It has been a while since we talked about women’s empowerment in this blog. This is not because we feel that women have been empowered enough but because we have been creating content on ways women can empower themselves. Have you checked out our opportunities section? If not, click here for there might be an opportunity for you to set your wings free to fly. At least twice every month we highlight opportunities for women that can positively impact a life. These opportunities range from grant access,donations, learning and mentorship.
Women empowerment is a very special subject in this blog as we always love to see women being and feeling empowered. There is actually nothing more liberating than walking in a room full of empowered women. And this can be an everyday thing if we continuously put in efforts to empower women in this digital era.
Ever since the pandemic the world has really transitioned into the digital space. Now more than ever you can literally do absolutely everything online. This includes buying your daily groceries, getting a doctor’s prescription to having a game night with friends in the metaverse. This has caused the economies of the world to shift from the physical to the digital space.
It is however sad to note that the coronavirus pandemic increased the already high digital gender divide. Setting equality between men and women back a generation. Globally men are now 52% more likely to have access to the internet compared to women in less developed countries. This has caused women to face a lot of discrimination and has limited their access to different opportunities.
The high digital gender divide has had some tremendous consequences for the girl child. One incident that broke the hearts of many was that of Aishwary Reddy a 19-year-old student of New Delhi University. She, unfortunately, committed suicide due to the stress of not having money to buy a laptop to attend her online classes. She took her own life in November 2020 just before the final exams.
Aishwary’s death although very tragic and heartbreaking has raised awareness on the consequences of the existing digital gender divide, and its direct consequences on access to education and mental health. It also started a wave of solidarity that crossed borders. Women in Tech launched a fundraising campaign to buy laptops for girls in New Delhi University who couldn’t afford to buy themselves one. And this brought on a positive impact to a lot of girls in India.
We can work to decrease the digital gender divide not only by giving women and girls internet-enabled devices but by also providing them access to qualified education and training. This will work towards empowering more women by making them more knowledgeable in whatever field they deem fit.
Women in tech are on a mission to ensure more and more women are empowered in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Through the 1 Billion Lives Challenge, Women in Tech has committed to empowering 1 million women and girls in STEM through skilling, mentorship, advocacy, and community support by 2025.
“With women only holding a fraction of major tech jobs, we need innovative women-centered approaches that inspire young girls and women to – not only join – but lead the digital revolution. Women in Tech is helping women embrace technology and we are delighted to have them contributing to the EDISON Alliance’s 1 Billion Lives vision for digital inclusion,” said Isabelle Mauro, Head of ICT Industries at the World Economic Forum and Board Member of Women in Tech.
Providing women with digital skills can be life-changing. The Return on Investment (ROI) of skilling women has ripple effects that extend beyond the money invested. They stretch across communities as women pay it forward in many different ways: mentoring others, educating children, driving business. We should see it as ‘Return on Impact’. We should therefore all work together to ensure more women are empowered and the high digital gender divide is reduced significantly