45 countries agree to promote gender equality
At least 45 countries, including the Philippines, have agreed on a “blueprint” that promotes the full participation of women and girls in the digital world in an ambitious effort to close the digital gender divide and the growing discrimination against women in the online world.
The document, signed on Saturday at the closing of the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67), called for, among others, more public and private investments to help bridge the gender digital divide and to implement digital literacy programs to upskill more women and girls.
It also urged all member-states to ensure an “inclusive and equitable” education in science, technology, mathematics and engineering, as well as information and communications technology, to ensure that “all women and girls can thrive in a rapidly changing world.”
The commission’s recommendations were part of this year’s calls to empower women and girls in the digital age, especially as they remain vulnerable to violence and harassment online.
In the Philippines alone, two in three women have reported being harassed and attacked online, according to the Philippine Commission on Women.These grim statistics were partly why United Nations chief Antonio Guterres believed that it would take another 300 years before the world can achieve genuine equality.
Still, UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous hoped the agreed conclusions could “bring forward our vision of a more equal and connected world for women and girls in all their diversity.”
Among others, the conclusions also urged states to foster a policy of “zero-tolerance” for gender-based violence, especially those that are amplified or occurs through technology.
It also called to mainstream gender in digital policies to make the digital world more accessible to women and girls, including those who live in poverty and those who belong in marginalized groups.
Lastly, it also urged both public and private sectors to promote policies and programs for gender parity in the sciences and to create supportive workplace and learning spaces for women and girls. INQ