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THIS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY, LET’S BRING WOMEN TO THE FORE OF DIGITAL ADVANCEMENT

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Delhi North chapter.

Did you know that according to the National Family Health Survey-5 data [from 2019 to 2021] that assessed men and women’s internet use for the first time, it was found that only one in three women in India (33%) has ever used the internet, compared to more than half (57%) of men

It is undeniable that the advancements of the digital economy seem to have reached everywhere we see, from education to business, as the world adopts a more digital lifestyle. Technology has thus come to reform how people live their lives, especially after the pandemic. Although it sounds imperative on paper, the ground reality seems different as a large disparity is observed in terms of its access as explained by the aforementioned data, where women pan out to have lesser access to digital resources than men. 

Taking this into consideration, we proceed with this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” which is observed annually on March 8. The concept behind this is based on the United Nations 67th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67) priority theme ‘Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.’ 

This year’s focus is on acknowledging the digital divide that exists between different genders and various sections of minorities and finding solutions to work towards an equal world of opportunities. In the Indian context, it has been found that women from rural backgrounds are much less likely to own a smartphone. According to the National Family Health Survey(2019-21), only 48.7% of rural males and 24.6% of rural females have ever used the internet.

Given how important technology is to succeed in the modern world, increasing women’s ability to venture out into the world and explore their potential and interests should be another aspect of empowering them. Sure, we’ve come a long way from demanding voting rights for women in the first wave of feminism to having access to register oneself for voting online with no restrictions on gender. Still, such advantages would only be fruitful when women know of these options and have access to technology.

Globally, according to a report by The World Bank, women make up less than a third of the world’s workforce in technology-related fields. With such disappointing statistics in mind, we need to rethink how we perceive the digital world. We might recognize Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) instantly but would probably draw a blank at Padmasree Warrior (CEO of Fable) despite both of them having commendable achievements. Often, we fail to give women the due appreciation they deserve, which only leads to discouraging other women from looking forward to working in the same field. 

Although women are making their mark in the digital world, we should also focus on disadvantaged women and work to give them access to the resources and knowledge they need. Our fight for equality will always be meaningless if we do not acknowledge our privilege and uplift those who are often doubly marginalized, and one way to do so is to make them technologically aware. Hence, this International Women’s Day, let’s step up and encourage women around us in every way possible to reduce the technological divide.

Wishing everyone a happy International Women’s Day!

Riya Jindal

Delhi North '24

An associate Editor at Her Campus, Delhi North and currently an undergraduate at Indraprastha College for Women. She partakes in editing pieces that cover a wide range of topics that go on the website, proofreading captions, and often engage in creating social media content like reels, posts etc. She has actively participated in editorial work and volunteering as team head and General Secretary of the Women’s Development cell, IPCW and NSS. As an individual she's passionate about music, creative arts, media and film.