The annual International Day of the Girl Child on October 11 is to promote girls’ rights and highlight gender inequalities all over the world.
The theme for 2021 is “Digital Generation. Our Generation”
The pandemic has accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning and connecting, while also highlighting girls’ diverse digital realities.
The gender digital divide in connectivity, devices and use, skills and jobs is real.
It is an inequity and exclusion gap across geographies and generations that is our challenge to address if the digital revolution is to be for all, with all, by all.
Girls know their digital realities and the solutions they need to excel on their diverse pathways as technologists for freedom of expression, joy, and boundless potential.
According to the United Nations,
- The global internet user gender gap is growing, from 11 per cent in 2013 to 17 per cent in 2019, and widest in the world’s least developed countries at 43 per cent.
2.2 billion people below the age of 25 do not have internet access at home, with girls more likely to be cut off.
Globally, the percentage of females among Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) graduates is below 15 per cent in over two-thirds of countries.
And in middle and higher-income countries, only 14 per cent of girls who were top performers in science or mathematics expected to work in science and engineering compared to 26 per cent of top-performing boys.
According to UNICEF, In 2021, the Generation Equality Forum launched five-year commitments for bolder solutions to gender inequality – just as the world entered the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the pandemic has accelerated digital platforms for learning, earning and connecting, some 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 still do not have internet access at home.
Girls are more likely to be cut off. The gender gap for global internet users grew from 11 percent in 2013 to 17 percent in 2019. In the world’s least developed countries, it hovers around 43 percent.
But the gender digital divide is about more than connectivity. Girls are also less likely than boys to use and own devices and gain access to tech-related skills and jobs.
Only by addressing the inequity and exclusion that span geographies and generations can we usher in a digital revolution for all, with all.