At the initiative of the Wife of the President, Elizabeta Gjorgievska, a panel discussion was held today in the Cabinet of the President on: “Digital Education – Priority for Achieving Gender Equality”. The event is organized in cooperation with the Women’s Civic Initiative – ANTICO, on the occasion of March 8 – International Women’s Day.
In her address to the audience, the Wife of the President said that the development of information and communication technologies increases the need for new skills and knowledge, and in addition to higher education, digital and internet literacy is today a major tool for economic empowerment of women. Through the provision of digital skills, women are also given the opportunity for own business, for financial independence, for exercising their rights, Ms. Gjorgievska emphasized.
The event was divided in two panel discussions in which the Head of the European Union Delegation in Skopje, David Geer, the Head of the UN Women Office in North Macedonia, Vesna Ivanovic – Kastared, the CEO of Semos Education, Valentina Taseva, the CEO and co-founder of the IT company Digicube, Vlora Ademi, the President of the National Council for Gender Equality, Savka Todorovska, the conductor in the Macedonian Opera and Ballet, Bisera Chadlovska, Frosina Gjorgievska, a farm woman from the Prespa region, and Iskra Geshoska, an advisor on issues from the area of culture of the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, participated.
This year, the United Nations celebrates International Women’s Day under the moto “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”.
Below is the full text of the address of the Wife of the President, Elizabeta Gjorgievska.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I am pleased that today we can celebrate March 8 together – a day when we remember all efforts to achieve social, political and economic equality of women, eradication of discrimination and fight against gender-based violence.
This year, the theme of the United Nations Women’s Day is dedicated to innovation and technology; in that direction, we are also focusing today on the topic of “Digital education – a priority for achieving gender equality”.
The development of information and communication technologies increases the need for new skills and knowledge. In addition to higher education, digital and internet literacy in the modern age is a significant tool for economic empowerment of women. By providing digital skills, women are also given the opportunity for their own business, for financial independence, for exercising her rights.
By increasing digital literacy, many issues related to gender inequality can be alleviated. One of the latest reports of the World Economic Forum on the global gender gap confirms that in most clusters of professions of the future there is a great inequality between men and women. Inequality in the amount of income, in the possibility of career advancement, in obtaining equal chances and visibility in professional development. The latest mapping in the IT industry in North Macedonia done last year confirms the problem visible in the representation of women in this industry, stereotyping it mostly as a male profession. Particularly evident in this research are the differences in senior and managerial positions between women and men.
This gap is most evident precisely in the sectors that require innovative digital and technical knowledge and skills, on which digital economy is based. Such inequality of opportunities slows down the economic development of the country. In order to reduce the gender gap, it is necessary that we all jointly find solutions for the good of the whole society.
Digital technologies enable new skills and economic activities for women. But, to avoid their becoming a new field of discrimination for women, it is necessary more women to follow their life and professional calls and take their place in STEM fields.
Let’s strive for greater participation of women in new, innovative professions. In that way, we will enable women to be a vital part of the digital economy as well.
Not only today, every day we should be vocal about earning equal pay, having equal opportunities, enjoying equal rights, as is the main hashtag for this international holiday – #EmbraceEquity. Thank you.