Minister of Social Development and senior citizen Tini Furbert provided an overview on her presence at the United Nations at the sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women.
speaking in assembly today [March 10] The Minister said, “It is a privilege for me to stand before this august House as the Minister of Social Development and senior with responsibility for gender affairs to share my experience of participating in the 67th United Nations Session of the Commission on the Status of Women The thing is.
“I had the opportunity to represent Bermuda as part of the UK delegation on Monday and Tuesday, 6 and 7 March, to the sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The theme of the 67th session was: “Innovation and technological change and education in the digital age to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
“The Commission on the Status of Women is the second largest annual gathering in the calendar of the United Nations. It is of great importance as it brings together representatives of the world to celebrate and celebrate the progress made to achieve the much-needed gender equality and empowerment for women and girls. Provides an opportunity to speak about challenges experienced.
Mr. Speaker Sir, it is a privilege for me to stand before this august House this morning as the Minister of Social Development and seniors with responsibility for gender affairs to share my experience of participating in the 67th United Nations Session of the Commission on the Status of Women The thing is.
Mr. President, this week leading up to the celebration of International Women’s Day, I had the opportunity to represent Bermuda on Monday and Tuesday, 6 and 7 March, as part of the UK delegation that attended the sixtieth session of the Commission. Status of Women held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The theme of the 67th session was: “Innovation and technological change and education in the digital age to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
Mr. Speaker, the UK delegation included, but was not limited to:
- Lord Ahmed of Wimbledon, Secretary of State for the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the United Nations in the UK’s Overseas Commonwealth and Development Office and the Prime Minister’s Special Representative for the Prevention of Sexual Violence in Conflict;
- Dame Barbara Woodward, Permanent Representative and Ambassador of the United Kingdom to the United Nations;
- Ms. Diana Dalton, Head of Gender and Equality at the UK’s Overseas Commonwealth and Development Office; And,
- Mrs. Valerie Robinson-James, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Development and Sr.
The 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, called CSW67, began on Monday, March 6, and will end next week on Friday, March 17, 2023.
Mr. President, the Commission on the Status of Women is the second largest annual gathering in the calendar of the United Nations. It is of great importance as it provides an opportunity for representatives of the world to come together and speak about the progress made and the challenges experienced in achieving the much awaited gender equality and empowerment for women and girls. CSW is a platform for thousands of women, feminists, advocates, academics and gender equality experts from government and civil society to share experiences, exchange technical knowledge, communicate best practices, lessons learned and promote solutions Provides a platform for Empowering women and girls globally. Over a two-week period, more than two hundred contributors representing Africa, Asia, the Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East and the United States will make presentations during the CSW meetings.
Mr. President, The COVID-19 pandemic exposed a significant gender gap or inequality in access to technology and ICT for many countries. Furthermore, the most recent 2022 data from the United Nations International Telecommunication Union continues to show this gender gap with 69% of men using the Internet in 2022 compared to 63% of women. during the CSW General Assembly session on Monday and
On Tuesday, ministers of gender affairs, human rights, social development, etc. made presentations on the actions implemented in their countries to reduce gender inequality and narrow the gender gap. She emphasized and underlined several recurring themes in her presentations depicting gender inequality, including:
- Men outnumber women in the innovation and technology industries;
- Young girls were less involved in digital technology;
- Digital technology should be introduced at an early age;
- Gender-based violence has its roots in gender-based inequality;
- Online gender-based violence is a growing threat to women and girls;
- There has been a significant increase in cyberbullying, harassment, hate speech against women and girls;
- Online space needs to be a safe environment for women and girls; And,
- Men and boys should be included in strategies to help protect the rights of women and girls.
- Harassment with gender pay gap and low literacy and low income and association with older women.
- Economic empowerment of women in retirement with recognition of gender disparities in pensions.
Mr. Speaker, these recurring themes were amplified and focused initiatives focused on two broad priority themes:
- Good practices and adequate safeguards and standards in addressing change in the digital age and education to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls; And,
- Fostering inclusive innovation and technology transformation to empower women and girls and create a safer digital space.
However, Mr. Speaker, different countries, irrespective of their size, ethnic composition of their population, irrespective of their geographical location, shared experiences and challenges related to gender inequality related to innovation, technological change, digital education, online gender-based violence , and cyberbullying, were all common.
Mr. Speaker, in addition, these recurring themes surfaced in the form of panel and question-and-answer discussions and parallel side events organized by various UN member states. The side sessions in which the Permanent Secretary and I participated were:
- Gender-Based Violence and Technology: Risks, Opportunities, Challenges organized by the Irish Consortium on Ireland and Gender-Based Violence;
- Enhancing Gender Sensitive Approaches: Male Engagement and Inclusion in Preventing Violence Against Women and Girls Organized by Kenya, African Union and UNFPA [UN Population Fund],
- Revitalizing the Network: Digital Education and Skills for Girls and Women Empowerment hosted by Italy, UNESCO, UNICEF and Group of Friends for Education and Lifelong Learning, in collaboration with UN Women; And,
- Preventing and Addressing Technology Facilitated Gender-Based Violence – Evidence and Best Practice, hosted by Lord Ahmed, UK Permanent Mission to United Nations.
Mr. Speaker, the information presented at these side events was rich, engaging and reflects many issues of relevance to Bermuda, such as the under-representation of women and girls in ICT and STEM occupations resulting from gender stereotypes in careers and cultural There are effects. Option; and, increase in online gender violence against women and girls through sexual harassment cyber stalking, online sexual abuse, zoom bombing; revenge pornography; And, sexual trolling.
It was emphasized that girls should have equal opportunities to access STEM related fields and we should look at women empowerment as more than just putting online content in front of them. Stereotyping is reduced when women and girls are provided with digital education, support and counseling to help them build purpose and identity; and, while building collaborative partnerships between schools and the private sector that empower them to take their rightful place as innovators, creators and leaders of the present and future.
Also, to fight the many forms of online gender violence against women and girls, legislation to protect them needs to be strengthened; increased training for police and judicial staff; established consequences for criminals; and building allies who will stand up, acknowledge and speak out against online gender violence.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to share with my respected colleagues that, although there is much work ahead to implement initiatives to reduce gender inequality, Bermuda is on the right track. With the recent establishment of the Gender Affairs Council, I look forward to receiving recommendations on ways to support women and girls in fighting online gender violence. The digital world cannot be one in which women and girls are at risk. It should be a safe and enabling environment.
Mr. Speaker, bridging the gender gap in innovation and technology is also important. In this regard, the work currently being done to improve our public school education in the area of STEM education is very encouraging. Our young girls are being exposed to early STEM education at the elementary, middle and senior school levels. In fact with the launch of the STEM Signature Learning Program in September 2022, there are currently ninety-six  students enrolled in a STEM program, 33 of whom, or just over one-third, are girls.
Mr. President, the two days spent at the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in the United Nations served well for engagement and networking with Ministerial colleagues from around the world.
Collectively, the implementation of technology and education policies and the strengthening of the legal framework to protect women and girls ultimately contribute to achieving UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #5 – gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Global change will come.
Mr. Speaker, the Ministry of Social Development and Senior Citizens are determined to do the same. So we will continue to participate in the CSW side event meeting this week, which can be streamed online from the United Nations website. To this end, I also encourage the Bermuda community to participate and lend their support as we continue to advance the important work of gender equality and equality. The future is one we have to create, and this work is not an act of charity or a favor to women or men. We must all continue to be recognized as owners, creators and leaders!
Thank you, Mr. President!