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UN calls for gender equality in digital literacy for girls in Palestine

Statement by Lynn Hastings, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator

for the occupied Palestinian territory,

on the International Day of the Girl

Jerusalem, 10 October 2021

Inequality is a global issue, and gender inequities create a significant hurdle for girls trying to reach their innate potential. Palestine is no exception, and many challenges remain to ensure girls are provided equal opportunities to excel.

Gender equity in digital literacy is key to ensuring girls thrive and can be a driver of economic growth and competitive businesses. On the eve of International Day of the Girl, it is important to highlight the enormous potential that exists in Palestinian that is currently untapped. According to the recent multiple indicator cluster survey in Palestine (MICS), nearly one in three women with no or basic education have never used the internet, and two out of three women in this category had not used the internet in the three months prior to the survey.

The power and diversity of girls as positive change makers means that investing in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) for girls and women is needed, both in Palestine and globally. Girls and women need to be the designers of learning and other solutions addressing the challenges and opportunities facing their society.

Increasing investments in closing the digital divide – access to devices, connectivity, skills, and safety – and the opening of pathways for girls to reach their full potential is paramount.

On this very important day, International Day of the Girl, I urge all decision-makers to embrace this reality and ensure today’s children, girls in particular, have the tools necessary to be tomorrow’s leaders.