5 Gender Equality 5. Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Technology in action Opportunities & Challenges
$170bnMarket opportunity by closing the gender gap in mobile phone ownership and usage
4xMore time spent by women on unpaid work in developing countries than men
35%Of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual partner violence

The restriction on the basic rights of women and girls and lack of access to opportunities impede the progress of sustainable development. Women participate in labor markets on an unequal basis and are more likely to work in vulnerable, low-paid or undervalued jobs. In most countries, women are underrepresented in managerial positions, STEM careers and in politics. Women in developing countries spend four times as many hours on unpaid work as men.

In developing countries, reproductive health problems are a leading cause of poor health and death for women and girls of childbearing age. While child marriage rates have declined, they remain high in some regions including Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, which limits educational and employment opportunities. According to the WHO, 35% of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexually intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.

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Technology in action

Deep Learning Indaba

Since 2017, Deep Learning Indaba has enabled a yearly pilgrimage of students, researchers and developers to meet and share knowledge on ML …

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U-Report is a mobile empowerment programme that connects young people all over the world to their governments and decision makers, shares …

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Talking Book

Amplio’s Talking Book is a durable, low-cost audio device, designed for the learning needs of illiterate people in the world’s hardest-to-r…

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Simprints are a non-profit tech company building low-cost,biometric identification systems for the last mile.

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Opportunities & Challenges

Obstacles to women’s social, economic and political empowerment are many, and cultural and social norms are two of the major ones. Challenges and opportunities include:

Access to ICT: Lack of ICT access disproportionately affects women and is the third most important development issue for women after poverty and violence. Cost remains the biggest barrier to women owning a mobile phone or having access to the internet. Other barriers include social norms and lack of digital literacy. Economic opportunity: Access to ICT provides the means for women to access markets and business services, in turn opening up income opportunities. For example, a UN Women/CISCO Networking Academy training program in Morocco enabled 60% of the graduating students to gain access to the job market within three months after graduation.

Financial inclusion and access: Women tend to have less access to formal financial services, despite often being responsible for spending the majority of family income. This lack of access remains a barrier to achieving equal rights.

Sexual and reproductive health: Denial of reproductive rights exacerbates poverty and gender inequality. Fully addressing the unmet contraceptive needs of women in developing regions would prevent 35 million abortions and 76,000 maternal deaths each year. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth is a leading killer of adolescent girls in developing countries. Access to information about safe sex and family planning is often not openly available in communities.

Violence and trafficking: WHO data from 2014 shows that one in three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in some way, most often by someone she knows. Gaps in data undermine efforts to reduce violence – most instances of abuse do not come to the attention of authorities or service providers.

The world needs strong multi-stakeholder partnerships like 2030Vision that focus on the technological innovations required to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development... I welcome 2030Vision for its leadership and ambition towards attaining our shared Goals for People and Planet by 2030. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations
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