IGF 2018 WS #247 Just another effort to close the digital Gender Gap?

Subtheme(s): 

Organizer 1: Anri van der Spuy, Research ICT Africa
Organizer 2: Owiny Moses, Women of Uganda Network

Speaker 1: Alison Gillwald, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 2: Owiny Moses, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Kee Jac sm, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 5: Anja Kovacs, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

By thoroughly mapping current initiatives and research, the organizers aim to promote a more critical approach to understanding women’s ICT access, to provide recommendations for future work and research on gender inequality in access, and to support a sound evidence base for informed policymaking aimed at addressing the gender digital divide.

Format: 

Round Table - 90 Min

Interventions: 

The moderator will prioritise an interactive discussion with not only fellow panelists but also the broader audience. Each panelist will be given a maximum of three minutes to talk about his or her work (taking 12-15 minutes in total). Thereafter the moderator will open it up for interaction through comments and questions to engage.
To promote interactivity, the session will consist of a preliminary investigation of the themes led by expert panelists and a moderator. By thoroughly mapping current initiatives and research, the organizers aim to promote a more critical approach to understanding women’s ICT access, to provide recommendations for future work and research on gender inequality in access, and to support a sound evidence base for informed policymaking aimed at addressing the gender digital divide.

Diversity: 

The proposed panelists reflect diversity in terms of gender, geography (including people from developed and developing regions in both the global North and global South), stakeholder groups (e.g. including representatives from platforms, platform workers, government or IGO participants, civil society, and academics) and policy perspectives. Where diversity is difficult to achieve in the room due to resource restraints involved in bringing people to the IGF, we believe their perspectives are also reflected in the work which will be presented at the start of the session - including the results of individual surveys conducted with stakeholder

A growing number of efforts are focused on addressing women’s ability to gain access to the Internet and to its potential for enabling sustainable development (c.f. UNGA Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2015). Despite these efforts, the gap between men and women’s ability to access the Internet may be increasing (ITU, 2017).

While a significant collection of recent literature is dedicated to considering and investigating the barriers hindering women’s access and/or adoption, a preliminary review of literature indicates that little research seems to delve deeper into the ways in which unique and often hidden circumstances women find themselves in may impact their ability to access, adopt and use the Internet. Traditional means of data collection tend to overlook or simply classify women broadly according to their location or region (e.g. urban or rural); and neglect richer dimensions about the unique needs and barriers specific communities of women face in accessing and using the Internet.

To help fill the gap, this exploratory session will welcome participants working in diverse fields with so-called invisible women, including women refugees, indigenous women, LGBTQI women, young women, rural women, and elderly women (among others). The session will also showcase research conducted by Research ICT Africa and WOUGNET with the aim of enabling a more nuanced understanding of gender digital divides, including relevant barriers.

Onsite Moderator: 

Moses Owiny

Online Moderator: 

Anri van der Spuy

Rapporteur: 

Chenai Chair

Discussion Facilitation: 

The moderator will prioritise an interactive discussion with not only fellow panelists but also the broader audience. Each panelist will be given a maximum of three minutes to talk about his or her work (taking 12-15 minutes in total). Thereafter the moderator will open it up for interaction through comments and questions to engage. Instead of taking a round of questions, the moderator will set it up as a conversation in the room with intervention from the floor limited to two minutes.

Online Participation: 

As suggested by the MAG, the session will train a specific online moderator who will assume responsibility for giving online attendees a separate queue and microphone, which will rotate equally with the mics in the room. The workshop moderator will keep the online participation session open and will be in close communication with the workshop’s trained online moderator to make any alterations necessary as they arise. For each breakaway discussion group, one in-room person will be tasked to gather input from the online participants too.