67th Session of the Commission on Status of Women: Statement in Interactive Youth Dialogue at CSW67

Delivered on March 13th, 2023, by Finland's CSW67 Youth Delegate, Representative of Finland's Generation Equality Youth Group Katri Jalonen.

Chair, Your Excellencies, Dear Friends,

Finland is strongly committed to promoting gender equality and the rights of women and girls in all their diversity. Technology and innovations can play a remarkable role in this. In an increasingly digitalized world, new technologies should benefit everyone through human rights based solutions.

Finland has established a Youth Group to work on the Generation Equality process, and I am a member of this group. Within the Youth Group, most of us have faced discrimination, nonconsensual photos, silencing or hate on different online platforms This is why we wrote a Right to be Online -manifesto for the technology sector, to tackle online and tech-facilitated gender-based violence and discrimination. This is also Finland’s priority as a co-leader of the Action Coalition on Technology and Innovations. It is the responsibility of the governments, legislators and tech companies to make sure that everyone’s right to be safe online becomes a reality - including youth and minorities.

Let me focus on three ways to develop safe online spaces for everyone:

First, tech companies should develop gender-transformative technology to tackle online gender-based violence as part of the business. Finland supports these efforts through development cooperation as well as through investing in tech and telecom companies that aim to empower women and girls in the regions of Africa and Asia.

Second, we need legislation and practices that eradicate online gender-based violence. Finland has been working to build and develop global digital rules and norms to promote gender equality and a more inclusive digital world.

Third, the technology sector needs to increase investments towards feminist technology. It also needs to support women’s participation and leadership as innovators to ensure diversity within the tech creators. To close the gender gap in the STEM-field, Finland has continued to work at different educational levels to inspire children and youth into STEM. This year’s priority theme at the CSW offers a great opportunity for deepening this discussion.

Hence, we must ensure that all online spaces are safe, inclusive and equal for everyone.

Thank you.