Opening remarks at CSW67: There is no equality without bridging the digital divide

Ms Sima Bahous, the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, addressed the Commission on the Status of Women during its 67th session, emphasizing the importance of gender rights online. The current resistance towards women and girls has resulted in the digital gap becoming the new face of gender inequality, making the role of the 67th Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) more crucial than ever.

The digital revolution has presented unprecedented opportunities for women and girls, but has also brought about significant challenges that have further widened the gender gap. The achievement of gender equality is impossible without bridging the digital divide. Women have lesser access to and utilization of the internet, and they are also 18% less likely to own a smartphone. In the past year, men were online 259 million more times than women. Although girls have surpassed boys in science and technology subjects in many countries, only 28% of engineering graduates and 22% of AI professionals worldwide are women.