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5 Ways Innovation and Technology Can Build Gender Equality

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5 Ways Innovation and Technology Can Build Gender Equality

5 Ways Innovation and Technology Can Build Gender Equality

For the longest time, the topic of women’s empowerment and gender equality has been a priority on the global agenda. Today, it remains a crucial discussion point across sectors, spaces, disciplines, and contexts.

In 1840, Elizabeth Stanton and Lucretia Mott, widely recognized as two powerful women in America’s women’s rights history spearheaded a movement demanding civil, social, political, and religious rights for all women, arguing that men and women are created equal and must be treated as such.[1]

Meanwhile, across the Atlantic in faraway France, author and socialist Charles Fourier had already started championing women’s rights with his criticism of the injustices of contemporary society. Fourier believed that women should have the same independence as men to live, love, and work. His ideas became the bedrock for future women’s rights movements and highlighted the importance of gender equality in society.[2]

Born into slavery in 1797, Isabella Baumfree, who later changed her name to Sojourner Truth, would become one of the most powerful advocates for women’s rights in the nineteenth century. In her famous 1851 speech, “Ain’t I a woman?”, she laid the foundation for the contemporary conversation on the need for gender equality that continues to this day.[3]

From Mary Wollstonecraft’s 1792 book, “A Validation of the Right of Women,” to Chimamanda Adichie’s viral 2013 speech, “We should all be Feminists”, there has been over two centuries of this noble movement championed by numerous individuals globally. The topic of gender equality which started as a basic protest for equal treatment has now evolved to a sophisticated branch of human and societal development recognized worldwide. Although the evidence and logic supporting the fight for women’s rights and gender equality continue to evolve across generations, the objective remains the same – the creation of a level playing field for all genders.

A lot of progress has been made in the last few decades, with the increasing use of technology helping to break the gender stereotypes that widen the economic and social inequalities for women. Digital tools are now being leveraged to empower women and girls, providing them with access to information, education, and opportunities that were once out of reach.

In many ways, technology is helping to level the playing field, thus, allowing women to compete on equal footing with their male counterparts. From sports to entertainment, the boardroom to the lab, hackathons to building startups, and politics to education, women are taking on leadership roles and pushing the boundaries of what is possible. This shift is not just good for women, it is good for society as a whole. The truth is that when women are empowered to pursue their goals and dreams, everyone benefits.

The progress made so far is proof that innovation and technology truly are game-changers and can play a critical role in advancing gender equality and empowering women. At Sydani, we believe that the world can drive greater momentum toward true gender equality by leveraging innovation and technology. The following are some of the ways the world can leverage innovation and technology to empower women and drive gender equality:

  1. Education and access to opportunities – Technology has the potential to break down barriers and increase access to education and training. Online courses and remote learning opportunities can enable women to acquire new skills and knowledge regardless of their location or circumstances. This will allow women to pursue their passions and career goals and will open up new opportunities for personal and professional growth.[4]
  2. Virtual networking and mentoring – Innovative technologies have been developed that now allow for easy access to vast online networks and professional mentoring. This will help women connect with mentors and networks, providing support and guidance as they navigate their careers, build relationships, and connect with other professionals in their field. This kind of support is critical, as it helps women overcome the isolation and bias they may face in male-dominated industries.
  3. Remote work and job sharing – Technology can help women overcome practical obstacles, such as childcare responsibilities, that may have prevented them from pursuing certain career paths in the past. Flexible work arrangements, such as remote work and job-sharing, now help women balance work and family responsibilities, making it possible to achieve career goals while still meeting family obligations.
  4. Access to finance and funding – Technology can help women access finance and funding to start their own businesses or pursue entrepreneurial ventures. Crowdfunding platforms and online marketplaces make it easier for women to find funding and connect with potential investors. This game-changer allows women to overcome the financial barriers that have traditionally limited their ability to pursue their business ideas and entrepreneurial dreams.
  5. Break gender stereotypes – Innovation and technology can help to break down gender stereotypes and promote gender equality in the workplace. Diversity and inclusion initiatives that leverage technology, such as anonymous hiring processes and bias-checking algorithms, can help to remove unconscious bias from recruitment and promotion processes. This can help to level the playing field for women and other underrepresented groups, creating a more equitable workplace.
  6. It goes without saying that while we have made significant progress in the fight for gender equality, there is still much work to be done. And so, as we seek to push the boundaries that prevent women from reaching their full potential, we must remember the voices of past advocates, such as Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Elizabeth Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Chimamanda Adichie etc. Their lives should serve as a reminder that the struggle for justice and human rights will continue across generations.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day this year, we are again reminded that the power to shape the future of our world lies in the hands of both men and women. Let us, therefore, recommit ourselves to creating a world where women can leverage innovation and technology to drive change, pursue their goals, and positively shape the future of our world.

References

[1] Library of Congress – Today in History. https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/january-03

[2] Grogan, S.K. (1992). Charles Fourier and the Nature of Women. In: French Socialism and Sexual Difference. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230372818_2

[3] Women’s Right National Historical Park. Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I A Woman? https://www.nps.gov/articles/sojourner-truth.htm

[4] Okafor A. Tech Cabal Blog. https://techcabal.com/2023/02/03/edtech-growth-could-enhance-access-to-learning-for-women-in-emerging-markets/

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