UNICEF Current Affairs

India’s digital gender gap could further marginalise women: UNICEF Report

According to recently released The State of the World’s Children Report of UNICEF, India’s girls and women are at risk of becoming further marginalised in society and at home if they remain digitally illiterate.

The theme of this edition of report was Children in a digital world. It provided country-level examples to give a sense of the kinds of barriers girls and women confront.

Key Highlights of Report

Digital connection and literacy offer advantages in knowledge-based society, improving children’s lives and their future earning potential.

Globally, 12% more men than women used internet in 2017. In India, less than one-third internet users are females. Only 29% of all internet users are female in India. Girls in rural areas of India often face restrictions on their use of ICTs solely because of their gender. India is one place in which digital divide highlights deep chasms of society.

Digital divides can mirror broader societal divides between rich and poor, urban and rural areas, between those with or without an education and between women and men.

Digital gender divide is caused by number of factors —education levels, lack of technical literacy, social norms and lack of confidence among people. But in India, it is often rooted in parents’ concern for safety of their daughters. Many fear that allowing girls to use internet will lead to liaisons with men, bringing shame on family. For most girls, if they are allowed to use internet, their every move is monitored by their parents or brothers.

In a society which is still patriarchal, for girls, traits are like obedience and deference are often valued over curiosity and intelligence. In some households, technology is not seen as necessary or beneficial for girls and women.

Bridging gender gap is necessary because if girls and women remain digitally illiterate, they risk of becoming further marginalised at home and in the society in large. Besides, digital literacy and connection offer advantages in knowledge-based society, improving children’s lives and their future earning potential.

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Sachin to become part of the UN Campaign Highlighting Role of Father’s in Child’s Development

Sachin Tendulkar will join other global celebrities like Rahul Dravid, David Beckham, Novak Djokovic, Academy Award winning American actor Mahershala Ali, British Formula One racing driver Lewis Hamilton and Australian actor Hugh Jackman for UNICEF’s ‘Super Dads’ campaign that highlights the critical role played by fathers in children’s early development.

The initiative is aimed at celebrating fatherhood and highlights the importance of love, play, protection and good nutrition for the healthy development of the brains of the young children.

Initiative

The ‘Super Dads’ initiative is a part of UNICEF’s #EarlyMomentsMatter campaign that aims to increase understanding of how a child’s environments and experiences in early childhood can shape their future health, well being, ability to learn etc.

UNICEF was established in 1946 by the United Nations to protect the children struggling to survive in the aftermath of World War II. UNICEF works to promote the rights and well-being of children and works in around 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action.

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