The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is a global policy-making body exclusively dedicated to promoting gender equality. The 62nd Session of CSW will take place 12-23 March at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. This year, CSW focuses on the challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.
Many EQUALS Partners are holding key events at CSW to promote solutions and actions towards bridging the digital divide.
EQUALS’ founding partner, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), has teamed up with the African Union Commission and the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the UN to host the event titled “African Girls can CODE” on 13 March. This event will bring together prominent female leaders, including policymakers and professionals in information and communication technologies (ICT), to share their ideas on how to inspire young African women and girls to pursue careers in the tech industry.
EQUALS Skills Coalition’s two co-leads, UNESCO and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, will host the event “Cracking the Code: Empowering Rural Girls and Women Through Digital Skills” on 14 March. They will mobilize the EQUALS partnership’s efforts to ensure girls’ and women’s essential and equal role in digital knowledge societies. The event will address what actions can be taken to make sure that women and girls all across the world, especially in rural settings, realize the potential of the digital revolution.
Additionally, ITU, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), GSMA, which represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, and the International Trade Centre (ITC) will host the event “Leveraging the Power of ICTs for Rural Women and Girls” on 20 March. The event is co-hosted with the Mission of Mali and Thailand to the UN. Reflecting this year’s thematic focus on rural women and girls, this session will address the obstacles rural populations face in gaining access to ICTs.
In addition to hosting public events, EQUALS will co-host, with the German and Argentinian missions to the UN and the EU, an internal meeting for partners participating in the conference to discuss the growing gender disparity at the workplace, marketplace and community. According to the World Economic Forum’s newest Global Gender Gap Report, the percentage of women working in many industries decreased in 2017, and the number of women in leadership roles in the tech sector and in tech roles remained low. In the face of these pressing challenges, EQUALS partners will explore successful corporate policies and practices in the tech sector to empower women.
Finally, one of our newest partners, OECD, is co-hosting the side event "Bridging the Digital Gender Divide" on 14 March together with the Permanent Mission of Australia to the United Nations and the Argentine G20 Presidency. The reception event will outline the preliminary findings of OECD's work on this topic, with the support of Australia, as a contribution to Argentina's G20 presidency. It will also be an opportunity for participants to share experiences, and for non‐G20 countries to gain an insight into this aspect of the G20 agenda.