Theme: DigitALL – Innovation and technology for gender equality.
From the earliest days of computing, women have been pioneers in the digital world, contributing their unique insights and skills despite facing countless obstacles. As we enter the age of virtual reality and artificial intelligence, it is more important than ever that we recognise and honour the critical role that women have played in shaping the digital landscape. Despite facing countless obstacles, women have brought their unique gifts and perspectives to the world of computing and beyond.
But the journey has not been without challenges. Women have had to fight against a historical bias that has excluded them from STEM education and careers, making it difficult for them to fully participate in the full spectrum of technology, including design and governance. Furthermore, the gender gap in digital access remains a significant challenge, preventing many women from realising the full potential of technology.
Moreover, women and girls have been disproportionately impacted by online gender-based violence, a scourge that has driven many of them away from the digital spaces they do occupy. Without legal recourse, it is difficult for women to feel safe and supported in the digital world.
Yet, in the midst of these challenges, there is hope. The digital age presents a powerful tool for global empowerment, creating opportunities to eliminate all forms of disparity and inequality. Through gender-responsive digital learning and tech-facilitated healthcare, we can build a more inclusive and equitable digital world.
As we reflect on these issues, let us be encouraged to consider the spiritual connection that can be drawn between technology and humanity. Technology is a reflection of our creative potential as children of God, and it has the power to uplift and empower those who are marginalised and oppressed. As the mystic Mother Julian of Norwich wrote, “All will be well, and all will be well, and all manner of things will be well.”
So on this day, let us come together as a spiritual community to renew our commitment to creating a more just and equitable world, including in the digital space. Let us work to dismantle the systemic barriers that prevent women from fully participating in technology, and let us support those who have been impacted by gender-based violence. By doing so, we can help to create a world that reflects the divine potential within each and every one of us.