The 67th Commission on the Status of Women focused on the theme of “Innovation and Technological Change and Education in the Digital Age for Achieving Gender Equality and the Empowerment of All Women and Girls” and ended on March 18, 2023. After extensive negotiations, the primary outcome document, known as the “agreed conclusions”, was approved. The agreed conclusions will guide action by governments, the UN system, civil society, private sector, and other stakeholders. They provide a blueprint to promote the full, equal, and meaningful participation and leadership of women and girls in the design, development, and deployment of digital technologies and innovation processes that fulfill the human rights and needs of women and girls.
In particular, the document recognizes the connection between online and offline gender-based violence, harassment, and discrimination against women and girls and calls for prevention as well as a survivor-centered approach to victim care and support. The text also calls for public and private sector interventions to close the digital gender divide, advance education and women’s leadership in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math), and promote safe and inclusive online spaces. Regarding tech tools, the document specifically recognizes the important role of digital health technologies to ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health services, and the need to ensure such technologies are developed in consultation with women while protecting personal information. Lastly, the text references the specific needs and rights of populations including indigenous women and girls, migrant women and girls, women and girls with disabilities, widowed women, and older women.
At the conclusion of the negotiations, UN Women Executive Director, Sima Bahous, said: “This year’s agreed conclusions are game-changing and bring forward our vision of a more equal and connected world for women and girls in all their diversity. It is our job, as we leave here today, to translate them into reality. The ultimate success of these Agreed Conclusions lies beyond their finalization today, in how we will collectively take them forward. They bring us a vision of a more equal world. Let us translate them into reality for all women and girls.”
The agreed conclusions focus on: