International Women's Day
For more than a century, March 8 has been observed as a special day for women: the International Women’s Day is a day when women are recognised for their achievements without regard to nationality, ethnicity, linguistic, cultural, economic, or political backgrounds.
The International Women’s Day started in 1908 as a trade union movement when 15,000 women marched through New York City to demand shorter working hours, better wages and the right to vote. It is recognised by the United Nations and it is celebrated by the world community. It is marked by the women's rights movements as a time to reflect on progress made on issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and reduction in violence and abuse against women, they challenge the injustices of women around the world and call for change.
The UN theme for this year's International Women's Day 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”.
The digital divide is a gap created between different demographics of people in their ability to understand, access and effectively use technology. According to studies and reports, the digital divide is still very much a reality today. Though the urban-rural divide exists, there is also a persistent gender gap in digital access due to the under-representation of women in science, technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Other major barriers to their participation in digital technology include affordability of devices and data, and the ever-present threat of gender-based online violence, coupled with the lack of appropriate legislation.
Realising that the gender digital divide is an obstacle to women’s professional and trade union work, Education International Africa through the gender programme has empowered hundreds of women in the use of ICT, social media, and use of online platforms for meetings and trainings.
On this day, EIRAF calls on member organisations and women’s networks to continue raising awareness about discrimination against women, to continue empowering them in the use of ICT, and to advocate for affordable gadgets and data for women.
Happy International Women’s Day 2023!
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