Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow
More than 100 years ago people came together for the first time to celebrate an official women’s day. A lot of development has happened since then – women are allowed to vote and work in many countries, have access to education, lead initiatives and companies. Nevertheless, there is still a part of the way to go. Every year on March 8, the world celebrates the International Women’s Day and sets focus on gender related topics.
Especially in the tech industry the gender gap is still ubiquitous. Women and girls are more likely to be offline, the global internet user gap is 17% – and the digital gender gap exists in all regions of the world. Boys are 1.5 times more likely to own a phone than girls in many countries, and among those who do own phones, boys are more likely than girls to own smartphones. Half of the tech startups in the USA have no women in their leadership teams, in Europe there is only one female Chief Technology Officer out of 175 in total. These numbers indicate that more initiatives for gender equality are needed - all around the world. Thus, among the 17 SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) in the Agenda 2030, number 5 states: “Gender Equality: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”
In 2022, the theme of the International Women’s Day is “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” #IWD2022, connecting the gender topic with the climate crisis. Women and girls all over the world are contributing greatly to the fight for environment, climate, and a sustainable and respectful way of living. They are involved in many initiatives and, at the same time, are effective and powerful leaders and change-makers. Diversity is essential for a different approach to leadership.
In the past years, WSA winning teams have proven how female tech entrepreneurs make a difference, fight for the rights and empower other women. WSA has awarded four different outstaning solutions with different topics, conceived and implemented mainly by women.
“You can’t be what you can’t see” *
“Future Heroes” from Estonia is a platform for girls from 15 to 19, a sisterhood without borders. The program lasts three months, consists of eight workshops online and live, is free of charge and comes with a buddy system to support everyone. Within these workshop girls learn all the important stuff to be entrepreneurs themselves – including a boost of self-confidence. Girls get to test their strengths, boost their skills, grow their sisterhood and be inspired by diverse role models.
* Quote by Marian Wright Edelman
Each victim is one too many
Visibility is not only the key when it comes to (female) role models, it can sharpen understanding and possibilities to help when we talk about domestic violence against women. One out of five women experiences physical and/or sexual violence. 2021 there were 31 femicides in Austria, 14 at the time the project #14toomany was submitted to WSA European Young Innovators. Raising awareness of this social problem and creating support structures for those affected are crucial for sustainable improvement.
Health is the joy of your body, joy is the health of your soul
Next to safe living conditions and education, health services are fundamental for a self-determined life. SAS Brazil / Anariá: Digital Oncology Service is designed to bring healthcare to populations with no access to specialized medicine. Three trucks were adapted with gynecological offices, free of charge – to make consultations and examinations possible for everyone, even in remote areas.
Enabling leaders of tomorrow
“Inspire learn” from Malawi knows about the importance of education. Technology is used as an enabling tool for quality and inclusive education for every child in Malawi, regardless of their economic background, ethnicity, religion, gender, environment and different-ability. Considering the circumstances in Malawi the program is built around: It is affordable, works offline, uses solar powered computers, inclusive for special needs and enables continued learning for girls and women affected by teenage pregnancies and early child marriages.
Credit of the Header Image: Burcu Köleli for UN Women (2022).