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Women’s Economic Empowerment through Equal Access to Technology
By admin January 18, 2017

Photo by: Doug Linstedt

The World Economic Forum (WEF) was established as a nonprofit foundation in 1971. It brings political and business leaders together in an attempt to “improve the state of the world” and shape global, regional and industry agendas through public and private cooperation.

At the beginning of each year, the WEF organizes a conference in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland to identify and discuss the coming agendas. The 47th annual meeting is taking place this week. In addition to this year’s challenge of addressing the distrust directed at multinational cooperation and political elites, notably shown by Brexit and the election of US President-Elect Donald Trump, advancing gender equality is also part of this year’s conversations.

On January 17, 2017, a conference entitled “Can Women Have It All” discussed the growing evidence that show that reducing the employment gender gap is a vector of economic growth and has a positive impact on inequality across societies. This year, the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, is attending the Davos conference. By attending targeted meetings and roundtables, the objective is to drive women’s economic empowerment by advocating for private sector engagements in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and promoting gender equality.

During her stay, the UN Women Executive Director will notably provide special remarks on a women and girls perspective on connecting the unconnected at the Broadband Commission for Digital Development and the Forum’s “Internet for All”. Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka will also deliver opening remarks and join Microsoft’s Roundtable discussion entitled “Empowering Women: The Role of Technology” advocating for public and private collaboration to bridge the gender digital gap.

This is all the more important as a Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age (EQUALS) was launched last September by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in partnership with UN Women. The ITU is the specialized agency of the UN relating to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). These two UN agencies elaborated a set of programs that aim at bridging the gap in regards to equal access to the digital age.

In March 2017, the sixty-first session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The focus this year will be on “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the Changing World of Work.” A session during which gender equal accesses to ICT will most certainly be underlined.

The economic perspectives at stake are important as the recent research from Accenture “Getting to Equal: How Digital Is Helping Close the Gender Gap at Work” shows that, if the private and the public sector doubled their efforts towards equality in digital fluency among men and women, we could reach gender equality in the workplace by 2040 in developed nations and by 2060 in developing nations.

 

Read more:

Can Women Have it All? WEF 17 Jan 2017

Executive Director of UN Women at Davos – UN Women Article

EQUALS ITU and UN Women

March 2017 CSW61

The People to Davos CNN

What is the World Economic Forum WEF

Accenture’s research on Getting to Equal


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