UN teams Around the World Power On for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality
This week marks the opening of the 67th Commission on the Status of Women, held in New York, as well as International Women’s Day 2023, being commemorated around the world under the theme DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.
All over, UN Country Teams, governments, civil society partners and women’s organizations are marking the day by celebrating gender equality, women’s rights and empowerment and raising their voices against discrimination and violence.
Here is a glimpse into how UN teams are taking a stand this week:
Research conducted by UNESCO in Jordan painted an encouraging picture overall on women’s participation in STEM fields. However, while it was revealed that women represented more than 60 per cent of students in natural sciences, medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, this number dropped to approximately 28 per cent- 45 per cent when it came to engineering and computer science. This year, the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office, along with other UN agencies, puts the spotlight on Jordanian women innovators who are using technology to tackle pertinent challenges of the day. From water security to artificial intelligence for recycling and maintenance of appliances, these everyday trailblazers are leading the way for other women. Read about their stories here.
In Mumbai, India, business executives, policymakers and UN Women leaders made an urgent call to accelerate investment in women leaders and entrepreneurs during the “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality” ceremony, held at the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on 6th March, in commemoration of the International Women’s Day. The Initiative is jointly organized annually through global collaboration between UN Women and International Finance Corporation, Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative, UN Global Compact and the World Federation of Exchanges. The UN Resident Coordinator also launched a new programme called “FinEMPOWER” aimed at empowering women in financial security, specifically women entrepreneurs. Read about the programme and associated initiatives here.
The UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Kazakhstan, the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Population Fund teamed up with the national postal operator 'Kazpost' to launch a campaign to combat gender stereotypes. From posters featuring champions to online quizzes to lucky draw prizes, the public awareness campaign is aimed at amplifying the strength, resilience and determination of women in under-represented sectors including information communications and more. Read more about the campaign here.
In Liberia, women from all walks of life attended an official celebration on March 3rd, 2023 to mark the occasion. Along with a parade and award ceremony celebrating women leaders, the Vice President of Liberia, Chief Dr. Jewel Howard Taylor, moderated a panel discussion on 'Innovating with technology to promote gender equality'. The UN Women Country Representative, Comfort Lamptey, delivered the UN Secretary General’s message for International Women’s Day and highlighted the need to close the digital divide and increase the representation of women and girls in science and technology. The President of Liberia, H.E George Weah was also honoured and received a gift inscribed, ‘Feminist in Chief.’ Learn more about the event here.
In Afghanistan, the UN Country team is carrying out the #InHerVoice campaign to ensure their voices and experiences aren’t erased from policy and public life. The campaign features testimonials by women from diverse backgrounds who tell how their daily lives and existence have been impacted by the latest decrees imposed by the Taliban de facto authorities. Read about the campaign here.
More than 20 Ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society, business authorities and media joined the UN family in the province of Colón to commemorate International Women's Day and shed light on the Sustainable Development Goals at the local level, with a focus on gender equality. A panel discussion among women leaders including the Minister of the Canal of Panama, highlighted the role of women, the burden of care work, the inequalities in the lack of access to STEM education, as well as the gaps that persist for women in society Historically, Colón has contributed significantly to Panama's economic development. However, it is also a region where inequality is most present and visible as seen in issues of criminality, youth gangs and high poverty rates. Read more about the event here.
Digital technologies provide new means to advocate for, defend, and exercise human rights and affect all women’s rights - civil and political, as well as cultural, economic and social rights. Recently, the UN launched a first-of-its-kind “Digital Economy Report: Pacific Edition 2022”. The findings revealed that “Digital technologies can reduce gender gaps in labour force participation by making work arrangements more flexible, connecting women to work, and generating new opportunities in online work, e-commerce and the sharing economy.” Highlighting these findings and urgently calling for more pro-active policies and laws, four UN Resident Coordinators- Jaap van Hierden, Richard Howard, Sanaka Samarasinha, & Simona Marinescu, in Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji & Samoa released a joint statement to mark the occasion of International Women's Day. Read the full statement here.