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Social Development Division (SDD)

Asia-Pacific Regional Consultation on the priority theme for the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 67): “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls

The Asia-Pacific Regional Consultation will be jointly convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO); the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); the United Nations Development Project (UNDP); and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The objective of the regional consultation is to provide an interactive forum for ESCAP member States and key stakeholders in Asia and the Pacific to examine ways to accelerate progress on key frameworks including the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (in particular, the 2019 Asia-Pacific Declaration on Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Beijing+25 Review), the Financing for Development, Addis Ababa Action Agenda (FfD), and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The consultation provides an opportunity for both state and non-state actors to take stock of key trends, needs, gaps in policy responses, and good practices as well as to consider possible areas for joint interventions (policy, programmatic) to address innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Specifically, this Regional Consultation is held to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas among state and non-state actors in order to:

  • Foster better understandings of the obstacles preventing women and girls from sharing in the benefits of digital transformation and innovation, on an equal footing with men and boys. These obstacles include barriers to connectivity (access to the Internet, and the affordability of digital tools and technologies), the role of gender norms in limiting women's and girls’ access to and effective participation in STEM education and careers.
  • Consider how to create and promote gender-transformative digital technology and innovation ecosystems, which actively respond to the needs of women and girls, and ensure that we leave no one behind, looking at the future of work, the digital economy and society. This includes digital technologies to support and advance individual social and economic development and rights, including innovations tailored to meet the needs of diverse women and girls (including women and girls with disabilities; in hard-to-reach communities and/or crises-affected contexts) etc.
  • Enhance collaboration to ensure that gender equality and women’s empowerment is mainstreamed across digital strategies, policies, programs, and related investments in all developmental spheres, and additionally to promote research and data science to inform these policies (and social and economic policies, more broadly), and the development of digital tools, capacities, and services, to ensure that no one is left behind in the process of digital transformation. 
  • Develop comprehensive frameworks for addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence and discrimination, in order to effectively safeguard the rights of women and girls (i.e. their leadership, participation and agency) in digital spaces.

The outcome of the Asia-Pacific regional consultation for CSW67 will be a set of recommendations on areas for accelerated action, in line with the Priority Theme for CSW67. The recommendations will feed into the CSW67 and can inform membership contributions to the Agreed Conclusions.

UNESCAP Building, Bangkok City, Thailand