Technology has a great impact on our daily personal and work lives - and this is a reality that was accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic due to social distancing measures. Thus, digital integration is crucial to harness opportunities in the personal, social, and professional spheres. However, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), only 63 per cent of women were using the Internet in 2022 compared to 69 per cent of men. This gender gap in the digital divide is even more acute in lower-income countries.
Under the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, the 2023 International Women’s Day focuses on the importance of a digital transformation that empowers women and girls by including them as agents of change and development.
Cooperatives are pioneers in fighting gender biases and breaking the digital gender gap. Cooperative values and principles create a solid ground to generate dialogue and change, which are crucial to combat gender inequality.
The ICA Gender Equality Committee strives for the full inclusion and participation of women and girls in innovation and technology. As a society, we cannot waste the talent, ideas, and skills of half of the population. We will keep working so that our girls dream just as much as boys of becoming mathematicians, software developers or agro-engineers. Anchored in its values and principles, the cooperative movement provides a suited environment to effectively bridge the digital gender divide and advance towards sustainable, inclusive, and empowered communities.
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Watch the ICA Gender Equality Committee's video here.
Discover stories of cooperatives helping to bridge the gender digital divide here.