Today, March 8, 2023, is International Women’s Day. In December 2022, the UN Women revealed that the theme for this year’s International Women’s day is DigitALL: Innovation And Technology For Gender Equality. Which is aimed at celebrating “the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education.”
Why Innovation and Technology?
As the world celebrates women today, it is important to understand the substance behind this year’s theme and its impact on women and society.
There are several gender barriers stopping women from fully taking part in global innovation and technology. The prevalent bias and stereotype in society are that men are more technically competent. Primarily implying that women lack the skills and knowledge to excel in areas where innovative technologies are making disruptions.
The tech industry is known for its “bro culture” where women feel excluded, harassed, or discriminated against, making it difficult for them to succeed. This unhealthy workplace culture necessitated the International Women’s Day theme 2023. DigitALL: Innovation And Technology For Gender Equality.
In addition, the majority of women around the globe are significantly underrepresented in these innovation and technology fields. Which makes it difficult for most women to find role models, mentors, and advocates to support their professional development.
Women around the world have bemoaned limited and unequal access to the necessary digital resources, funding, education, learning resources, tools, training, and networking opportunities. Which equally hinders them from leveraging the possibilities inherent in technology.
Since women are more likely to take on caregiving responsibilities, this also limits the time and energy they set aside for pursuing careers or growing their businesses in technology and innovation. Even when they do navigate their way around securing a job or starting businesses, these barriers further restrict their capacity to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
The gender pay gap in technology fields discourages women from pursuing their careers as they often feel undervalued and unfairly compensated. Along with several other deliberate and inadvertent biases that impact women’s digital career opportunities and their chances of success.
The Aim Of International Women’s Day 2023
According to the UN Women, the aim of the International Women’s Day 2023 theme is to bridge the digital gender gap. By promoting inclusive and more equitable access to technology. Digital technology is very essential in today’s world, but there is still a significant gender gap.
Innovative technology can help bridge this gap by creating more affordable and accessible technology in education, healthcare, work, safety, etc. With online courses, training, and e-learning platforms now available, women can learn from anywhere in the world, at their own pace. Online platforms can also offer women a safe space to connect, network, and share knowledge.
Another aim of the International Women’s Day 2023 theme is to promote equal opportunities in digital technology spaces. Especially for women in rural areas, and those who face barriers to cross-country journeys. The UN Women urges governments, activists, and the private sector to create equal opportunities for women by providing them with access to online resources, education, and job opportunities. It equally insists that these entities challenge gender stereotypes and promote gender equality across boards.
Maximizing technology platforms to promote positive representations of women and encourage young girls to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics ) fields. To enable women to balance work and family responsibilities, there is a need to create flexible work arrangements. Fortunately, technology has facilitated many women to work from home, but remote work requires decentralization. As this flexibility can even aid in breaking down gender stereotypes about who should be responsible for childcare and household duties.
In addition to changing gender stereotypes, the International women’s day 2023 theme aims at combating gender-based violence. Through digital education, sensitization, and building safety technologies. Creating platforms that allow women to report incidents anonymously and get access to support services, can be used to combat gender-based violence.
Solving Gender Inequality Issues With Transformative Technology
Overall, innovative technology is a very powerful tool for promoting gender equality by providing women with equal access to opportunities and resources, challenging gender stereotypes, and creating more flexible work arrangements.
However, it is important to recognize that technology alone cannot solve the complex issues related to gender inequality. More comprehensive social and political changes are also required to promote gender equality.
Addressing these barriers requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders. Including governments, educational institutions, businesses, and individuals, to ensure that women have equal opportunities and support. So as to contribute to digital technology and innovation.
How To Celebrate International Women’s Day
The International women’s day 2023 colors are purple, white, and green. As can be seen across several social media platforms, women are actively engaging. Using the IWD 2023 hashtags, creating posts, sharing visuals, and celebrating one another. There are lots of things to participate in or events to attend. Such as community gatherings, conferences, awards, exhibitions, festivals, corporate events, concert performances, speaking events, online digital gatherings, etc.
Volunteering during these events held around the globe significantly contributes to raising awareness. By getting involved, sharing experiences, and educating people about the importance of innovative technology. As well as other crucial social issues affecting women, and inspiring other women to take action. Making these contributions can create a ripple effect that can generate even more support for the IWD cause.
Also, donating on International women’s day to organizations that promote women’s rights, and gender equality helps to empower women. From institutions that support women’s health, education, and safety, to advocacy groups that fight against gender-based violence and discrimination.
Aside from the fact that these donations provide financial support, they also amplify the voices of marginalized women. And contribute to a more just and equitable advancement of transformative technology and digital education in society. These donations can equally be useful in funding technological research and providing digital services to women and young girls.