Community Development and Social Services Minister, Hon Doreen Mwamba, MP has told the United Nations that there is need for increased investment into digital technologies infrastructure.
Speaking virtually during the General Debate of the 67th Session of the Commission on Status of Women at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the Hon Minister said that the uptake of digital technology such as the internet was hindered by the high price of smart devices while use was also being limited by the price of data and availability of charging points, hence the need for more investment in the sector. This year’s session of the Commission is being held under the priority theme, “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
And Hon Mwamba welcomed the theme, saying it presented an opportunity to further mobilize local, regional and global action to promote inclusive innovation and technological change as well as education in the digital age to promote gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
“We are living in a digital age. The quest to achieve gender equity and equality cannot be attained without mainstreaming innovation, technology, and digitization, both as a means of achieving results and as a resource for empowerment of women and girls,” she said.
The Hon Minister explained that this was critical in increasing access to economic opportunities, education attainments, participation in decision making, health and overall wellbeing of women and girls.
She added that digital technologies in particular provided opportunities for greater access to information, education and skills, and open possibilities for increased employment and business opportunities for women and girls.
“This calls for unified and concerted efforts to close the gender gap in digital skills, promoting gender transformative innovation and technology, while also and protecting the rights of women and girls online,” Hon Mwamba said.
The Hon Minister informed the Commission that Zambia was in the process of developing a Digital Transformation Strategy which is expected to enhance gender equality not only in accessing ICT products and services but also in the acquisition of skills that will ensure digital inclusivity.
She further told the Commission that Zambia was using technology in the delivery of social protection and empowerment programmes to facilitate payments and had digitalised the village banking services to enhance access to finance.
The Hon Minister also said that Zambia was hopeful that progress would be achieved in advancing gender equality through digital transformation.
The delegates from Zambia have been participating in various segments that are taking place on the sidelines of the CSW67.
The session which started on Monday, 6th March closes on Friday, March 17 2023.