IGF 2018 WS #94 Digital & Gender Divides: Reclaiming ICT for a Humane World

Subtheme(s): 

Organizer 1: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 2: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 3: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Organizer 4: Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

The digital revolution is at the same time the condition, the symptom and the accelerator of the changes taking place on a global scale. The particular nature of ICT, in principle, allows everyone not only to use them, but also to contribute to them in conditions of unprecedented mobility and autonomy. They are, therefore, rightly regarded as an exceptional tool of emancipation for all the peoples of the world, both economically and culturally. Such a lever of empowerment should, in particular, greatly benefit women, especially at the professional level, by breaking with the old ways of organising and distributing activities that have always treated them unfairly, to a great extent. However, it appears that access and use, as well as participation in the design, development, and production of digital technologies, are unevenly distributed across genders, regardless of global region. In parallel with the undeniably positive effects of the digital revolution, mechanisms of repression and exclusion are tending to be put in place. It is urgent to act against this so that imbalances do not turn into gaps and increase tensions, stigmatization and opposition. Societal and human challenges are also economic and environmental challenges. At a time when, on a global scale, the challenges posed by demographic and technological development are profoundly transforming our lifestyles, education, organizational methods and governance — and when the advent of artificial intelligence, partly meant to address these issues, is accompanied by challenges and questions of a new kind — the problem of inclusion appears particularly necessary and urgent in order to guarantee cohesion and responsibility. In an increasingly fluid and interconnected world, not only between humans, but also with their natural and material environment (IoT), the conjunction and conjugation of reflection, approaches and perspectives will undoubtedly be essential.

Format: 

Round Table - 90 Min

Interventions: 

Our speakers, who come from different stakeholders groups (government, civil society, the private sector, etc.), will share their expertise and relate concrete experiences of solutions put in place to reduce the digital gender gap and to make the digital world a lever for empowerment. Isabelle Hudon, Ambassador of Canada to France and Monaco: How can nations work concretely to increase the number of women in the digital world, at all levels, and reduce disparities? What are the solutions proposed by the G7 Advisory Council on Gender Equality? Sophie Viger, director of the [email protected]: The French school of coding, [email protected], allows women, dropouts and job seekers, with or without qualifications, to be trained in new jobs and find highly valued work contracts. What is this school's new method? How do you provide access to digital professions for everyone including excluded groups, and combat the digital divide? Sacha Quester-Séméon, mouvement #JamaisSansElles: The #JamaisSansElles movement is helping to change the mindset of leaders in the tech industry towards one that is more inclusive. What commitments are they making to make women more visible in the digital world, to promote new role models and bring more women into key positions? The association launched the first artificial intelligence entity dedicated to gender equality: ELLA. Julie Owono, Cameroonian journalist, lawyer, head of the Africa office of the NGO Internet Sans Frontières (Internet Without Borders): How do African women use digital technology and the mobile phone for economic empowerment? And how can they become more involved in Internet development? Frédéric Gal, Director General of the French NGO "Le Refuge": Today, LGBTQ+ youth are exposed to discrimination and cyber-bullying. How can LGBTQ+ people find their place in digital professions, raise awareness in the world of work and actively fight against harassment, cyberstalking and discrimination? Rand Hindi, entrepreneur and data scientist: Societal impact of AI: How can entrepreneurs, data scientists and developers fight AI bias? And how can they attract more female talent into AI design?

Diversity: 

The participants on the round table not only address the issues of diversity and gender equality: there are also speakers from four continents, a perfect gender balance (3 women, 3 men), representatives from government, civil society and the private sector. All of them are first-time IGF speakers.

The round table will look at the challenges of humanist awareness by which governments and civil societies will be able to work concretely for more inclusion, diversity and equality in the digital realm; several innovative approaches to meet this important challenge will also be discussed. How can we remove the obstacles so that women become more involved in the development of the Internet and can more fully participate in it; whether at the technical, infrastructural, economic or technological development levels? What are the best practices in the world of education and in the associative field? How are managers and entrepreneurs trying to reduce the digital gender gap? Artificial intelligence, algorithms and quantum computers have huge consequences on society. How do we develop a code of ethics for these technologies? Finally, how do States establish real public policies for an inclusive digital society? What actions could be taken now for more equality and diversity in the digital realm? Here is the agenda for our 90min round table: Introduction and opening remarks by the moderator Sylvain Attal - 5min Speakers introduce themselves - 10min Open Debate - 30min Questions and contributions from the audience and participants - 45min

Discussion Facilitation: 

The round table will be organized as a facilitated dialogue. Led by the onsite moderator, subject experts will first give short presentations on their specific fields of action; then, they will debate and discuss the key questions and issues. The moderator will then turn to those attending the session and invite experts in the audience, members, and online participants, to engage in a facilitated dialogue. The onsite moderator is a journalist and television presenter who will ensure that the feedback and questions from the audience are concise and that all those who wish to can ask questions and that the time spent interacting with the audience is dynamic and diverse. He will moderate the session in close coordination with the online moderator .

Online Participation: 

We have a professional remote moderator, member of the #JamaisSansElles team, who will be in close contact with the onsite moderator. He will take the questions from the online participants in a separated queue. Online and onsite questions will have an equal share. Of course, the team also includes a person dedicated to social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678