IGF 2019 WS #196 Why Striving for Equality in Digital Fails? How to Act?


Organizer 1: Civil Society, African Group
Organizer 2: Civil Society, African Group

Speaker 1: Danielle Bouesquet , Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Isabelle Collet , Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Salwa Toko , Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 4: Ndeye Maimouna DIOP, Civil Society, African Group

Policy Question(s): 

Why so many projects to reduce the gender gaps do not fulfill their promise?
How to explain the decline in number of women in technical fields?
How to educate young girls to digital technologies and sciences?
How this shortage of women may affect the design of algorithms?
How to foster gender equality in the tech field?
How could we design a more female-friendly work environment in the tech sector?
How to increase the transparency of recruiting policies in tech companies? Should we promote transparent recruitment and promotion processes?

Relevance to Theme: Diversity is a key factor of internet development. In this respect, Gender equality is one of the most important challenges of data governance and digital inclusion.

Relevance to Internet Governance: Gender equality is one of the most important challenges of the Internet Governance.


Debate - Auditorium - 90 Min

Description: Women and girls account for half of the world’s population. The digital revolution should be a tool for empowerment and emancipation, promote equal, social, economic and professional opportunities for women and men from all nations through a bottom-up and multi-stakeholder approach. But we must face the reality : structural barriers do affect women in terms of technology and Internet. many initiatives attempt to increase the representation of women in tech. But they flounder because they are too scattered and can not solve all the problems of sexism. If these inequalities are not rapidly addressed, an increase in connectivity will only widen existing gender gaps. This session is a call to actions for gender equality. The Senegalese Digital Council and the French Digital Council and the French Council for Equality will present their guidelines to reduce the gender gaps in the Tech sectors. A academia will give her point of views.

Expected Outcomes: The but of this session is to improve the guidelines of the French and Senegalese Digital Councils to reduce the gender gaps in the Tech sectors.

Discussion Facilitation: 

The list below provides examples of the ways discussion and presentation will be facilitated amongst speakers, audience members, and online participants and ensure the session format is used to its optimum:

Seating: The panel of experts will debate share their expertise and their vision on Internet regulation sitting at the same table so the participants can see and hear them. It will be an effective way to compare and contrast the various positions of the panel. The moderator will open the discussion with a general review of the policy question and then speakers will provide their remarks on the question and then address questions from the moderator. At least 30 minutes will be allowed for questions/comments from the audience.

Media: The organizers will explore the use of visuals (i.e. PowerPoint slides, images,) to animate the session and aid those whose native language may not be English. Experts who have short video material to share will be encouraged to help animate discussion and debate on these examples. Video material may also be considered to help engage remote participants.

Preparation: Several prep calls will be organised for all speakers, moderators and co-organisers in advance of the workshop so that everyone has a chance to meet, share views and prepare for the session. A conference on genders will be organised during the IGF France in July. French DIgital Council and Senegalese Digital Council will also met to discuss on this topic during ICANN forum at Marrakech.

Moderator: The moderator is an expert, well-informed and experienced in animating multistakeholder discussions. The moderator will have questions prepared in advance to encourage interaction among invited experts and between participants, if conversation were to stall. The remote moderator will play an important role in sharing the ideas of remote speakers/participants. At the end of the session, the moderator will encourage questions from the audience in order to open the debate and bring new perspectives into the discussion. This will also invite the speakers to reflect differently on the matter and think out of the box.

Online Participation: 

The remote moderator will be involved throughout workshop to include participation from online viewers. The onsite moderator will frequently communicate with the remote moderator during the session to ensure remote participants’ views/questions are reflected and integrated to the discussion, specially during the Q&A sequence. This will ensure remote participations are given the opportunity to interact with multiple experts remotely. Organizers have specially invited a participant to act as the remote moderator and will share information with the remote moderator about training sessions for remote participation at IGF and ensure they have all the necessary information. Co-organizers will ensure that the workshop is promoted in advance to the wider community to give remote participants the opportunity to prepare questions and interventions in advance. We can include the intervention from youth participants from Africa to increase diversity and bring fresh opinions and questions to the debate. Any handouts prepared in advance for the panel will be shared with remote participants at the start of the session so that they have the necessary material to participate.

Proposed Additional Tools: The guidelines to reduce the gender gaps in the Tech sectors will be published online and put into online consultation. Given the varied background of discussants and audience members, organisers will explore introducing questions to animate discussion on social media in the run up to the workshop. This will introduce the subject, encourage conversation and create links to other dialogues on digital skills taking place in other forums to create awareness and help prepare in-person and remote participants for the workshop.


GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption