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International Women’s Day 2023


International Women’s Day 2023


This year’s global theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023, is `DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality´


The power of digital for women and girls

Women human rights defenders and feminist movements utilize the transformative power of digital technology to connect, mobilize, and drive social change. 

We have seen this power manifest through the women and girls who campaigned online to repeal near-total bans on abortion in Colombia and Ireland. In Iran young women have been using social media to speak up and challenge the regime’s patriarchal norms and express their demands for equality. And it was women in Sudan who led the protests against religious fundamentalism and now autocratic rule, using online tools to mobilize the population.

While the digital world offers immense opportunities, it is not immune to the persistent backslash against women’s rights and gender equality. In the digital space many women and girls, including those who are lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, are up against gender-based violence, misogynistic attacks, and digital exclusion. 

We must protect the rights of women and girls in all their diversity in digital spaces and to collectively counter the anti-rights and anti-gender narratives used by groups to misinform societies and undermine the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality.

The digital space has yet to undergo a much-needed feminist revolution – and it must.

— Volker Türk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


There have been great advances in women’s rights over the past 75 years since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Women influenced the text of the Declaration that has given women critical social changes and continue to lead social change that has enabled more people to enjoy their human rights. 

Since then, progress at the global level has been mirrored by positive changes in the lives of women and girls. There are more and more women in leadership positions. In every continent, women have been elected to lead Governments. In many professions which were once closed to them, women now hold decision-making positions. 

Despite the significant gains, we continue to see the rollbacks on women’s rights. However, online and offline, women are still standing up against the anti-rights and anti-gender trends. They are still demonstrating; still advocating; still mobilizing. And in turn, they inspire us, challenge us, and lead us onwards. 

We must promote and protect women and girls’ individual and collective action and power, support and expand their civic space, access to information, meaningful participation, and equal access to justice when their rights are violated, including in digital spaces. 

Women’s rights are human rights no matter where women choose to engage — online, at home, at work, everywhere.

HC: The digital space must undergo a feminist revolution

This year’s International Women’s Day recognizes the critical contributions of women human rights defenders and feminist movements, who use the transformative power of digital technology to connect, mobilize, and drive social change, while fighting against the persistent pushback of women’s rights.

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Sara Wahedi is saving lives with her mobile app

The tech entrepreneur’s Ehtesab is providing real-time emergency information to Kabul residents in Afghanistan.

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Shatha Odeh resists the push back in women’s rights

While women human rights defenders in the occupied Palestinian territory continue to face threats and hate both online and offline, Shatha Odeh’s determination to end gender-based discrimination is stronger than ever.

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“Sarah” matched with an online stalker

In her search for a love connection in Tanzania, “Sarah” faced persistent attacks and threats from a man she met on a dating app. But she fought back.

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#IStandWithHer showcases the work of remarkable women and girl human rights defenders and feminist movements fighting against the alarming backlash on human rights and gender equality. It also emphasizes how these discriminatory visions of societies – denying equal rights, dignity and choice – do not just rollback women’s rights but everyone’s human rights.