This year marks the 60th anniversary for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), an annual, global forum that takes place in March. The 2016 theme was “Planet 50-50: Step it up for Gender equality” with a call to “Pledge for Parity.” Many pledges connect to Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 5, which strives for gender equality. Nestled within its target is 5.b, which aims to enhance “the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology (ICT), to promote the empowerment of women.”
Gender parity in technology is a conversation that started during the formation of the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995. Twenty-one years later, the Internet and its various innovations have become an important vehicle of self-expression, political engagement, and commerce. Mobile technologies have become pervasive and data from the latest GSMA report indicate over 100% subscriptions in parts of Africa, and a 60% average penetration rate.