Every year, on the 11th of October, we celebrate the International Day of the Girl. UN Women has joined UN agencies, civil society, and girls to observe International Day of the Girl Child under the theme “Digital generation. Our generation.”
This year the United Nations (UN) has highlighted the gender digital gap that has been expanding over the years and has increased as we enter the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital platforms have not just facilitated us to connect online but also learn and work from home.
The UN Women calls for targeted investments for equitable opportunities for girls to access, use, lead and design technology.
Girls face distinct economic & social barriers to accessing the Internet & digital devices.
— United Nations (@UN) October 11, 2021
Below the age of 25, some 2.2 billion people do not have internet access at home. As per UNICEF, girls are more likely to be cut off. The world’s least developed countries struggle with the gender digital divide, approximately 43%. Globally, the gender gap for internet users grew from 11 percent in 2013 to 17 percent in 2019.
— UNICEF (@UNICEF) October 11, 2021
Girls are integral to transformational development for gender equality, and technology is a vital tool to advance their work, activism, and leadership.
It is likely that girls don’t use and own their own devices and, as a result, have more limited access to tech-related skills and jobs than boys. We can usher in a digital revolution for all by addressing the exclusion and inequality that spans across geographies and generations.
Equal Access to Tech and Connectivity for All
Minister for Human Rights of Pakistan, Shireen Mazari, tweeted on the International Day of the girl. She said, “International Day of the Girl Child: MoHR reiterates its commitment to protect the rights of the girl child & provide a brighter, safer world for our young girls. This yr’s theme, ‘Digital Generation’, focuses on bridging the digital gender divide thru equal access to tech & connectivity”.
International Day of the Girl Child: MoHR reiterates its commitment to protect rights of the girl child & provide a brighter, safer world for our young girls. This yr's theme, ‘Digital Generation’, focuses on bridging digital gender divide thru equal access to tech & connectivity pic.twitter.com/zOOqUVMx2M
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) October 11, 2021
The Ministry of Human Rights official Twitter account also tweeted, “In commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child, we recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. Today, we renew our commitment to safeguarding these rights and pushing for a safer world for young girls.”
In commemorating the International Day of the Girl Child, we recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.
— Ministry of Human Rights (@mohrpakistan) October 11, 2021
Gender Digital Divide in Pakistan
Amongst 120 countries, Pakistan ranks the lowest in two categories – the gender gap in internet access and the gender gap in mobile phone access.
In Pakistan, the gender gap in internet access is 65% between male and female access.
The gender divide in mobile phone access stands at 51%. As per the 2020 GSMA report, 19% of Pakistani women and 37% of Pakistani men have access to the mobile internet.
5 Lessons On ‘Girl Child Empowerment’ to Learn from These Ads This International Girl’s Day 2020. Read the full story here:
International Day Of The Girl is celebrated on October 11th annually. According to the United Nations, progress for adolescent girls has not kept pace with the realities they face today. The pandemic has only reinforced many of these gaps. This year’s theme is “My Voice, Our Equal Future.”
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