Home » NEW; International Women’s Day 2023©

NEW; International Women’s Day 2023©

by Narges Mohammadi

March 8th is International Women’s Day. Women across the world use this day to come together to celebrate and rally for equal treatment and representation.

Theme For International Women’s Day 2023

The UN’s theme this year is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. The topic highlights not only how technology is crucial to advancing rights; but a growing digital gender gap that is impacting everything from job opportunities for women; and their safety online.

According to the UN, 259 million fewer women have access to the internet than men; and women are largely underrepresented in science, technology, engineering; and mathematics professions.

“Bringing women into technology results in more creative solutions; and has greater potential for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality,” says the UN. “Their lack of inclusion, by contrast, comes with massive costs.”

Previous UN themes have included climate change, rural women, and HIV/AIDS.


Experts from across the Alliance convened at NATO Headquarters to discuss the role that women; and gender play in shaping future technologies and how technologies need to be adapted to empower; and protect women and men equally in both civilian and military domains.

Entitled “Innovators and Game Changers: Women in Tech Shaping the Future”; this hybrid conference brought together representatives from NATO capitals, academia, and industry. Irene Fellin, the NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace, and Security opened the event. She emphasized the correlation between peace and gender equality, both online and offline.

The digital gender gap, she said, “sets gender equality and democracy back” and “has a profound economic impact”. She added: “we must all work together to bridge the major gender gap in technology. Across the NATO Enterprise, with partners, industry, and academia… By including women in science and tech, you take on more brainpower, more ideas, and more creativity. That is what we need, what NATO needs, what all of us need.”

While there has been tangible progress to include women in the tech industry over the years; a lot remains to be done. In 2022, women represented only one-third of the workforce; and one-fourth of the leadership positions of the 20 largest global tech companies. At the same time, women are regularly subject to digital abuse and harassment.

NATO Deputy

Reflecting on the impact of technologies on women in both the civilian and military domains; NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană said: “we need to do a much better job, in understanding our environment; and analyzing new technologies and their impact on our security through a gender lens.

So, we can better understand the threat environment, but also the opportunity environment, because they go hand in hand”.

NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană

Discussions addressed gender biases in technology; and the risks they pose to women, including in the context of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Participants also raised the issue of women’s access to digital training and education from a very early age; as well as the challenges and opportunities of attracting; recruiting, and retaining women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Why is International Women’s Day important?

While the UN’s theme this year underscores how the fight for gender equality has evolved in the 21st century; celebrations around the world are also focused on longstanding issues, including poverty and violence.

A 2021 World Health Organization report found that nearly one in three women worldwide is subjected to physical or sexual violence during her lifetime; an issue that ties in with women’s economic opportunities; access to sex education, and reproductive rights.

The date is an opportunity to raise awareness of rights gaps; and organizers also use the day to celebrate progress and the achievements of individual women.

Source: Al-Jazeera – NATO International News Agency

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