Digital technologies foster women empowerment and equality

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the World Food Programme (WFP) discoursed how women empowerment and gender equality are quintessential to achieving sustainable development. The talks further tackled how information and communication technologies (ICT) can promote gender equality and bridge the gender digital divide. ‘The global rise of information has deeply affected rural women in poor countries, who often find themselves on the wrong side of the digital divide: because they live in developing countries, in rural areas, and because they are women, leaving them more likely poor and vulnerable to economic and climatic shocks,’ underscored FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva. In that sense, ICT can improve the livelihood of women in developing countries particularly those living in rural areas who lack access to health care, education, decent work, and social protection. For example, WEP developed an application that allows women to sell their crops and promote gender equity through economic empowerment via digital technology.