Cracking the code: Empowering rural girls and women through digital skills
This panel discussion, organized as a side event to the 62nd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), will explore what governments, civil society organizations, and the private sector are doing to ‘crack the code’ and empower rural girls and women to be ICT users, creators and innovators through gender-responsive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and skills training.
Originally pioneered by women, computer science has become a career path largely dominated by men. Merely 3% of all female students enrolled in higher education globally choose ICT fields of study. Women also tend to drop out from these disciplines in disproportionate numbers during their studies, the transition into the world of work, and even throughout their careers. The gender gap in the digital economy is linked, in part, to discriminatory gender norms and social expectations about abilities and career paths, and stereotypical beliefs about women and STEM professions. The situation is even worse in rural areas.
The event, co-organized by UNESCO and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will draw on the findings of the groundbreaking UNESCO Cracking the Code report and UNESCO International Symposium and Policy Forum on this topic, the outcomes of the G20 initiative #eSkills4Girls and good practice in different settings. UNESCO and BMZ, as the co-lead of the EQUALS Skills Coalition, will also mobilize the EQUALS partnership’s efforts to ensure girls and women’s essential and equal role in digital knowledge societies, and use the outcomes of the discussions to inform future EQUALS principles on gender-responsive digital skills training.