The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD) to promote gender equality and women’s rights.
The annual celebration of women across the world on the 8th of March was set aside by the United Nations to uphold women’s achievements, recognize challenges, and focus on the right of women and gender equality.
The 2023 celebration with the theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”, aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women, “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.
The Chamber joined the UN in celebrating this day to seek change and eschewed the marginalization of women folks and their lack of inclusion by encouraging technology-driven results in a more creative way of a greater potential for innovations that meet women’s needs and promote gender equality.
According to the United Nations report, women earn 23% less than men globally and occupy only 24% of parliamentary seats worldwide.
Meanwhile, with more women in the boardroom, greater equality in legislative rights, and an increased critical mass of women’s visibility as impressive role models in every aspect of life, one could think that women have gained true equality. However, the unfortunate fact is that women are still not paid equally to their male counterparts, women still are not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally women’s education, health and the violence against them are worse than that of men. Nevertheless, great improvements have been made.
ACCI as a chamber has over the years actively engaged in IWD by running significant features independently or through collaboration to drive visibility and traffic to their female-focused content. Also, The elevation of print and digital content across the world has promoted and contributed positively to global dialogue and narrative about women’s equality.
A release by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem on the occasion of the 2023 IWD stated that women and girls, in all their diversities, have the fundamental right to live free from violence and to have agency over their bodies and lives, both offline and in virtual spaces.
He said technology holds endless possibilities and has the power to expand networks, opportunities, and minds. “In our increasingly technological world, digital access, literacy, and skills are imperative for everything from livelihoods to education, to participation in civic life. Yet, technology is also increasingly misused and weaponized, with women and girls disproportionately targeted.
“The digital divide is often portrayed as a matter of women’s and girls’ disinclination towards tech. That is not the case. The exclusion of women and girls in technology is perpetuated through violence and discrimination. And it is shrinking their futures and deepening gender, economic and social inequalities. The cumulative impacts of this exclusion are enormous. An estimated 2.7 billion people are not connected to the Internet, and the majority of them are women and girls. Globally, 62 percent of men use the Internet compared to 57 percent of women.”
The President of ACCI, Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar in his message to celebrate the women on the occasion of the 2023 IWD said, ACCI would continue to appreciate the role of women in the development of nations and economies across the globe pointing out that many of them have broken all barriers even in technology and reached the pinnacle of success in every aspect of life.
“Technology is key to advancing gender equality and when women and girls are allowed to access and use technology safely, their voices can be heard and they can also transform their future. It would also build them a vibrant business environment that can effectively help in contributing their quota to the national economy.”
He charged appropriate authorities to keep funding and supporting women in the area of technological advancement that would spur them to greater development.
While calling on the governments at all levels to promote gender equality and equity, Dr. Abubakar stated that if women are given equal opportunity, they will produce greater results as it is with their natural ability.
The President also said that ACCI places priority on women hence, celebrating them as often as possible, but this occasion provides another opportunity to honor their efforts and achievements in the family, in social work, in education, in sports, ICT, in innovation, in politics and national development amongst others, where they continue to leave indelible marks.
“On behalf of the Executive Councils of ACCI, I sincerely wish our women a happy International Women’s Day and pray that God will continue to strengthen them to keep supporting their families, and the country and expand their business.”
ACCI, Media/Strategy Officer