This video shows the alternative realities for a girl when she has access to digital technology and when she does not. If you believe in the power of #DigitalGirls please share the video!
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Digital literacy is becoming almost as important as traditional literacy.
Over 90% of jobs worldwide already have a digital component according to the ITU. If governments equip girls with digital and ICT skills through prioritising education in ICT subjects, they will help ensure girls thrive in economies where routine work has been automated and digital/creative skills are prized.
Technology can also be a powerful tool for girls to become leaders and agents of change, allowing women and girls to organize more efficiently and galvanize action for common causes, such as standing up against gender-based violence.
Women and girls continue to face a technology gap that prevent them from accessing and using digital tools at the same level as boys and men.
Without equal access to technology and the internet, it is challenging for girls and women to be able to participate in our ever more digital societies and the global community on an equal basis. Holding back girls and women in this area affects every aspect of their lives.
The gender technology gap also negatively impacts countries’ potential for economic growth and development. According to Intel, if 600 million women were connected to the internet in 3 years, this would translate to a rise in global GDP of between US$13 billion and US$18 billion.
The gender technology gap in access to the internet remains large in the world’s least developed countries, at 31%. In 2016, the regional gender technology gap was largest in Africa (23%) and smallest in the Americas (2%). Regarding mobile phone ownership, the gender technology gap is most pronounced in South Asia, where women are 38% less likely to own a mobile phone than men.
School is often the place where many children are introduced to technology such as laptops and tablets, and if girls are not in school, they are missing out on these opportunities to become familiar with technologies and learning basic ICT skills that would be invaluable for them in the labour market. Two thirds of the world’s over 700 million illiterate adults are women. Illiteracy is a huge barrier for girls’ and women’s ability to take advantage of technology and full functionality of their devices, such as mobile phones, even when these devices are available to them.
Plan International’s role is to ensure that girls and women have equal access to learning relevant technical skills and digital literacy in school and through training programs to be able to take advantage of technology and digital tools.
Plan International’s Global Strategy states that “we must harness the power of technology and use innovative solutions to extend our reach and impact. We must focus on the rights of girls, who are most vulnerable to being left behind as the world around us changes.”
It is our responsibility to ensure that instead of being yet another barrier, technology and the internet actually becomes an enabler for girls and women.
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