The priority theme of this year’s CSW, an annual two-week event that has been advancing women’s rights since 1946, was the discrimination, abuse and misogyny women face in the virtual world.
The goal was to advance progress towards a digital level playing field and address persistent issues affecting women and girls, including limited access to technology, disproportionate online violence, under- representation and gender bias in technology industries.
The Commission’s outcome document, officially the ‘Agreed Conclusions’ of the 45 Member States, recognized the essential role of technology and innovation in achieving gender equality.
In a statement released by UN Women on Saturday, the document was described as a “blueprint for all stakeholders, including governments, the private sector, civil society and young people, to promote the full and equal participation and the leadership of women and girls in the design, transformation and integration of digital technologies and innovation processes that respond to the human rights and needs of women and girls.
A “vision of a more egalitarian and connected world”
Speaking after the negotiations, UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous said: “This year’s Agreed Conclusions are a game-changer and advance our vision of a more equal and connected world for women. and girls in all their diversity. our job, as we leave here today, is to translate them into reality. The ultimate success of these agreed conclusions lies beyond their finalization today, in how we will collectively take them forward. Let’s translate them into reality for all women and girls.
In addition to reaffirming the importance of the full participation and leadership of women and girls in science, technology and innovation, concerns were expressed about the limited progress in closing the gender gap in in terms of access to technology, connectivity, digital culture and education. The agreed conclusions also condemned the interrelation between offline and online violence, harassment and discrimination against women and girls.
The Commission called for a significant increase in public and private sector investment to close the gender digital divide, for more inclusive innovation ecosystems and for the promotion of safe and gender-sensitive technologies and innovations. He also stressed the need for inclusive and equitable quality education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, information and communication technologies and digital literacy to guarantee that all women and girls can thrive in a rapidly changing world.
Youth at the center of discussions
For the first time, the CSW included an interactive youth session with youth, youth representatives from delegations, civil society and UN organizations, engaging in dialogue and providing recommendations on how to ensure that young people women and girls participate in the digital transformation.
Important contributions were made by a wide range of civil society organizations, including members of the Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality, launched as part of the Generation Equality Forum , a civil society-focused group organized by UN Women.
The Action Coalition has made a significant contribution to cementing alliances between governments, the private sector, civil society and the UN system, and to fostering momentum and commitments to advance equality gender through technology and innovation.