The UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterreswarned this Monday that the sexism that prevails in the technological field is slowing down, and even causing setbacks, in the advance towards gender equality.
“The macho domination of new technologies is undoing decades of progress in women’s rights,” Guterres said during an act on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
According to the Portuguese politician, gender equality “is a matter of power” and today, after more than 100 years in which power has become increasingly inclusive, “technology is reversing the trend“.“It is once again concentrating power in the hands of men, to the detriment of all,” said Guterres, who urged to combat this “patriarchal” reaction and promote measures to guarantee the role of women in the technological field.
This includes, he insisted, actions to promote the access to studies in those fields and to promote the equal representation and participation.
“We have to reform the patriarchal structures that perpetuate gender inequality and especially in the technology sector”, he insisted.
Guterres denounced that the low presence of women in technology companies is creating a new form of “discrimination” of gender, for example with the use of algorithms designed by men or the widespread use of data dominated by them, an area that is of great concern to the UN given the rapid development of artificial intelligence.
In addition, he drew attention to the bullying and violence that women and girls face in digital spaces and the lack of measures on the part of the platforms to stop this problem.
For example, he denounced that there are “influencers who denigrate women and feed misogyny and toxic forms of masculinity to millions of boys and young men” or that “groups that campaign against women’s rights find warm welcomes on digital platforms.”
The fight for gender equality in the digital age is the central axis of this year’s meetings at the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which conclude this Friday in New York.