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Gender, Technology and the SDGs


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Discussion of equitable and equal gender lenses, technology, and the sustainable development goals.

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Gender, Technology and the SDGs

  1. 1. Gender, Technology and the SDGs Sophia Huyer, Executive Director, WISAT UNESCWA Gender Training, Beirut, October 22-23, 2018
  2. 2. Gender equality and women’s empowerment • Gender equality – the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys. • Not only a fundamental aspect of human rights and social justice, but also a precondition to improve the development process by putting social concerns at the centre • Equal participation of women and men in decision- making, equal ability to exercise their human rights, equal access to and control of resources and the benefits of development, and equal opportunities in employment and in all other aspects of their livelihoods
  3. 3. Equality or equity?
  4. 4. • Gender equity: Allocation of resources, programs, and decision-making fairly to both men and women without any discrimination on the basis of sex, is a stepping stone to achieving equality • Equity: increasing women’s access to productive resources supports • Equality: Women gaining equal control and decision making over (with men), over the productive resources they need and use
  5. 5. Gender mainstreaming in the UN • Ensuring that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all activities - policy development, research, advocacy/ dialogue, legislation, resource allocation, and planning, implementation and monitoring of programmes and projects.
  6. 6. Gender, technology and the UN: Human-rights based approach to development • 1986: United Nations General Assembly Declaration on the Right to Development: Everyone is “entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized • 1979: Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW): calls on States to ensure that rural women have the right to “enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply”
  7. 7. Gender and technology in the UN: Fourth World Conference on Women 1995 Beijing Platform for Action Addressed the role of S&T in relation to • Improving women’s access to technologies, information and technical assistance (as entrepreneurs, farmers and sheries producers); • Measures for improving women’s access to science education and technical training; • Women’s access to non-traditional employment; • Gender-sensitive health research; • Recognition of women’s indigenous knowledge; • Strengthening the position of women scientists • and technologists; • The impact and potential of new technologies, • including information technologies; and • Women’s role in natural-resource management and the impact of environmental degradation on • women’s lives.
  8. 8. United Nations Commission on S&T for Development 1995 • Gender Working Group (GWG), United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD): gender the “missing link” in national S&T programmes (1995) in environment, health, energy, agriculture, education, information, employment, small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and indigenous knowledge. • Found technical change was benefiting men more than women, largely because S&T policies and programmes did not explicitly recognize the gender- specific nature of development. • UNCTAD, 2011: Promoting gender equality and ensuring that both men and women bene t from STI policies is fundamental to reducing poverty and ensuring equitable development.
  9. 9. World Summits on the Information Society 2003 and 2005 • Gender mainstreaming a cross-cutting issue in the 2003 preamble • Both Summits affirmed that ICT development provides enormous opportunities for women, as an integral part of, and key actors, in the Information Society. • Governments committed to ensuring that the Information Society enables women’s empowerment and their full participation on the basis of equality in all spheres of society and in all decision-making processes, mainstreaming a gender equality perspective and using ICTs as a tool. • Calls for removing the gender barriers to ICT education and training, promoting equal training opportunities in ICT-related fields for women and girls, and promoting the use of ICT in service of women’s health and entrepreneurship.
  10. 10. UN Commission on the Status of Women CSW 55, 2011 • “Access and participation of women and girls in education, training and science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work” • equal access to education, training and science and technology is integral to the empowerment women and girls in view of global economic and technological changes. • S&T promotes development, all human rights, human rights education and learning at all levels, including gender equality, the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls and the eradication of poverty • Noted that full and equal access and participation in science and technology for women of all ages is imperative for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women, as well as an economic necessity, by providing the knowledge, capacity, aptitudes, skills, ethical values and understanding necessary for enhancing and encouraging women’s participation in the economy.
  11. 11. GE and HR results at Rio+20 Recognizes: • GE as a cross-cutting issue • sustainable development requires the meaningful involvement and active participation of all major groups, incl women and children • women have a vital role to play in achieving sustainable development. We recognize the leadership role of women, and we resolve to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment and to ensure their full and effective participation in sustainable development policies, programmes and decision-making at all levels. • the importance of rural women as critical agents for enhancing food security and nutrition • human right to safe drinking water and sanitation • access to safe and affordable drinking water and basic sanitation for all necessary for poverty eradication, women’s empowerment and to protect human health, • modern energy services are essential to social inclusion and gender equality
  12. 12. Gender Context: Access to resources UN Women, 2015
  13. 13. Power and decision making UN Women, 2015
  14. 14. Women’s economic activity (ILO) 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Agriculture / Services Agriculture / Services Agriculture / Services Egypt Morocco Sudan
  15. 15. Participation in the formal labour force • Approximately 30% in the Arab region • Highly segmented by sex: horizontal and vertical segregation. • In GCC States, women tend to be concentrated in the education sector • In the Maghreb and Mashreq women are mostly found in agriculture and services. • Men represented in nearly all professions, certain sectors almost exclusively male: fishing, mining, construction, and transport • Unemployment for women is 13% higher than for men, the largest gap in the world
  16. 16. Internet Use – Jan 2018 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 Bahrain Egypt Morocco Oman Palestine Qatar Saudi Arabia Serbia Sudan United Arab Emirates Internet Use - % All Individuals Male Female
  17. 17. Women in SD-related disciplines UNESCO Global Science Report 2015
  18. 18. Part II: Gender Dimensions of Water, Energy, and Food Security
  19. 19. Gender, Technology and the SDGs 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Agriculture / Services Agriculture / Services Agriculture / Services Egypt Morocco Sudan
  20. 20. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture • Women have less access to productive resources for agriculture and food security, greatly affecting their production: – Finance, credit – Inputs – Information and education – Technology • Male migration to urban areas for employment • Less decision making power at HH, local and national levels
  21. 21. Technology for women
  22. 22. • Clean water for sanitation and health • Irrigation • Pumping water Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all
  23. 23. Technology for women:
  24. 24. Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all • Clean, affordable household energy • Energy initiatives can be empowering for women • Work with women’s organizations • Consultative and inclusive work
  25. 25. Technology for Women IRENA
  26. 26. Digital technologies and the SDGs
  27. 27. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its effects • Climate change will have disproportionate consequences for women, poor and marginalized communities who are especially at risk due to their dependence on natural resources – Climate Change Adaptation in the Arab Countries, UNDP 2018 • Climate change has the potential to increase existing gender gaps and inequalities as a result
  28. 28. Climate technologies: Where do women fit? Climate sector Adaptation Migitation Energy Promotion of renewable clean energies Water Adapt to variable water conditions, drought, irrigation, water use and management Transportation Women drive less for socio- economic reasons Disasters / risk reduction Warning, recovery from impact of disasters, resilience Agriculture Access to agricultural practices and technologies to deal with impacts of climate change: drought, changing growing seasons Low-carbon intensive agricultural practices; low and reduced emission practices can be more efficient, cheaper and productive for smallholder farmers SD-related professions Increasing participation of women increases national capacity to adapt to and mitigate climate change
  29. 29. Disasters and early warning systems • Analysis of data from 141 countries affected by disaster between 1981 and 2002 found that disasters affect women’s life expectancy more than men’s, and that women, boys and girls are 14 times more likely than men to die during a disaster.
  30. 30. Where do women fit? Role of ministries of gender and social developmentRelation to national SDG and CC commitments Access to credit and finance Innovative mechanisms to reach women with credit Promoting women’ entrepreneurship FHH Gender / age migration trends Fertility rates : what influences them Restoration, reforestation, sustainable agriculture Water mgmt., use for HH, agriculture Small-scale renewable energy use & mgmt Youth (un)employment Promoting women’s entrepreneurship Understanding and supporting women’s food security activities Participation in S workforce
  31. 31. Example of gender-responsive SDPD initiative: Regional Initiative for Promoting Small-Scale Renewable Energy Applications in rural areas of the Arab Region
  32. 32. Integrating gender into policy and planning
  33. 33. Moving forward
  34. 34. Thank you! Sophia Huyer Women in Global Science and Technology (WISAT)