WE NEED MORE PROTECTION FOR WOMEN
ACTIONAID Zambia calls for the protection of the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and Information Communication and technology (ICT) that they face.
We note with sadness and regret that some ICT platform have facilitated genderbased violence especially against young girls hence the need for their protection
In commemorating the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD) today, we feel that the lack of access to ICT tools has further limited the participation of women in economic activities especially those in rural areas.
We call on the Zambian Government to address the commitment made with regards to Agenda 2015 and 2030 for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Goal number 5, emphasizes on the need for every country to ensure that it achieves gender equality and empowers all the women and girls” with access to all key resources including ICT tools.
The Government should also ensure that Women and girls actively participate in influeacing decision-making at all levels as change-makers when it comes to issues affecting them such climate adaptation, climate mitigation and access to ICT.
Statistics indicate that about 37 percent of women globally do not use the internet. It is also unfortunate that only about 259 million women have access to the Internet much fewer than men, even though women account for nearly half the world's population.
If women are unable to access the Internet and do not feel safe online, they are unable to develop the necessary digital skills to engage in digital spaces. This diminishes their opportunities to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related fields by 2050.
According to the Zambia Information Communications and Technology Authority (ZICTA) between 2020 and 2021 only 5.8 percent of female Zambians were computer literate. We therefore feel that undoubtedly, without these skills, women and girls are automatically disadvantaged and don't have the confidence to participate in the digital workforce.
The 2023 International Women's Day also provides an opportunity to renew commitment to gender equality as a strong foundation for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and social Economic development agender for Zambia.
This year’s theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality “explores how growing economic and social inequalities are impacted by the digital gender gap because women and girls remain under-represented, under-supported, and unrecognized in the social, economic, and political fields. They also lack ICT tools that are key to sustainable human development.
Government should view women and girls as equal partners in development. In the modern world, everyone’s life largely depends on strong technological integration.
ActionAid Zambia (AAZ) is part of ActionAid International which is a global movement of people working together to further human rights and defeat poverty.
We hence take advantage of this day to reaffirm our commitment to support and celebrate the achievements by the women labour movementts that were started in North America and across Europe.
We urge every stakeholder especially the state actors to uphold the principles that promote gender equality by ensuring that women are allowed to meaningfully and actively participatee in decision making structures using physical and on-line platforms without being harassed.
Happy International Women’s Day
MUSONDA KABINGA (Mr)
Interim COUNTRY DRIRECTOR ACTIONAID ZAMBIA