Innovation and technology to improve lives and rights of women and girls in Pakistan: UNFPA

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Islamabad
Technology is evolving constantly and quickly, which is why everyone, including girls and women, must stay up to date with digital trends and be able to adapt to achieve sustainable development goals.
On 8 March, the world commemorate International Women’s Day under the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, shedding light on how digital innovation and technology can promote gender equality and improve the lives of women and girls, particularly for the marginalized and vulnerable.
“Technology must be made enabler to empower women and girls and ensure they live free of violence, we join the call in urging all stakeholders to ensure that the digital world is inclusive, more equitable, and safer to create a better future for everyone, especially for women and girls,” said UNFPA Representative Dr. Luay Shabaneh. “We must continue to invest in digitalization and promote the digital inclusion of women and girls while challenging gender stereotypes and promoting women’s leadership and participation in all aspects of life.”
Over the past few years, UNFPA Pakistan has worked with partners on projects that have seen the introduction of telemedicine facilities to allow women and girls to access reproductive health care easily and the introduction of an animated chatbot using artificial intelligence and preprogrammed content to educate young girls on menstruation and other women’s health issues. Other digital platforms created and improved with support from UNFPA Pakistan include gender-based violence helplines with the government and police in Punjab, Balochistan and KP.
UNFPA Pakistan is also supporting Civil Registration and Vital Statistics and strengthening the national data governance system, including technical support for the 2023 digital census. Together with partners, we pledge to step up our efforts in ensuring the scaling up of digital platforms that benefit girls and women while ensuring their safety.
Innovation and technology have the potential to open new doors for the global empowerment of women, girls, and other marginalized groups. Through the introduction and scaling up of the use of technology and digital innovations, women should realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights, accelerate their progress, bring an end to preventable maternal deaths, address harmful gender norms and end gender-based violence, and achieve overall gender equality.
Today and every day, we must all work together to bridge the digital gender divide and harness the power of technology and digital innovations to advance women’s and girls’ rights, including their reproductive rights. We must create a better future for humanity, including women and girls. I call upon parliament to legislate, government to regulate and enforce, the private sector to develop, and the media to advocate for an inclusive technological environment where gender inequality is bridged, and women and girls can shine and live free of violence.