March 8- International Women’s Day

3/30 Min ⏰  

History of Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is celebrated in many countries around the world. It is a day when women are recognized for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political.

Since those early years, International Women’s Day has assumed a new global dimension for women in developed and developing countries alike. The growing international women’s movement, which has been strengthened by four global United Nations women’s conferences, has helped make the commemoration a rallying point to build support for women’s rights and participation in the political and economic arenas.

We invite you to learn about the history of women’s rights and the UN’s contribution to the cause.

The theme for This Year International Women’s Day

The theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023 (IWD 2023), is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” This theme is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.” 

Digit ALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality

Our lives depend on strong technological integration: attending a course, calling loved ones, making a bank transaction, or booking a medical appointment. Everything currently goes through a digital process.

However, 37% of women do not use the internet. 259 million fewer women have access to the Internet than men, even though they account for nearly half the world’s population.

If women are unable to access the Internet and do not feel safe online, they are unable to develop the necessary digital skills to engage in digital spaces, which diminishes their opportunities to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) related fields By 2050, 75% of jobs will be related to STEM areas. Yet today, women hold just 22% of positions in artificial intelligence, to name just one.

Bringing women into technology results in more creative solutions and has greater potential for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality. Their lack of inclusion, by contrast, comes with massive costs.

The United Nations Observance of IWD, under the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, recognizes and celebrates the women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education. The observance will explore the impact of the digital gender gap on widening economic and social inequalities, and it will also spotlight the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence.

Some facts

  • Only 63 percent of women are using the Internet in 2022 compared to 69 percent of men (ITU, Nov22)
  • By 2050, 75% of jobs will be related to STEM areas. Yet today, women hold just 22% of positions in artificial intelligence, to name just one. (WEF Report)
  • A study of 51 countries revealed 38 percent of women had personally experienced online violence. (2022 Gender Snapshot Report)

Power on: How We Can Supercharge an Equitable Digital Future

From online learning and digital activism to the rapid expansion of high-paying tech jobs, the digital age has generated unprecedented opportunities for the empowerment of women and girls. But advancing technology is also introducing new forms of inequality and heightened threats to their rights and well-being.  

Women and girls remain underrepresented across the creation, use, and regulation of technology. They are less likely to use digital services or enter tech-related careers, and significantly more likely to face online harassment and violence. This limits not only their own digital empowerment but also the transformative potential of technology as a whole—over the past decade, women’s exclusion from the digital sphere has shaved $1 trillion off the GDP of low- and middle-income countries.  

In the face of escalating global crises, we stand at a crossroads: allow technology to widen existing disparities and further concentrate power in the hands of the few, or put it to work on behalf of a safer, more sustainable, more equitable future for all.  

The choices we make today will profoundly impact our path forward. Here are four steps we can take in the right direction.  

1. Close all gaps in digital access and skills

2. Support women and girls in STEM

3. Create tech that meets the needs of women and girls

4. Address technology-facilitated gender-based violence