The Paralegal Alliance Network PAN, joins the rest of the world in celebrating the International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8th each year. This year’s theme DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality is a reminder that the world has embraced digital technology in its development agenda. Although, Digital technology has, undoubtedly opened up many exciting opportunities for women and girls their achievements are seldom recorded and almost never recognized let alone mentioned.
Many women and girls, especially those living in rural areas and poor communties in urban areas, continue to be pushed out of digital spaces because of lack of tools such as phones and other necessary gadgets , while others that have access are forced to stay away from digital platforms for fear of falling prey to sadistic individuals found all over the cyber space. The power of digital technology has already been greately contributing to human rights advocacy initiatives across the world. Human rights defenders are using digital platforms to bring to light incidences of human rights violations and abuses.
Therefore, it can also be effectively used to promote women and girls’ rights to achieve equality. Let us all take deliberate steps toward ensuring women and girls are encouraged to venture into digital technology fields which are still dominated by men. We therefore call on all stakeholders to invest in making digital spaces more safe and accommodative for all and ensure that perpetrators of violence against women and girls on digital spaces are brought to book swiftly.
Safer digital spaces for women and girls are safer spaces for everyone. Finally, PAN believes that encouraging more girls to take up science and technology based courses, which encompass digital technology, will ultimately address the persistent gender gap in technology design, application and innovation. Since digital technology is a key component of development, it is important that everyone has access to the tools and platforms used.
Issued on 8th March 2023,
Eugene Kabilika (Mr)
PAN Board Chairperson