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Seoul, Republic of Korea — The UN Women Centre of Excellence for Gender Equality in the Republic of Korea (the Centre) hosted its First Policy Forum on Advancing the Agreed Conclusions of the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67).
UN Women Centre in ROK today hosted the first policy forum on advancing the agreed conclusions of #CSW67 to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls with Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age. Photo: UN Women/Jeong Jae Yeon
More than 70 central and local government officials, academia, civil society organizations, and experts from development partners gathered on 25 April 2023 to review the outcomes of the CSW67 and discuss how governments and other relevant stakeholders can work together to advance the implementation of the agreed conclusions from CSW67 in Korea and beyond.
During the CSW67, held from 6 to 17 March 2023 at UN headquarters in New York, the Commission adopted agreed conclusions focused on the critical role of technology and innovation in achieving gender equality under the CSW67 priority theme: “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
The conclusions emphasized that increasing women's access to and utilization of technology is essential to improve women's political, social, and economic status, and to contribute to gender equality. At the same time, online violence against women and girls, as well as the widening gender gap in digital access, threatens to exacerbate gender inequality. The forum addressed the role of technology and innovation in realizing gender equality and the specific strategies needed to implement the agreed conclusions.
The agreed conclusions address six thematic areas:
- Prioritizing digital equity to close the gender digital divide
- Leveraging financing for inclusive digital transformation and innovation toward achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment
- Fostering gender-responsive digital and science and technology education in the digital age
- Promoting the full, equal, and meaningful participation and leadership, as well as full employment, of women in technology and innovation
- Preventing and eliminating all forms of violence, including gender-based violence that occurs through or is amplified by the use of technologies
- Strengthening fairness, transparency, and accountability in the digital age
Hulda Ouma, Regional Planning and Coordination Specialist from the UN Womena ROAP is sharing the agreed conclusions from #CSW67 to (Korean Flag) Photo: UN Women/Jeong Jae Yeon
Centre Director Jeongshim Lee opened the forum, and stressed the “urgent need to incorporate the agreed conclusions into Member States’ legislation, national policies, and programmes.” The forum was the first of its kind in the Republic of Korea, aiming to share and promote the key messages of the agreed conclusions at the national level.
Three subsequent sessions followed, starting with the keynote presentations, then onto the thematic presentations, and lastly discussion and interventions from the floor.
Hulda A. Ouma, regional planning and coordination specialist from the UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, delivered a first keynote presentation by explaining the key messages and insights of the agreed conclusions of the CSW67. Next, Hoejin Jeong, director of the International Cooperation Division, Ministry of Gender Equality and Family of the Republic of Korea, explained her government's ongoing efforts and future plans to successfully implement the agreed conclusions.
Moderated by Heisook Lee, president of the Korea Centre for Gendered Innovations for Science and Technology Research, speakers highlighted the challenges and opportunities presented by the CSW67 agreed on conclusions. Minah Kang, a professor from Ewha Womans University, emphasized the potential power of data for formulating evidence-based gender policies for gender equality. Jongsoog Kim, the senior research fellow from Korea Women’s Development Institute, shed light on how Korean society is being reshaped in a wide range of aspects by technological development, especially the industrial and economic structure, and how the empowerment of women and girls have been impacted by these rapid changes. Myongsook Oh, president of the Korean Federation of Women’s Science & Technology Associations, reaffirmed the urgent need to increase the visibility of women and girls in the area of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field and to nurture a new generation of woman and girl leaders. Closing the session Joo-Eun Cho, director general of the Korean National Police Agency, emphasized that it is important to understand the root cause and the wide-ranging effects of online sexual violence, as the crimes tend to expand offline.
The forum was closed by Heisook Lee, who expressed her pleasure that the forum provided a great opportunity to revisit the significance of the agreed conclusions and raise awareness among the participants of the role of technology in promoting gender equality and the risks associated with amplifying gender-based violence.