Speech by Federal Minister Ms. Lisa Paus at the CSW67 General Debate, 8 March 2023
Minister Paus speaking in the CSW67 General Debate, 8 March 2023, © (c) German Mission to the UN
The German Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth headed the German delegation for the 67th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Thank you Chair-Person!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Germany aligns itself with the statement made by the European Union.
The UN’s stated goal is to globally ensure that digital transformation leaves no one behind.
We must therefore look into ways of digitally empowering everyone, regardless of their gender or identity.
After all, the prediction of Carly Fiorina, the first woman to lead a U.S. Top-20 company, is turning out to be true: “Everything that can be digitized, will be digitized.”
But digitalization has an equally significant innovation potential to strengthen gender equality!
That is why it is vitally important to
· link digitalisation to gender equality;
· identify the interactions between them
· and recognise the potential that we can unlock if we shape digitalisation in a gender-transformative way.
I would like to mention ways to tap into the potential of women and girls in all their diversity:
First, by increasing the number of women working in digital professions. This year, more than 200 billion euros are being generated in the digital sector in Germany alone. But women are making up only 17 per cent of the workforce.
But, we must succeed in tackling discrimination and gender based violence to realise the full potential of digitalisation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Women and girls using the internet are especially at risk of sexual and gender-based violence – and exposed to it way too often without any protection, thus harming fundamental human rights.
Moreover, women, girls and marginalized groups are at a structural disadvantage in the online world:
in many countries, they can hardly access the internet, use a laptop or a smartphone and thus cannot expand their digital learning skills.
And, moreover, learning systems such as AI, Artificial Intelligence, ironically lead to women, girls and marginalised groups being systematically discriminated against – by algorithms.
It is hence of even more importance that the right to data privacy is guaranteed for everyone: It’s a human right. We are talking about AI systems that
· perpetuate existing gender stereotypes – and fail to recognise any kind of diversity;
· perpetuate or conceal existing social injustices;
· increase existing inequality!
We must remove this existing structural discrimination.
· We want women to be granted loans on the basis of acts not sterotypes.
· We want girls to develop an interest in technology, as easy as boys, from a very young age.
· And women to pursue a career in STEM as easy as men.
And we all fight for structures free from sexism.
Let us actively shape digitalisation – in a confident and feminist way.
Let us make this day the beginning of an new aera: the aera of digital feminism. Let‘s join forces! Digitalisation can promote transparency, sustainability, participation and gender equality. These are basic rights! And they apply for all gender.
Germany shows its full support for the UN and its commitment to a gender-transformative digitalisation.
We resolutely counter any attempt to restrict the full, equal and meaningful participation of women and girls, in all their diversity.
Thank you very much.