‘Women’s Rights Are Human Rights’ Not Only On International Women’s Day All 365 Days!

The internet poses a serious threat to the established social order. This, by itself, makes it clear that the internet empowers women, whom patriarchy wants to control.

Women’s rights are human rights

The movement for women’s rights adopted this well-known catchphrase during the Vienna International Conference on Human Rights in 1993.

International Womens Day (IWD) reminds us how far we are in the direction of gender equality and how far we still have to go. It falls on March 8th to appreciate our cultural, social, economic, and political achievements. The 2023 theme is ‘Cracking the Code: Innovation for a gender-equal future’. The focus of the United Nations 67th Commission on the Status of Women is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.

In simple terms, we must improve gender equality with the help of technology

The focus on innovation is topical. With tools like ChatGPT, it is more timely than ever and should keep diversity in mind. The general development of any community and economic growth depends on women’s empowerment. The best part is the possibilities for Indian women and throughout the world have increased dramatically as a result of information technology.

But sadly, only twenty-two percent of artificial intelligence employees worldwide are women. Also, seventy-three percent of female journalists from 125 countries who participated in a study said they had experienced online harassment while working. The ever-present fear of online gender-based violence and the lack of legal remedies hinder women in digital spaces.

From stalking and pestering a woman while she walks by the streets, now, harassment has extended to the digital space. Sexual harassment, cyberbullying, cyberstalking, and other online abuse are more prevalent against women currently than ever. How many women reading this article have received unsolicited messages on social media? I bet everyone mostly, at least once in their lives.

Since the passage of the Information Technology Act of 2000, many people have come forward, but much more go untold.

It has the potential to be uplifting and beneficial only when it fosters the community. Women now have more access to tools and information. It enables them to learn from others’ difficulties and make more educated decisions about their life.

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The digital tools to increase gender awareness to alter attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs that support inequality can go a long way.

But, are digital technologies enough to close the gender gap

Did you know it will take generations longer than before the COVID-19 pandemic to close the worldwide gender gap? With 1.3 billion Indian residents and over one billion mobile subscriptions, digitization’s effects on economic development and tech adoption are debatable. According to a study in the Asia Pacific, the region’s economies could boost their combined GDP by $4.5 trillion annually by 2025 if they accelerate gender equality development.

The key challenges to address to close the gender digital gap include:

  • Increasing access to technology
  • Encouraging gender-inclusive digital education
  • Developing gender-sensitive digital policy

In parts of the world, internet use has a stigma as “immoral for women” linked to imprisonment and murders. The internet poses a serious threat to the established social order. Before implementing digital solutions, it is essential to consider the social beliefs in each community.

A few helpful approaches to breaking free from the barriers include:

  • Empowering women to run the internet
  • Establishing a social network for those who lack literacy
  • Working with those who act as gatekeepers and are against women using the internet
  • Encouraging women to use technology with confidence, often for the first time

It helps enable women to lead technology rather than the other way around.

A bit of self-appreciation as I share my journey as a #DigiWoman

As I write this piece, I realize how digitalization affects my life. I improved my ability to express myself clearly and with confidence. The digital world helps me engage with the community through my writing. Writing gives me the freedom and opportunity to articulate myself more sincerely than I could in a discussion. The process is exciting, and I connect with my community. I also use virtual platforms to spread awareness about a cause through talks and discussions.

I was part of the content creation team at Yours Mindfully, a youth-led organization to create awareness about mental health. I wrote blog articles about various themes related to mental health. I wrote about eco-anxiety, learning disabilities, body neutrality, and my journey with anxiety. I participated in a podcast and shared my views about body positivity and neutrality viewed by over 1000 users on Instagram. I was a host for ideation about real-world mental health problems for students through Google Meet.

I lost my voice as a socially anxious teen girl. But now, writing blogs and social media helped me speak out for myself and others to stand up for the community. My interest as a blogger led me to the Women’s Web community. I expanded my horizon to topics concerning fellow women. The platform empowers me to write about injustices I thought about but ignored, not to sound “angry”. I feel brave to write about self-love, body shaming, consent, and other topics. All of this would not be possible if not for digitalization!

What does your journey as a #DigiWoman look like?

In conclusion, on IWD, we honor the incredible accomplishments of women who are changing the world for the better. Let us use this chance to thank all the women around us. Why appreciate women only for one day? Let us keep uplifting women all year round! We must overcome the misconception and/or the actual “pull her down” syndrome where a woman puts down other women.

Image source: chenspec on pixabay

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About the Author

Mirali Borde

Mirali Borde is an aspiring writer trying to make it in this world. read more...

27 Posts | 13,499 Views

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