Sustainable development requires the empowerment of women. UNWomen’s “Women’s Empowerment Principles are: Equality Means Business. Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities” Women’s empowerment is incomplete without access to health services in every life-stage. The emergence of new technologies, open source software and open technologies makes it possible for developing countries to aspire to reach higher levels of health empowerment for women in a shorter time with minimal new budget. Today’s economic situation doesn’t have to determine current and future health empowerment of women.
The World Government Summit’s paper provides insights needed for policy interventions, aided by technology, to ensure women’s health empowerment and social justice. World Government Summit propose a technology model that considers the community and the individual aspects of women’s health empowerment. According to the paper, the following issues present significant barriers to women’s health empowerment:
- Lack of appropriate infrastructure and investments, restricting women’s health choices
- Social norms and institutions that prevent or impede choice for women, whether with their consent or through coercion
- Policy context that is unable to provide an integrated approach towards women’s health empowerment.
The challenges at hand, and how technology can help
- >500k Women die every year in pregnancy and childbirth
- 99% live in the developing world
- 50% Adults living with HIV/AIDS worldwide are women
An integrated approach using emerging technologies like AI, IoT and blockchain can help scale the current health infrastructure and harness the power of ecosystems to address critical gaps, while enabling real-time data-driven decisions that help women take control of their health.
Original article appeared on the World Government Summit website at https://www.worldgovernmentsummit.org/observer/reports/list/the-role-of-emerging-technologies-in-women’s-health-and-sustainable-development