ACS Vice President of Communities, Jo Stewart-Rattray, is attending the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) at the United Nations (UN) headquarters in New York this month.

During the annual two-week session, representatives of UN Member States, civil society organisations, and UN entities gather to discuss progress and gaps in the implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – the key global policy document on gender equality, and emerging issues that affect gender equality and the empowerment of women.

“It is an honour to be able to work in a meaningful way to assist in moving the diversity needle on technology on a global scale that will inform our local work and advocacy for and on behalf of our membership," said Stewart-Rattray.

This year, the CSW is focused on how to achieve gender equality and empower women and girls in an age of innovation, technological change, and digital education.

Through her Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) accreditation, Stewart-Rattray will attend the All-Countries and Australian Government Delegations briefings which will provide her with deeper insights into governments, associations and NGOs strategies on diversity and equality.

Understanding and being privy to these briefings attended by global representatives will help inform what ACS can be doing as Australia’s leading association for technology professionals.

The outcome of the commission’s consideration of the priority theme during its 67th session will take the form of agreed conclusions, to be negotiated by all Member States.

ACS VP of Communities Jo Stewart-Rattray will attend the CSW.

Stewart-Rattray has been invited to contribute to the draft of agreed conclusions which mentions “that it is essential that women not only benefit from technology, but also participate in the process from design to application, monitoring and evaluation”.

"National strategies on technology and innovation should provide a cohesive basis for gender-responsive policies and programming that fulfils the human rights and needs of women and girls,” the draft says.

The draft recognises how “negative social norms and gender stereotypes are causing persistent gender gaps in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM)”.

Australia has seen a recent uptick in the number of women working in STEM jobs, but the latest STEM Equity Monitor found women continue to be vastly underrepresented in these technical and scientific roles.

The draft conclusion also includes condemnation of “technology-facilitated gender-based violence and the emergence of new harmful forms of societal narratives which undermine women’s online expression” such as “forcing women and girls to self-censor, de-platform or reduce their interaction in online spaces, limiting their participation in public life and the enjoyment of human rights”.

Stewart-Rattray will be accompanied by strategic initiatives executive, Sabina Gruetzner, who will represent ACS across the side and parallel events held in the UN grounds and across the city.

The 67th CSW runs from 6 to 17 March 2023.