ECLAC Seeks to Bring More Women into STEM, Close the Digital Gap and Eradicate Gender Cyberviolence

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) is calling to guarantee women’s access to digital technology, increase the number of women majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and eradicate gender cyber violence as part of its observance of International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.”

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Internet benefits are not distributed equally: an estimated 244 million inhabitants do not have access to these services. Differences in access to digital technology are especially alarming when urban and rural communities are compared: while 68% of urban homes in the region had an Internet connection in 2018, the same held true for only 23% of households in rural areas.

According to a report by ECLAC, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Gender Equality and Women’s and Girls’ Autonomy in the Digital Era: Contributions of Education and Digital Transformation in Latin America and the Caribbean, women’s access to the Internet is more precarious.

An estimated four out of 10 women in the region are not connected to the Internet. The reasons vary: access may not be available, they cannot afford it, do not have a compatible device, or lack the basic skills to connect.

“The cost of mobile and fixed broadband service for the population in the first income quintile in the region averages 14% and 12% of their income, respectively, which explains why a high percentage of this low-income population does not have access to the Internet. Given that women are overrepresented in lower-income households in the region, this explains why there are more women in households that are not connected,” states the document.

“ECLAC recognizes the talent, strength and creativity of women and girls in the region. However, we note the structural persistence of gender inequality. The data speak volumes and call us to action,” notes ECLAC Executive Secretary Jos? Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs, in a video message released in observance of International Women’s Day 2023.

“This 8 March, we are calling for: A narrowing of the gender digital divide and the full participation of women in technological development and knowledge. And also, for a transition to a care society, a development model that puts equality and sustainability of life at the centre and leaves no one behind,” announced the head of ECLAC.

Women in the region have achieved much in terms of education, surpassing men by 6.1 percentage points in high school completion. Despite these achievements, women are not equally represented in academic disciplines, as shown in the ECLAC report. These inequalities widen over the course of primary and secondary education and later at the university level.

In most countries of the region, women account for no more than 40% of graduates in STEM careers. The areas where women are least represented are engineering, industry and construction (where women’s college enrollment stood at 30.8% in 2019) and information and communications technology (ICT), where only 18% of college students were women in 2019.

When women do earn college degrees, these do not necessarily translate into better jobs or salaries once they enter the labor force. Women’s job market participation stands at just 50% and women spend almost triple the amount of time on unpaid housework and caregiving than men (19.6% of their time versus 7.3% for men).

Women who remain in STEM careers do not achieve the same as men in terms of scientific production or academia: on average, less than 30% of patents list at least one woman on the team of inventors in the region. Women’s authorship in physical and chemical science publications stands at 38% and engineering, 30%.

Another finding from the ECLAC report is the different types of violence girls and women suffer on digital media. This gendered violence, which includes cybercrimes such as threats, hate speech, sexual harassment, invasion of privacy and the non-consensual sharing of images, among others, is generally sexual and sexist.

According to the commission’s report, women who are human rights activists, politicians, communicators and journalists, and public leaders are often particular targets of this gender-based cyber violence.

ECLAC is encouraging the countries of the region to uphold the regionals accords designed to close the digital gender gap and guarantee the participation of all girls and women in development and technological knowledge. These are included in the Buenos Aires Commitment, the Digital Agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean (eLAC 2024) (both approved in November 2022) and in the Declaration by the ministers and authorities of the mechanisms for gender equality and empowerment of women in Latin America and the Caribbean, signed in February of this year.

ECLAC is calling on countries to make progress simultaneously in different priority areas. Its proposals include incorporating a gender perspective in the processes and policies related to the transformation of production and the digital transformation of the most dynamic sectors of the economy; fostering gender and social equity in caregiving; and promoting integral caregiving systems that rely on technology solutions to give girls and women more time for learning and greater access to education and digital technologies.

Another need the report notes is that of supporting inclusive digital transformation processes (like the digital market basket) to ensure household Internet access across the region. Career and technical education (CTE) should be promoted to increase the number of girls and women in STEM and eliminate gender stereotypes in education. Women must be fully involved in the creation of digital technologies and innovation processes, and safe spaces free of digital violence need to be created. Finally, governance must be strengthened along with the multisector partnerships needed to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals.

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Bounty Killer Clash With Police At Angel Doolas Son’s Funeral

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Bounty Killer had choice words for police officers during the funeral ceremony for his godson’s youngest child on Sunday. The artist did not hold back as

Drake and Shenseea Rumored Collab Leaked, What Their Fans Saying

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Drake and Shenseea’s long-rumored collaboration leaked online, leaving some fans disappointed.

Urban Islandz first reported in June 2021 that the dancehall singer and the Toronto rapper got a collaboration in the works. At the time, her musical nemesis Spice also spilled the beans on the collab during one of her Instagram Live sessions. Since then, the rumors have died down, and Shenseea has since shared she is open to collaborating with Drake but iced the age-old allegations she was in a relationship with him.

Fast forward to today, a snippet of a song purported to be a collaboration with Shenseea and Drake is making the rounds online. The audio clip features the two artists in their distinct flow trading bars over a trippy beat.

“I come first…wet up, wet up, mek it slide in quicker,” Shenseea sings with Drake coming through singing, “slide through, come get this good, good love I provide you / You first then me / I wanna give you plenty.”

Shenseea and Drake

Neither Shenseea nor Drake reacted to the alleged leak, but some fans are already questioning its authenticity. Others are sounding off, saying it’s not what they expected to hear from the two suggesting that it’s underwhelming.

“This very mid, as a ShenYeng this is not what I was expected on a big collab with Drake, no surprise someone leak it,” one female fan said. Another fan added, “this explains why this never see the light of day not ready for prime time. Big artist like Drake yo affi go hard Shenseea we know you got what it takes.”

Shenseea is riding high off her performance at the 2023 Rolling Loud California music festival last weekend. She is also currently working on her sophomore album, due sometime this year. The project is the follow-up to her debut Alpha, released last March.

Drake has not announced any new music, and recently he revealed that he thought about hanging up his mic and retiring gracefully from music. He is also an actor, so perhaps he will go back to acting following an impressive decade run in music that saw him shattering countless records.

Tyga and Avril Lavigne Goes Instagram Official After Locking Lips In Paris

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Rapper Tyga has confirmed that he and pop artist Avril Lavigne are in a relationship. This comes after the couple was spotted out and about together,

Valiant Gets Rastafarian Support For New Song “Rasta”

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Urban Islandz

Valiant continues to maintain his growing presence on dancehall airwaves with new music. The young deejay drops his new song “Rasta” with an accompanying

IICA launches second edition of Digital Agriculture Week

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), together with Microsoft, Bayer, The Yield Lab, The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and CAF-Development Bank of Latin America, launched the second edition of Digital Agriculture Week, a forum where AgTechs and key stakeholders will put forward ideas and coordinate actions to drive agrifood digitalization in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The event will be held from 29 May to 1 June and will have a hybrid format, in person at IICA headquarters in San Jos?, Costa Rica, and online.

The official launch came with a specific invitation to AgTechs in the Americas with digital solutions available for use in agriculture to apply to be part of this event, consolidated in its second consecutive year as a crucial space in the hemisphere for leaders in agrifood digitalization.

AgTechs interested in participating must register before 10 April via the form on the website

A panel of specialists featuring leaders in the field invited by IICA will choose fifteen candidates to participate in person in Digital Agriculture Week, where they will have an opportunity to show their technological innovations, attend lectures by leading figures and roundtables, and exchange ideas with international organizations for digital transformation.

A new feature of the 2023 edition is that all the AgTechs that apply will be able to participate in the event online. The winners will be chosen based on the potential of their digital solutions to improve production, sustainability and inclusion in agrifood systems.

At the launch event, it was announced that particular value will be given to those AgTechs that contribute to food security, to preventing and mitigating the impact of extreme weather events, especially droughts and water management, and those led by women.

Applicant AgTechs will be connected to the network of such companies created by the Institute after the 2022 edition, and will participate in various activities taking place after the event.

Present at the initial launch event were Herbert Lewy, General Manager of Microsoft Smart Agriculture and Bioeconomy for Latin America; Beatriz Arrieta, Bayer’s Regional Manager for Food Value Chains; Teresita di Marco, The Yield Lab Latam Director of Ecosystem Development; Fabrizio Bresciani, IFAD Lead Regional Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean; and ?lvaro Pereira, CAF Principal Executive for Regional Management of Mexico and Central America.

Also present were representatives of three AgTechs that participated in the 2022 edition, as well as IICA Technical Cooperation Director Federico Villarreal and Federico Bert, Manager of IICA’s Digitalization of Agrifood Systems Program.

At the launch event, Herbert Lewy, General Manager of Microsoft Smart Agriculture and Bioeconomy for Latin America said, “We at Microsoft are helping with technology and resources to make that digital transformation happen fast. There is a combination of multiple technologies that allow us to advance exponentially: artificial intelligence and advanced analytics, the Internet of Things, blockchain, and tech companies with a focus on agriculture. We have seen how they’re attending to the needs of the digital age in the region”.

Teresita Di Marco of The Yield Lab added, “For years we have seen the increase in [AgTech] startups in the region that seek to develop solutions to drive the sector. We have mapped over 1600 and this is very significant because it means startups have grown 100 percent in the last five years. Since 2010 over 500 business roundtables have been carried out, meaning that financial support is being provided to the sector and to entrepreneurs so that they can develop these technologies”.

?lvaro Pereira of CAF stressed that “digitalization is a key tool for reactivating the region’s economy and to meet the 2030 Agenda goals […] Along with innovation, they are essential to ensure that agrifood systems are more productive, sustainable and inclusive. We want these initiatives to favor family farming in resilient settings and in harmony with the environment”.

Beatriz Arrieta of Bayer said that “Small-scale farmers are responsible for a third of food production and it is they who have the most limited access to these technologies; we want to help farmers to improve their productivity and profitability; this is why it is so important to develop initiatives like this. The future definitely lies in digital transformation and for this reason we are working with IICA”.

Fabrizio Bresciani of IFAD emphasized the importance of generating synergies and partnerships among different stakeholders and organizations, because “promoting the identification, implementation and scaling-up of successful digital technologies and the services that these enable is too much for one single institution […] A sustainable and inclusive transformation of the region’s food systems is essential so that we can eliminate poverty and hunger globally”.

About Digital Agriculture Week

With Digital Agriculture Week 2023, IICA hopes AgTechs and other stakeholders of the tech and agriculture sectors submit, put forward and coordinate ideas in this space for the digital transformation of agrifood systems, sharing technology solutions and driving their use in agriculture.

The event will feature the participation of international leading figures and representatives of organizations working directly with these types of companies, representatives of public and private multinational organizations interested in the digitalization of agriculture, and leading government officials from agriculture ministries.

Issues to be covered include digital transformation; opportunities and challenges; the digitalization of agriculture; barriers, impacts and perspectives; roles and synergies of public and private stakeholders in the digital age; and other topics.

The initiative is part of the actions of the hemispheric Digitalization of Agrifood Systems Program that IICA created in its Medium-term Plan for the period 2022-2026, which reflects the priority of the issue and IICA’s commitment to it.

The manager of the program, Federico Bert, said that “digitalization is inevitable and cannot be postponed; the time has come to drive digitalization and capture its benefits, and at the same time prevent risks so that there are positive results in terms of production, the environment and society. At IICA this is a priority, and we are working together wherever we can to drive the dynamic and sustainable digitalization of agriculture”.

The 2022 edition featured the participation of 15 leading AgTechs from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru. Over 56 presentations were made, enabling over 30 hours of exchanges among the different stakeholders and strategic partners (Bayer, Microsoft and the World Bank), high-ranking decision-makers from the agriculture sector of the Americas, leading academic figures, national agricultural research institutes, multilateral agencies, funds and investment accelerators.

Mar?a del Carmen Garc?a of the AgTech by Beemore of Argentina concluded that “the experience at the 2022 edition allowed us to generate a network of AgTechs with whom we share common goals. It gave visibility to our startups and gave motivation to continue to strengthen our projects, confirming that technologies renew the local and zonal models of production development”.

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67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women Opens at the UN

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

“The world needs more women and girls in Tech.” This was the rallying cry during the opening segment of the Commission on the Status of Women that convened today at the United Nations and ends on March 17th.

“Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls” is the priority theme guiding the next two weeks of Ministerial round tables, interactive dialogues, and general discussions as thousands of delegates from all regions of the world, NGOs, UN entities and youth representatives take the stage to advance the cause of women’s empowerment and women’s rights in the digital age.

Nerys Dockery headed the all-female delegation representing the Federation which also includes, Asha Desuza, First Secretary in the Permanent Mission of St. Kitts and Nevis to the United Nations and was also joined by Dr. Christine Walwyn and Dawne Williams of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women who are attending as civil society observers. The delegation will soon be joined by Senator Isalean Phillip, Junior Minister in the Ministry of Social Development, Youth Empowerment, Gender Affairs, Aging and Disabilities, who arrives in New York on Friday.

“This year’s convening of the CSW is taking place at a critical juncture,” says St. Kitts and Nevis’ UN diplomat, Ambassador Nerys Dockery. “Today delegates, especially delegates from small states like St. Kitts and Nevis, are here to draw global attention to the unequal pace of digital transformation within and across countries, This digital divide has been magnified because of multiple crises including COVID-19, conflict, the growing cost of living, and climate change. As a result of these challenges, the digital divide has become the new face of gender inequality.”

“Globally, only one in three positions in the technology sector are occupied by women. Also, for women and girls the digital revolution represents both an opportunity and a threat. CSW67 represents a unique chance to address the gender gaps in technology and innovation, transform social norms, and empower women and girls. St. Kitts and Nevis, along with our CARICOM counterparts, have been very active in the negotiations on the draft outcome document to ensure that it spurs concrete action to remove barriers that prevent women and girls from accessing the digital world and inspires a global pact committing to new approaches to technology and innovation financing tailored to women’s and girls’ needs,” Ambassador Dockery concluded.

CSW67 is the first in its history to include young people in the dialogues with Ministers and other decision-makers, opening a space for their voices to be heard at the highest level and for their inputs to influence the outcome. St. Kitts and Nevis is proud that it will be represented at the highest level by its youngest Minister and Cabinet member in the person of Minister Phillip.

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Injunction discharged to prevent repatriation of Haitian nationals from St. Kitts and Nevis

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service

Resident High Court Judge Justice Patrick Thompson, on March 6, discharged the injunction granted on February 25, to prevent the repatriation of Haitian Nationals who entered St Kitts and Nevis from Dominica by boat on February 3.

The Ministry of National Security has undertaken to process the asylum requests tendered by local attorney-at-law, Craig Tuckett.

The 14 Haitian nationals, who Tuckett claims to represent, two of whom are minors, are currently being detained pursuant to provisions of the Immigration Act.

The Ministry of National Security is currently making swift arrangements for the asylum requests to be heard and determined.

Prime Minister Dr. Terrance Drew recently addressed the matter generally at his Special Interview on Thursday, and said “[if] you send a message out there that [our Federation is] a safe haven, [our Federation would be] easily overrun … You also cannot participate in human trafficking. It is a difficult question.”

“This is not the first [arrival of Haitian nationals by boat into the Federation]; this is the second one that I know of since I have been the Prime Minister, and so we treat them with respect. You have to treat them humanely. These are our brothers and sisters from the region,” said the Prime Minister.

Further details about the court matter cannot be provided at this time as the matter is sub judice, under judicial consideration, and prohibited from public discussion. The Ministry of National Security is, therefore, concerned that numerous commentaries and publications about the details of this important matter have been circulating on social media and in the local and regional press.

The Ministry of National Security has assured the general public that this matter is being dealt with expeditiously and that, at the conclusion of the processing of the asylum requests, an update will be provided.

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DG Okonjo-Iweala: Delivering meaningful outcomes at MC13 ‘not beyond our reach’

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Speaking at a meeting of the General Council on 6 March, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala welcomed the constructive spirit demonstrated by members in preparations for the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in February 2024 and said delivering meaningful and quality outcomes at MC13 is “not beyond our reach”.

In addressing the first General Council meeting of 2023, the Director-General said leaders, ministers and other stakeholders she met during her recent outreach appealed to the WTO to “work towards delivering further results for the benefit of people around the world — with MC13 being a key opportunity to do so”.

The Director-General also said she was very encouraged by the support expressed by India and other members of the Group of 20 leading economies for the WTO’s work during recent meetings in India of G20 finance and foreign affairs ministers.

The chair statement issued by the Indian G20 presidency after the meeting of foreign affairs ministers on 1-2 March in Delhi was an “unprecedented acknowledgement of the work of the WTO,” she said.

“Excellencies, one thing was very clear at this meeting. Expectations are now that we will get results at MC13. A new results-oriented WTO that is producing for people is what is being expected of us and that means that we have a lot of hard work ahead of us in Geneva to build trust to work hard to have a results focus and to deliver.”

The Director-General also noted the discussions which took place at the 28 February meeting of the Trade Negotiations Committee, where several members cited the need to avoid overloading ministers’ plates with outstanding issues at the last minute.

“This means we must now prioritize a few issues and build as much convergence on them as possible,” she said. “If we sustain the positive spirit from last week’s meeting over the next 10 months, then delivering meaningful, quality outcomes is not beyond our reach.”

Ambassador Didier Chambovey, the chair of the General Council, reported to members on the outcome of the 2-3 February informal meeting on WTO reform, which focused on development. Ambassador Chambovey said he was encouraged by the support from all members to make progress on the organization’s development work and proposed that the reform discussions on development take place under the aegis of the WTO’s Committee on Trade and Development.

The General Council chair also noted other issues on the WTO reform agenda, including dispute settlement, the negotiating function, the deliberative and monitoring functions, and institutional issues, among others. He noted that the informal discussions on dispute settlement have now entered the next stage and expressed hope that members would continue to constructively engage in this process.

“I am heartened that we have continued our WTO reform process on a good footing,” Ambassador Chambovey said. “We have made small but concrete steps forward in a short period of time.”

The Director-General also welcomed the announcement by the United Arab Emirates at the General Council meeting that its government has officially adopted the Agreement on Fisheries Subsidies and would soon submit its instrument of acceptance to the WTO.

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New Draft BBNJ Treaty closes Decades of Negotiations on Ocean Health

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Caribbean News Service
After almost two decades of negotiations, the UN membership finally concluded the UN Convention on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ).

The Treaty is the international legal regime aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of the biodiversity in the oceans beyond the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and continental shelves of states, commonly referred to as the High Seas. The High Seas, or the area beyond national jurisdiction, make up two-thirds of the Earth’s oceans.

“This is a real win for small island developing states like St. Kitts and Nevis,” says H.E. Nerys Dockery, St. Kitts and Nevis Ambassador to the UN. “It is hoped that once Member States begin implementation of the Convention, the international effort can result in greater ocean health. Collective action is required to tackle overfishing, and polluting, amongst other issues, while ensuring that everyone, everywhere in countries large or small, high or low income, enjoys the benefits of the resources contained in the high seas.”

“The negotiations ended at around 9:30 pm Sunday night to rousing applause. Our CARICOM negotiators from Barbados, Belize, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana are to be highly commended for working non-stop during the final session which ran from 10 am on Friday until Sunday night,” Ambassador Dockery stated.

They were able to advance critical priorities for the Caribbean region in the following areas:

Ensuring fairness and equity in the access and benefits sharing of the marine genetic resources discovered in the High Seas.
Ensuring developing countries have access to capacity building and transfer of marine technology.
Ensuring consistent monitoring of the activities in the High Seas, including through conducting environmental impact assessments.
Ensuring adequate funding for the implementation of the agreement, including through access to these funds for the State Parties that will ratify and eventually implement the Convention.

Underpinning the draft Convention as a fundamental principle is the “common heritage of mankind”, amongst others, which for small countries is essential to address the concerns in the areas beyond their jurisdiction.

The Group of 77 and China as well as the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) played exceptional roles in advocating the interests of developing countries as well as small island developing states.

The Treaty draft will be adopted officially and then will be open for signatures/ratifications by different Member States.

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