APEC Women and the Economy 2016 Forum calls for digital literacy to break economic integration barriers of women in the global market

On 30 June, The APEC Women and the Economy 2016 Forum gathered a group of leaders from the Asia-Pacific region to discuss about “Breaking Barriers to the Economic Integration of Women in the Global Market.” The event was organized to promote collaboration among states to promote gender equality and empowerment of women and girls in order to achieve equal access to education, economic resources, employment, leadership and political participation.

As one of its five major pillars, the forum recognized the relevance of digital literacy for driving economic inclusion thus recognizing the benefits of ICT services on empowering women and promoting more community-based participation. It also emphasized the role of ICTs in increasing business and employment opportunities for women by removing barriers of entry to international online markets for example in the field of e-commerce.

Additionally, the forum discussed the existence of new financial technology tools that may be useful for women and girl entrepreneurs to obtain funds and operate their ideas. There was a call for multiple stakeholders to engage in the adoption of these innovative resources as well as in the implementation of education and training programs for digital literacy and skills development. It was stated that it is necessary to strengthen the participation of women and girls in STEM education careers.

Finally, stakeholders were encouraged to support the development of technology content, applications and services to meet women’s needs while prioritizing the investment in tools for women’s e-learning, education, employment and entrepreneurship.

According to Marcela Huaitia from the Minister of Women and Vulnerable Population in Peru, these principles would be very useful to address, for instance, the needs of indigenous women from the region. In her words, “It is important to provide these women with tools that are available in their own language in order to address their needs. Besides, it is necessary to develop an intercultural scope that promotes digital literacy to develop opportunities to get them involved in the global economy.”

Visit the APEC Women and the Economy 2016 Forum Statement


Additional Sources: Andina