8th March is International Women’s Day 2023! This year, the theme is #EmbraceEquity and UN Women Australia has chosen to explore this theme by #crackingthecode of gender inequality:
“If we are to reach a gender equal future, we must crack the cultural, economic and social codes and behaviours that entrench inequality. We know innovation is a key driver of disruption and change, yet there are many barriers holding women back from leading that innovation – from the funding they deserve, to access to education and supportive pathways to get there. This International Women’s Day, UN Women Australia will explore how innovation, inclusion and education have the power to disrupt ‘business as usual’ and crack the code to a gender equal future.”
Power On Towards Gender Equality in Cyberspace
In 2023 UN Women will focus on achieving gender equality in a connected world. The primary objectives of the power on campaign are:
- Closing the gender gap in digital access and computer skills.
- Increasing support for women and girls in STEM.
- Create technology that meets the needs of women and girls.
- Address technology facilitated gender based violence.
Firstly, there is the question of access for women. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), there are around 250 million fewer women online than men. Furthermore, 327 million fewer women have access to a smart phone and mobile internet.
For those who do have access to the internet, there is an unacceptable risk of abuse, harassment and violence online. Australia’s eSafety Commissioner estimates that a staggering 75% of Australian adults have had a negative online experience in the past 12 months. This includes receiving unwanted content such as pornographic or violent material, being called offensive names, or misuse of personal information.
Globally, 24% of women have reduced their internet usage as a result of abuse online. According to UN Women, 73% of women journalists survey in 125 countries, have suffered online violence in the course of their work.
Women are under-represented the science and technology workforce. Globally, women hold just 20% of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs. According to the Academy for Enterprising Girls in Australia, women make up only 21% of tertiary graduates in STEM related fields. UN women says that women make up just 22% of artificial intelligence workers. Little wonder that 44% of 133 the AI systems analysed, demonstrate gender bias.
IWD Events in Australia
UN Women Australia has scheduled fundraising events for International Women’s Day in Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. There is also a virtual event online featuring “me too” activists Tarana Burke, Alyssa Milano and Tracey Spicer.
There are many more events taking place around the country on 8 March 2023 and you can find these at the website: www.internationalwomensday.com