,000 live sites in different parts of the country; the Tech4ED Project and DigitalJobsPH Program that are both focused on improving ICT services in rural areas; the Digital Cities 2025 Program, which aims to expand the IT-BPM sector and bridge industry progress in the countryside to strengthen local economies.
Lamentillo explained that while these programs of the DICT and those of other government agencies seek to promote digital inclusion, there is a need to ensure that they also address the digital gender gap.
In line with this, the DICT and the Philippines Statistics Authority (PSA) conducted the Women and ICT Development Index (WIDI) Survey 2022, the first-ever national survey that aims to generate indicators on how women are able to access and use ICTs. Data from the survey will provide a comprehensive evidence base for more gender-responsive ICT policies, plans, and programs.
“Bridging the digital gender divide is crucial to achieving gender equality and promoting economic growth. Through policies, programs, and initiatives that prioritize digital inclusion and gender equality, the Philippine government is committed to ensuring that no one is left behind, that every individual, regardless of gender, has access to and can fully participate in the digital economy,” said Lamentillo.
The Commission on the Status of Women is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.
The CSW67, scheduled from March 6-17, 2023, carries the priority theme: “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
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