DOT at CSW67: Creating Enabling Environments for Young Women

March 6, 2023

Progress towards gender equality is looking bleak – in recent years, the number of employed women globally has declined, over 400 million women and girls continue to live in extreme poverty, and food insecurity levels are 10% higher for women. Young women and girls also continue to face limited access to digital infrastructure, tools, resources and information, experience discrimination in their leadership abilities and experience gender-based violence, abuse, and harassment, both online and off. Unsurprisingly, we are not progressing as we need to. 

A call to action has been clear.

Integrate a gender perspective in the design, funding, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of interventions, make intentional global investments that respond to the crises, and support women’s organizations, leadership, and programmes.

Founded in 1946, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the most extensive global policy-making body dedicated to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment. Convening annually in March, CSW is instrumental in promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women. As the Secretariat, UN Women brings together UN member states, government officials, Ministers and Civil Society representatives to develop Agreed Conclusions for action by all development stakeholders.

Canada has participated in the UN CSW since its creation. Leading Canada’s engagement is Women and Gender Equality Canada (WAGE) and Global Affairs Canada. Every year, they send a delegation to UN Headquarters – to represent Canada’s leadership in promoting and advancing gender equality, and the full realization of women’s human rights.

This year’s Commission on the Status of Women theme is critical. 

This year, DOT is pleased to announce that Meaghan Anderson is joining the Canadian Delegation to the 67th Session of CSW, one of 15 members. She will represent Canada, Civil Society Organizations and DOT on this year’s theme, “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”

As Gender and Safeguarding Manager at DOT, Meaghan works across the DOT network to strengthen DOT’s growing focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment. Meaghan provides technical expertise in gender transformative approaches to program design, implementation, and MERL, creating accessible, safer, and inclusive digital and 21st-century skills learning programs to tackle the digital divide in Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA. She brings a unique perspective to the delegation and CSW. 

“I’m so grateful for this moment of solidarity building around our shared goals for women’s rights in innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age. While here, I hope to soak up all the learning I can from global stakeholders about how we can meaningfully empower young women and elevate their leadership in digital innovation.”

While Meaghan will participate in person, DOT will convene youth, Community-Based Organizations from the Global South, government representatives, policymakers, and INGOs in an engaging, virtual intergenerational dialogue on creating an enabling ecosystem for young women’s digital inclusion. We want to know what it takes to support everyone to thrive in an inclusive digital economy.

We’ll say it louder for the people in the back! 

The gender digital divide is compounded by overlapping barriers like limited access to digital infrastructure, or other resources, lack of information, discriminatory norms and attitudes, gender-based violence, and threats to safety experienced on and offline. Young women are experiencing intensifying barriers to learning and gaining experience in digital livelihoods.

DOT co-designs and implements our programs in partnership with young women and men to reflect their unique needs and preferences meaningfully and ensure all youth are included and benefit from our programs. We strengthen our impact by tackling the systemic barriers that limit opportunities for young people and creating opportunities to elevate their leadership when they have traditionally been excluded.

However, we know that we cannot achieve gender transformative change on our own. We must co-design enabling ecosystems that unite collaborators to shift mindsets regarding how we think and act on gender equality in the digital world.

During CSW67, DOT will convene critical stakeholders from the digital innovation space in a call to action to join DOT on a journey toward gender equality through meaningful collaboration and learning from young women. 

We hope you will join us; please register at the link below!

About DOT’s Gender Strategy

At the heart of DOT’s approach to digital inclusion is the imperative to achieve total gender equity and equality between women and men in all spheres of life, resulting in the people most impacted by discrimination and oppression jointly and on an equal basis, defining and shaping the systems and decisions that affect their lives. Transforming unequal gender relations and power dynamics is crucial to tackling poverty and supporting youth employment and entrepreneurship. DOT believes that affirming women’s rights is the most powerful force to end poverty for all youth. Any attempt to affect transformative change necessitates building opportunities for grassroots social change. Our programs include at least 70% of young women as participants across all project contexts.

Are you our next Community Leader, Digital Champion, or Social Innovator? Learn more about how to join #DOTYouth

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