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UNESCO’s gender report of Global Education Monitoring Report

Why is it in the news?

  • UNESCO released 2024 gender report of the Global Education Monitoring Report, titled “Technology on her Terms”.

Impact of Technology on Girls’ Education

  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can overcome barriers to education access for girls, particularly in crisis contexts.
  • Examples like the M-shule platform in Kenya deliver education through text messages, bypassing the need for an internet connection.
  • Girls and women have less access to technology, with 130 million fewer women than men owning mobile phones and 244 million fewer women having internet access.
  • Social media negatively affects well-being and reinforces gender norms, with increased social media interaction at age 10 associated with worsening socioemotional difficulties among girls.
  • Cyberbullying is common, exacerbated by the danger of deepfakes created using AI.

Role of Education in Shaping Technological Development

  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) participation is lower among young female graduates compared to males, with an average share of 15% among females and 35% among males.
  • Underrepresentation in technological design and deployment: Women held less than 25% of science, engineering, and ICT jobs in 2022.
  • Negative gender stereotypes, fuelled by low expectations from parents and teachers, impact girls’ aspirations in STEM fields.

Recommendations from the Report

  • Establish bodies to evaluate education technology and algorithms, assessing their potential reinforcement of negative gender stereotypes or negative impact on well-being.
  • Encourage more girls to pursue scientific careers and promote female leadership in artificial intelligence and technology development.
  • Avoid infrastructure-only approaches and invest in gender-responsive education and training programs to enhance digital literacy and skills for all.

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