TEMPO.CO, United Nations - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday,October 11, called for efforts to close the digital gender divide for girls.
As part of the digital generation, girls have equal ability. But the path to digital equality is steep, said Guterres in a message to mark the International Day of the Girl Child. "It is our responsibility to join with them in all their diversity, amplify their power and solutions as digital change-makers, and address the obstacles they face in the digital space."
A massive gap in internet use spanning geographies and generations grew from 11 percent in 2013 to 17 percent six years later. In more than two-thirds of the world, girls make up only 15 percent of graduates in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math), he said.
"Girls have equal ability and immense potential in these fields, and when we empower them, everyone benefits," he said. "Investments in closing the digital gender divide yield huge dividends for all."
Guterres said the United Nations is committed to working with girls so that this generation, whoever they are and whatever their circumstances, can fulfill their potential.
In marking the day, Natalia Kanem, executive director of the UN Population Fund, said every girl has possibilities that should flourish as she moves into adulthood, shaping her future and, with it, the world. However, the inherent possibilities in so many girls go unrealized.
However, girls are harnessing the power of new technologies to carve out a better future for all, she said.