MONROVIA – The Country Representative of UN Women in Liberia Comfort Lamptey, has emphasized the need for Liberian women to get involved with technology and explore the impact of the digital gender gap in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD).
By Francis G. Boayue
The IWD which is celebrated every year in March was first celebrated on March 19, 1911, as the result of a 1908 labor movement in America when scores of women clothes workers marched in the streets of New York with demands of better pay, lesser working hours, and voting rights.
The UN Women Country Rep. Madam Comfort Lamptey, speaking over the weekend at Orange Digital Center and UN Women’s joint program in remembrance of Women’s Month, Global theme: “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”.
She said the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day aligns with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
She said the need to ensure all women and girls in the urban and rural parts of Liberia have knowledge and familiarity with technology as the country anticipates using a biometric voter registration system for the conduct of this year’s Presidential and General elections remains vital to boost technology in Liberia.
“A gender-responsive approach and awareness for women and girls’ involvement in technology remain vital for the women of Liberia as they go to elections this year using the biometric voters’ registration which is a high technology,” She said.
According to Madam Lamtey, a persistent gender gap in digital access and championing the advancement of technology and digital education for women and Girls remains cardinal for women to unlock technology’s full potential.
“Our observance of IWD this year recognizes and celebrates women and girls who are championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education. Therefore, we are continuing to explore the impact of the digital gender gap on widening social and economic inequalities. We know that this year’s event spotlighted the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence,” UN women country Rep. said.
“According to recent data, women’s exclusion from the digital world comes with massive costs for all, having already shaved USD 1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low- and middle-income countries in the last 2 / 3 decade—a loss that, without an intended plan of action and suitable investment, is expected to increase to USD 1.5 trillion by 2025.
“UN Secretary-General António Guterres emphasized in his message to commemorate the Day that “women today make up under a third of the workforce in science, technology, engineering, and math. And when women are under-represented in developing new technologies, discrimination may be baked in from the start”. He also issued a call to close the gender digital divide, adding that “investing in women uplifts all people, communities, and countries,” Madam Lamptey added.
In remarks, Madam Sara Buchanan, Executive Director, of Orange Foundation, lauded UN women for the collaboration to create an empowering environment for women in technology.
She said the Orange Digital Center which is situated in Sinkor is aimed at bridging the gap of unemployment by providing free services and spaces for people with an interest to learn technology free of charge.