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Tech has critical role for equality says UN Women

Tech and innovation critical for gender equality

More women than ever hold political decision-making posts worldwide, but gender parity is still far off. Technology and innovation has a critical role in achieving gender equality, the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women stresses after a two week long meeting. 

The map on Women in Politics is published by Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women. “This data tells us that women are still the minority of Heads of State and Government. They are still deeply under-represented in government leadership, at less than one in four Cabinet Ministers, with men continuing to dominate critical portfolios such as the economy, defence, and energy”, says UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous.

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The map shows that:

  • 11.3% of countries have women Heads of State (17 out of 151 countries, monarchy-based systems excluded), and 9.8% have women Heads of Government (19 out of 193). This is an increase compared to a decade ago when figures stood at 5.3% and 7.3%, respectively. 
  • Of all the regions, Europe continues to have the highest number of countries led by women (16).
  • Women represent 22.8% of Cabinet Ministers. Europe and North America (31.6%), and Latin America and the Caribbean (30.1%) are the regions with the highest share of women in cabinets. In most other regions, women are severely under-represented dropping as low as 10.1% in Central and Southern Asia and 8.1% in the Pacific Islands (Oceania excluding Australia and New Zealand).
  • Only 13 countries, mostly in Europe, have gender-equal cabinets, with 50% or more of women cabinet members as heads of ministries.
  • Number one is Albania where women represent 66.7% of cabinet members followed by Finland with 64.3%. Nine countries—most in Oceania and Western Asia—have no women cabinet members heading ministries.
  • The number of women Speakers of Parliament has increased to 22.7% compared with 20.9% in 2021. 
  • The global proportion of MPs who are women is 26.5% compared with 25.5%t in 2021.
  • European Nordic countries are at the top of the regional ranking (45.7% of MPs are women) while the Middle East and North Africa region remains at the bottom (17.7% of MPs are women).
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Among actions needed according to the Commission:

  • Digital tools and services to address the needs of all women and girls, across sectors and geographies, especially for their education, health, economic empowerment and engagement in public life, and ensure women and girls have access to digital literacy and skills throughout their life course. 
  • Mainstream gender in digital policies to remove barriers to equal access for all women and girls. 
  • Zero tolerance for gender-based violence that occurs through or is amplified by the use of technology and ensure that public and private sector entities prioritize its prevention and elimination.
  • Gender perspective in the design of emerging technologies and adopt regulations to ensure they are subject to adequate safeguards to combat new risks, gender stereotypes and negative social norms, data privacy breaches and improve transparency and accountability.  
  • Policies and programmes to achieve gender parity in emerging scientific and technological fields and create supportive workplaces and education settings, including through gender-responsive education, distance learning solutions and interdisciplinary approaches combining the teaching of social sciences and scientific fields.  
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