There's a huge gender gap, world-wide, when it comes to technology, and I'd like you to join me in a modest step towards addressing that.
Women and girls still face overwhelming obstacles to accessing and shaping technologies. The digital gender divide might be getting worse. Women and girls everywhere are missing, underrepresented, and dropping out from technology fields. As a result of this inequality, today's technology - and increasingly today's world - does not reflect the diversity of women's experiences, imagination, or ingenuity.
View this infographic here.
This isn't fair, it's not treating people like you want to be treated.
Beyond that, I've observed that technology is improved when women and girls have equal access. That's pretty much common sense, since tech talent has no gender bias, and I've got over forty years working with women engineers and programmers that proves it. (We need a lot more, and in the U.S. we're talking about a renewed emphasis on STEM -- science, technology, engineering, and math -- education.)
My inspiration includes groups that focus on addressing the issues women and girls face in their communities through technology, like Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT) in New Delhi, India. It empowers adolescent girls through technology and computer courses coupled with workshops on self-esteem, caste and class, reproductive health, and cultural issues. Through technology, FAT empowers girls with workforce skills and to advocate for their rights - for example, the girls recently produced a video to advocate for the need for safe, clean public toilets in their communities.
All this is why I've added my voice as an advocate to Global Fund for Women's petition with UN Women calling for an end to the global gender technology gap.
Specifically, I'm adding my name to call on the United Nations, governments around the world, and key decision makers to remove all barriers to the development and use of technology, increase investment in girls' science and technology education around the world, and ensure women's and girls' full participation as developers and innovators.
Join me and add your signature to Global Fund for Women and UN Women's petition. Let's make our call loud -- we want to reach 20,000 signatures by March 5 in time to deliver the petition for International Women's Day on March 8.
Tell your colleagues, friends, and social networks that their signature can make a difference in shaping the type of future we live in.
This blog post is part of a series focused on elevating the stories and issues highlighted in IGNITE: Women Fueling Science and Technology, a global campaign and media project from Global Fund for Women that explores the roles of science and technology in advancing gender equality. IGNITE features stories of women and girls who are leading and innovating in science and technology, highlights the gender gap in technology, and advocates for women and girls' increased access to and control of technologies. Global Fund for Women is a grantmaker and global advocate for women's human rights. Read the first post in the series on why technology is a women's rights issue.