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This event took place in the broader context of the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). This year’s priority theme was ‘Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls‘. The session also reviewed the agreed conclusions of the sixty-second session, ‘Challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls‘.
The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. It represents a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), of which FEPS is a consultative body.
Ensuring equality is an objective bound to be heavily impacted by the increasing digitalisation of our everyday lives. Our growing reliance on new technologies is best exemplified by the increased use of home-based telework, the digitalisation of labour markets and algorithmic management or the platformisation of services. This new normal, however, also posesa series of new challenges, in particular to disadvantaged groups on the grounds of gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, economic status or other diverse backgrounds.
Rooted in a lack of representative data coupled with cultural stereotypes and unconscious biases, new technologies silently perpetuate old forms of injustice. Whilst most domains of life have already been digitalised (e.g. recruitment, work, education, predictive policing, justice and criminal systems, financial products, health, social advantages or child welfare), the lack of adequate safeguards amplifies structural discrimination. For instance, the increasing use of telework raises the question of the right to disconnect and the risk that women end up with the double penalty of reduced career opportunities at work and greater unpaid care workload at home. Likewise, platform workers often find themselves stripped from some of the most basic social rights due to their work’s atypical nature, such as entitlements to parental leave or anti-harassment policies.
Therefore, it is timely to confront the resilience of existing non-discrimination and equality frameworks with the specific challenges posed by current digitalisation trends. That is precisely why FEPS, Fondation Jean-Jaurès, PES Women and UN Women Germany joined forces for a parallel event on the occasion of the CSW67 to raise awareness on new forms of gender and intersectional inequalities in the digital age whilst addressing in particular the persisting knowledge gaps between the labour market, artificial intelligence, platform work and equality. Ultimately, the aim was to address the key political issues to anchor a more inclusive, socially empowering and fairer approach to the ongoing digital transition.
Among the speakers:
Zita Gurmai, PES Women President
Evelyn Regner, Vice-President of the European Parliament
Ivana Bartoletti, Global Chief Privacy Officer (Wipro), Co-founder of Women Leading in AI and Author of ‘An Artificial Revolution: On Power, Politics and AI’
Lesia Radelicki, Member of Cabinet (Gender Advisor), European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli
Louisa Renoux, Co-founder of Digital Ladies & Allies, France
Elke Ferner, Chair of UN Women Germany
Silvana Cappuccio, Head of International Department – SPI CGIL (Italian Pensioners’ Union of the Italian General Confederation of Labour)
Mona Sloane, Ph.D., Sociologist, New York University and University of Tübingen
Moderation by Laeticia Thissen, Policy Analyst on Gender Equality, FEPS, and Amandine Clavaud, Director of Studies and of the Gender Equality Observatory, Fondation Jean-Jaurès
This event took place on the 6 March 2023 at 6 PM (Eastern Standard Time) in New York, CCUN 2nd Floor – 777 UN Plaza (corner of 44th St. and 1st Ave.).
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