The girl child in the Digital Era

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~Samiksha Khobragade 

The theme for International girl child Day is “Digital Generation, Our Generation”. And it makes perfect sense. We do have a lot more dependency on our digital devices in the  post-covid world

After the Covid Pandemic, a lot has changed and become part of our “new normal”. Working from home, lockdowns, restrictions on travel are some of the examples. But one of the significant changes we see is the digitalisation of education. While it was a necessary step given that there was no other option in sight, it’s not hard to see how, like many other privileges, the girl child of India is deprived of this one too, having a digital device. 

Source: SKChildrenOfficial

In India, it is more common to have parents and elders favouring the male child in most the aspects, such as education, job choices, freedom to make decisions in life, etc. But another favouritism is seen in buying the girl child their digital devices. Although before the pandemic, it didn’t impact the girl child in their education, suddenly after covid 19, it is creating a massive hindrance in the education of female children. 

Let’s revise what Feminism is!

Let’s start from the basics before diving into the subject deeper. What is Feminism? Feminism has gained a lot of momentum and even a bad reputation as it is often misused, unfortunately for selfish reasons. So let’s define it to clarify what Feminism is once and for all; Feminism is about empowering women to stand tall on a cerebral level with men. In other words, Feminism is about empowering women to find their place in the world and make the world more ” female-friendly”, which it currently is not. Therefore it is essential to notice that feminism and women empowerment goes hand in hand. 

Women face various serious issues worldwide. Therefore it becomes of primary importance that major international organisations take appropriate steps towards women empowerment and help uplift them for a better future for everyone.

Why are girl children facing this issue?

When the world was moving towards online educational channels, 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 had no access to digital devices to keep up with the fast-paced world. A massive chunk of this demographic belongs to India, and intersectional Feminism teaches us that the girls have to bear the burden more than their male counterparts whenever there are some issues humanity faces. 

Moreover, when these digital devices get expensive for the Indian household, purchasing those devices is normal for their male children. So it has not caught the media’s eye enough to create and cover stories on the same. But indeed, this is the harsh reality. And a slowdown for the women empowerment movement that we all are working towards.

Is there global awareness of the same?

Fortunately, the global awareness in the significant welfare communities is quite aware of this issue. Furthermore, UNICEF has taken drastically bold steps to help the girl child be more digitally advanced. They are working towards other problems as well, such as one of the major issues women are facing is that they get a lot fewer jobs in the field of technology, AI, machine learning etc. It single-handedly diminishes the presence of women in these required fields and, again, doesn’t help the female empowerment movement in the slightest. 

How can we make this better for girl children?

Source: Sk Children Foundation conducting online classes

The gap of digital uses between the two sexes grew further apart from 11 % in 2013 to 17% in 2019. This figure is much more significant for developing countries such as India and goes beyond 40%.

While the Generation Equality Forum resolved to take drastic steps in their five-year plan to dissolve the gender gap, we can do the same in our capacities.

One way of doing so is donating to charities that try to lessen the gender gap in our country. SK Children Foundation is one such Non-Profit Organization that caters to the needs of underprivileged kids and especially towards their education.

Another great way of doing so personally is if you are thinking of buying a new device, donate the old one to a girl child you know who doesn’t have access to the same, such as your maid’s female child, for instance.

The option to volunteer work for NGOs and encourage more underprivileged girl children to study and become independent is always the most effective and direct.

 It is only when the girl child progresses, the world progresses.

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The content writing domain consists of passionate and creative change-makers who are willing to create a difference in society through their writings and blogs. They write on a range of topics from India to the world and beyond. The team also helps in a range of write-ups and content required for the SKCF webpage and events.

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