Digital and mobile technologies have vast potential for women’s empowerment, providing them with opportunities to find and share information, access educational materials, improved health services, generate income, interact, collaborate, network, and have an online representation. The first step in harnessing the power of technology towards women’s empowerment is to ensure they have access to the various technology tools that are rapidly and continuously evolving by broadening the affordability and expanding the reach of such technologies.. Access to technology, control of it, and the ability to create and shape it, is a fundamental issue of women’s human rights. Technology empowers women to create innovative solutions to advance equality in their communities. Technology has unlimited potentials and women can tap into these resources to make their life better.
For instance, with a mobile phone, a pregnant woman can stay connected to a midwife. For other women and girls, Internet access and a mobile phone can mean access to a bank account for the first time, a new tool to learn how to read and write, or a way to stay safe and avoid harassment in a crowded city. Science and technology will increasingly play a profound role in our lives, societies, and economies – from influencing social interaction and culture to voice and political participation, to access to services, learning, and income opportunities, to innovation, infrastructure development, resilience and sustainability, to the achievement of personal well-being. These all require urgent action based on the best available science, technology, and interdisciplinary research – including the perspectives, talents and experiences of women as well as men.
When women have access to and control of technology, the potential benefits are vast. However, this scenario is not automatic. The revolutions in science and technology are not fully inclusive in their participants, design and impact. Moreover, we must be diligent in preventing and mitigating risks to women when it comes to science and technology, either in the form of direct threats – including online violence and harassment – unintended consequences, or from reinforcing or exacerbating inequalities.
One thing we know for sure is that science, technology, and innovation are advancing rapidly. We need policies and systems – including education, research and development, outreach programs, and data and monitoring – with gender equality at their core and that challenge stereotypes. Only in this way can we ensure that women are continuously at the forefront of STI development and have access to new opportunities as they arise. Women who are connected to technology either their mobile phones, tablets, laptops have the potential to limitless empowerment opportunities which can make them become relevant through the acquired information for their environment, businesses, families and the world at large. When women have access to mobile technology, online social media, and ICTs (information and communications technology) like Google +, they are able to report on human rights issues as they occur and to connect with other women to discuss solving problems in their societies. Technology of this kind gives women a platform to voice the issues that are important to them and to be heard all across the world.
Women hold the key to reaching more prosperous and developed societies if they can access the tools to innovate within their communities. Knowledge is power and the fastest way to transfer this “power” to women is through technology.