The importance of women-led digital solutions – Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality | 8th March 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • It talks about the role of innovation and technology in women's lives and how to ensure gender equality.


  • GS1: Role of Women and Women’s Organization;
  • Essay
  • Prelims


  • International Women's Day is observed annually on March 8 to honour the social, economic, cultural, and political accomplishments of women as well as to raise awareness about issues like gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women.
  • The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.’
  • The transformational and all-encompassing role of digital technology is growing even faster in the post-pandemic world.
  • But sadly, the digital revolution also poses the challenge of perpetuating gender inequality, which is increasingly noticeable in the manner in which women are left behind in knowledge of digital skills and access to technologies.

Gender-responsive approach:

  • India accounts for half the world’s gendered digital divide given that only a third of all Internet users in the country are women.
  • Women generally have handsets that cost less and are not as sophisticated as those used by men, and their usage of digital services is usually limited to phone calls and text messages.
  • Owning and using a digital device is a household decision taken by the man.

What role digital revolution can play in advancing women's lives?

  • Nutrition and empowerment:
    • In the PM POSHAN, ninety per cent of the cook-cum-helpers are women. They help to run this programme successfully.
    • To further enhance the quality of service of these helpers, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in partnership with the Governments of Odisha and Rajasthan has rolled out technology-based training modules.
    • These modules are housed in an application, and mobile tablets for strengthening the capacity of the community in ensuring that proper hygiene and safety measures are followed so that children reap the full benefits of the nutrition that these school meals offer.
    • By bringing together access to a digital device, digital literacy, and community ownership for women, the initiative has infused fresh energy and confidence in how women perceive and deliver their roles as nutrition champions.
  • Digital literacy, food security:
    • Unleashing women’s economic power helps to lift millions out of poverty and food insecurity, and one of the keys to achieving this is digital literacy. This strengthens financial inclusion and creates potential new income streams.
    • In a pilot on financial literacy and digital literacy being implemented by the WFP with women self-help groups across low-income groups in Delhi’s urban slums, nearly 70% of women wanted to acquire new skills.
  • Digital literacy, health awareness:
    • The NFHS-5 shows that more than 18% of women between 15 and 49 years have a low body mass index while more than half the pregnant women in the same age group are anaemic.
    • Access to digital literacy and platforms would create awareness about the gap and needs in the populations that are often on the margins of the digital revolution.

Way Forward:

  • Women can harness digital tools for improving nutrition schemes and initiatives, while also using them to create economic opportunities that ensure long-term food and nutrition security.

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