Participants at the third annual meeting of the EQUALS Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age, have called for an urgent action to ensure that girls and women are empowered to access and benefit from the transformational power of information and communication technology (ICT).
The stakeholders, who were at the meeting, held in New York on the periphery of the 73rd UN General Assembly, noted that the digital gender gap is growing wider as women are 26 per cent less likely to use mobile internet than men.
“Getting women online is fundamental to achieving gender equality, not only in the tech sector, but across society as a whole, and will be instrumental to attaining SDG 5,” said Joyce Dogniez, head of the EQUALS Steering Committee, a growing multi-stakeholder partnership committed to achieving digital gender equality.
According to EQUALS research, basic technology skills have become just as crucial as basic literacy and numeracy skills. Thus, EQUALS is working to collectively enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology and promoting the empowerment of women.
Consisting of four distinct but interdependent working groups — the Access, Leadership and Skills Coalitions, whose work is underscored by the EQUALS Research Group — the partnership sets out to achieve goals related to human rights and gender equality within the framework of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Five years ago, by adopting the SDGs, the world agreed to leave no one behind. Now, nearly 100 organizations are working together through the power of partnership to achieve gender equality in the digital age, contributing directly to SDG 5 and Target 5B.
The meeting welcomed high-level representatives from the partnership’s five founding members – ITU, UN Women, the International Trade Centre, the GSMA, and UN University – along with delegates from the EQUALS global community of over 94 members.