Day of the Girl 2021:
“Digital Generation, Our Generation”
Ending the Digital Divide
At MissHeard Media, every day is Day of the Girl! The official International Day of the Girl is October 11 and this year’s theme is ‘Digital Generation. Our Generation,’ which is all about closing the digital divide and getting more girls online.
Globally, 2.2 billion people under the age of 25 do not have internet access at home. Girls are less likely than boys to be connected. This adds an additional challenge to the COVID-19 pandemic, as schools, hobbies, clubs, socializing, etc. moved to the digital world.
⚡ The gap between boys and girls that have internet access/smartphones is called the digital divide or gender gap.
⚡ In many countries around the world, more than 50% of girls + women are offline.
⚡ The global internet gender gap is GROWING rather than shrinking. In some countries, it’s as high as 43%.
⚡ Gender norms can limit girls’ abilities to be online + study STEM topics.
Why is it so important to close the digital divide?
“The digital and innovation revolution is an opportunity for dramatic change. It is against our own interest as humans, as communities and as nations to continue to allow tech to widen the gap between half of the population and the game-changing opportunities innovation can provide.”
Why does it matter?
⚡ Over 90% of jobs have a digital component. Most jobs require digital skills. Without connectivity, girls can be left behind.
⚡ Doubling the amount of girls and women online would add roughly $13-18 billion to 144 countries. This benefits communities + families!
⚡ More than 70% of women online consider the internet liberating and provides them freedom.
⚡ Internet access can provide education, safe spaces, community, financial opportunities even health care, for girls and women.
What obstacles are there between girls + women and the internet:
⚡ Gender roles and social norms that suggest that smartphone/internet are not ‘appropriate’ for women + girls.
⚡ Poor internet connectivity, lack of data, and/or lack of electricity infrastructure.
*Not all obstacles apply to all people, everywhere.
Being online is about more than social media. Digital literacy means economic growth and opportunity. It means connecting with people across the world. It means space to develop and trade ideas, start businesses, share their lives, talk about issues, and more.
It’s easy to see the negative side of internet connectivity: doomscrolling, impacts on self-esteem, online harassment, privacy issues, etc.
Yes, those things can be true AND there can be a ton of positives to being connected!
- TONS of knowledge in various formats + languages. You can learn just about anything, from how to draw to how to do home repair, in text or on a video, in so many languages!
- Share your story. Express yourself! Someone out there is listening <3
- Start a business or find a job (that may not exist yet!). Most jobs have digital components, and lots of jobs are fully remote. There are jobs that we haven’t even dreamt up yet.
- More of a DIYer? Start your own business using free software and social media!
- Virtual safe spaces. You’re not alone when you’re connected to the world. There are safe spaces all over the internet where people share and find support.
- Collaborate and create! Distance? Never heard of her. Collab and make things with people from any corner of the world.
Imagine the ideas, passion, talents, creativity, and knowledge the world is missing out on when girls and women are not connected!