Empowering women around the world
The 67th Session of the United Nations’ (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW67) was held March 6-17, 2023 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Representatives of Member States, United Nation entities, as well as Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)—accredited Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world were invited to contribute their knowledge and experience around 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.”
The United Nation Commission on the Status of Women featured more than 800 events, delivered over two weeks that aimed to inform, engage, and inspire grassroots efforts and advocacy to empower women and girls around the world.
We all worked together with the same goal of closing the gap in a digitalized world, understanding that the digital divide is the new face of gender inequality. While technology should be embraced as it has the potential to advance women and girls, it can also exacerbate and widen the impacts of gender inequality, often intersecting and heightening other inequities. Technology facilitated gender based violence can also include online threats or insults, online harassment, stalking through the use of social media, shared personal data (passwords, banking information, and addresses), and sharing images without consent.
We feel privileged and honoured to have been a part of this conference representing OSSTF/FEESO on behalf of the Canadian Labour Congress. We represent the Student Support Professionals from District 6A, Thunder Bay, Educational Support Staff from District 9, Greater Essex, and the Teachers/Occasional Teachers in District 21, Hamilton-Wentworth.This opportunity gave us great insight into the challenges faced by women and girls living with intersectional identities and of the power we can harness when we join forces for our collective betterment. We feel blessed to be women in Canada having the rights we have as women, but it is important to recognize that there is still much work to do as we still see such divides still happening in our various work sites and within our communities. We must join with our sisters and allies within our Federation and the global community.
We cannot sit here in complacency. We need to bridge the digital divide to achieve gender equality. We need to ensure gender equality is at the forefront of all action in shaping a feminist digital future. Globally, women together are stronger than ever!