In an op-ed for UN Women, the CEO of a leading technology company highlights the critical role of technology in advancing gender equality and empowering women and girls. The author emphasizes that technology has the power to break down the barriers faced by women in accessing education, healthcare, financial services, and other opportunities.
The author notes that women and girls face significant obstacles in accessing and using technology, including limited access to devices, lack of digital skills and training, and online harassment and abuse.
These challenges have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many women to work and learn remotely, often in environments with poor internet connectivity and limited support.
To address these challenges, the author calls for a concerted effort to bring women and girls to the center of innovation, ensuring that their voices and experiences are taken into account in the design and development of new technologies. This approach, known as gender-inclusive design, involves identifying and addressing the specific needs and preferences of women and girls in the design process.
The author also calls for greater investment in digital skills training and education for women and girls, as well as initiatives to increase their access to technology and the internet. This includes measures such as
reducing the cost of devices and internet connectivity, providing digital literacy training, and promoting the development of locally relevant content and applications.
Finally, the author emphasizes the need to address the issue of online harassment and abuse, which remains a significant barrier to women’s participation in the digital economy. She calls for stronger laws and regulations to prevent and punish online harassment and abuse, as well as for greater efforts to raise awareness and provide support to those who have experienced such abuse.