Empowering Women in and through ICT

May 2024

With the rapid advancement of technology and the ever-changing emerging technology landscape, there has been an increase in gender inequality in the digital economy. This can be attributed to unequal access, lack of awareness, and online security issues, amongst other barriers. According to a United Nations (UN) report, women are seen to make up only two in every ten Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) jobs and comprise just 33% of the workforce in the top 20 largest technology companies.
Omitting women from the digital economy has trimmed USD 1 trillion from the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of low-and middle-income nations in the past decade. This loss is expected to grow to USD 1.5 trillion by 2025, unless corrective action is taken earnestly. On the flip side, achieving gender equality has a potential to add USD 12 trillion to the
global economy.
Recognizing the current gap and acknowledging the significant potential for digital economy growth through the empowerment of women, several efforts and initiatives have been directed toward women globally and within the DCO Member States. However, the absence of a cohesive framework has been noted, one that would offer a robust structure for the identification, planning, and implementation of high-impact initiatives, especially to ‘empower women in and through Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)’.