UN chief calls for harnessing innovation to promote gender equality
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for harnessing technology and innovation to advance gender equality in a message to mark the upcoming International Women's Day.
According to the UN, the theme of International Women's Day this year, to be observed on March 8, is "DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality."
In his message, Guterres pointed out that technology can expand pathways to education and opportunities for women and girls, but can also be used to amplify abuse and hatred.
Today, women make up under a third of the workforce in science, technology, engineering and maths. When women are underrepresented in developing new technologies, discrimination may be baked in from the start, he said.
"That is why we must close the digital divide and increase the representation of women and girls in science and technology," said the UN chief.
He noted that women's exclusion from the digital world has shaved an estimated 1 trillion U.S. dollars from the gross domestic product (GDP) of low- and middle-income countries in the last decade, warning the loss could grow to 1.5 trillion dollars by 2025 without action.
"Investing in women uplifts all people, communities and countries," Guterres said.