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FINISHED - 2014 09 03 - WS132 - Online Advocacy & Women Rights, Obstacles & Successes - Room 2
 Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs



WS 132



This is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

    >> JANE COFFIN:  Good morning, we'll start in about two minutes.  There's water outside if anybody needs a quick glass of water.  But we have a wonderful panel here today and we're also very interested in hearing from all of you.  If you need translation, you need a headset.  
    There's translation English into Farsi and Farsi into Arabic, Arabic into Farsi so if you need a headset, please go get one now, they are at the end of the hall.  
    And just one housekeeping issue, please turn off your mobile phones or put them into silent and if somebody calls you if you could take the conversation outside rather than here so give us two more minutes and we'll begin.  
(Standing by).
    >> JANE COFFIN:  We're just going to do a translation check for one second so everybody knows which channel is which.  So I believe 1 is English.  
    Channel 2?  Channel 2.  I don't know.  
    Channel 3, could the translators help me?  Which channel is Channel 3?  
    Channel 3 is Persian.  Persian.  So Farsi Persian Channel 3.  
    Channel 2 I would assume is Arabic.  Channel 2?  Okay.  Let's just write this down.  Maybe Channel 4.  Let's give it a go.  Okay.  We only have three channels.  So I'm assuming Channel 2 is Arabic.  Can we confirm that?  She's waving.  
        (Background talking.)
    >> JANE COFFIN: Channel 1 is Arabic and Channel 2 is English; is that correct?  
    We'll find out soon enough.  So I may need all of your help as we're listening.  We're going to start because we're a few minutes late and we have amazing people here with us today you have in the WAVE workshop with fabulous people using technology all around the world for progression of women in their countries and for the benefit of the country in general.  
    My name is Jane Coffin.  I work for an organisation called the Internet Society.  
    We have asked you all to turn your phones off or put them on silent.  
    If you can also -- here comes Carol.  She can help us.  But phone your phones on silent, please.  And when we do have the Q&A, if you can speak slowly because we do have the great benefit of translation.  
    We're going to wait for two minutes we're working on the translation and we'll come back to you but before we do that let me introduce myself a little bit so we can get that done I won't introduce my colleague here who isn't here yet but will be back the mystery man again my name is Jane Coffin.  I work for the Internet Society.  We're a global non-profit with regional expertise around the world.  We have about 90 staff.  150 organisational members.  And about 60,000 individual members.  
    Our mission is to help promote and extend the benefit of the Internet.  It's a very good mission.  
    We're working hard to set up a Middle East office in the next five to six months.  So you may be hearing more from us.  
    Our CEO is Kathy Brown, who came from Verizon.  She's very dedicated to extending the Internet in many countries.  I'll give you a little bit more information when we start.  But just so you know who I am.  Andrew Mack who will be sitting with me and helping with some of the Q&A is an experienced development professional, as well.  We both have lived in many different countries and worked with people around the world, whether it's regulatory policy or economic development.  
    And I think I'm going to wait to hear from Carol in a minute about the translation.  
    But why don't I use the time to introduce everyone until we have the full translation.  But give us two more minutes and then we'll start.  
(Standing by).
    >> JANE COFFIN:  I'll give you the idea of how the panel will work.  Each of the individuals here will speak for about eight to ten minutes about what they are doing, the importance of where they are in their environment and their stories.  They will give us at the end of the session three take-aways so next year when you come back we can know where certain progress has been made or other key issues lifting the barriers for success.  
    I won't speak much at all because it's more important that we hear from all of you.  So there will be a time for questions and answers after we hear from everyone.  And the ideal will be to have an interactive session and it's very good that we have enough people to sit around the table almost and we're close in because this is about hearing from all of you and hearing from the people here.  It's more important that we understand the issues and challenges.  
    I will say that we had a blog at the Internet Society on March 8th, International Women's Day.  It was a blog about a computer school that we have funded in Pakistan.  That blog about the women's programmes around the world that we helped fund was the most uniquely hit blog that we have meaning individuals were so interested in that topic.  It was very interesting to us.  Because we're trying to use more social media and Erika who works for Facebook at the end here will tell you more about the amazing work that they do.  
    But we have been trying to reach out to more people through Twitter, Facebook, other mechanisms, blogging, of course.  I've been on Twitter the whole time this week and we've had Facebook updates on our Web site, as well.  
    It's a great way to reach people.  But it was very interesting to us that that one blog about training girls in Pakistan which was scalable in a computer centre and trying to take an ecosystem and expand it so you have other children teaching other children and their parents at the same time was very exciting.  
    We also -- do we have the translation yet?  No.  Yes?  Okay, nam (phonetic) means yes, okay, good.  
    We're ready.  Are we ready?  Okay.  
    Excellent so we're going to start over.  
    Thank you for being here.  There's -- and Channel 2 is definitely Arabic.  
    3 is Persian.  And 1 I think is English.  
    So I'm going to introduce briefly our panelists and they are all going to speak.  We're going left to right.  The first speaker that will speak in a minute is Azadeh Danandeh.  I hope I pronounce the names correctly.  Azadeh is currently the directing manager of Tehran Information Technologists Consultancy.  She's graduated from the engineering faculty of Shiraz University.  She started her professional career in data processing we like that since then she has enjoyed a rich life in multiple sectors from project management system engineering quality engineering and others she's managed the quality management system for software companies in Iran she'll tell you more about this soon.  
    The next speaker will be Ms. Roslyn Layton who is doing some very interesting work with women in Iran related to a project for marketing and how women are depicted both in their professional lives and in advertising.  She is currently at a university in Denmark I believe and she'll tell you more about what she's doing.  After that Ms. Hala AbdelKader, Hala, from Egypt from the University of Cairo.  Since 1991 she's been a registered Egyptian lawyer syndicate on the grade of high appeal and acts as an expert and legal advisor to various international organisations and NGOs.  She's worked as legal consultant with USAID.  I've worked with USAID too and the National Council on women on project violence against women and children.  She has a number of research studies as example but not limited to international research in conjunction with the University of Oxford and the centre for Human Rights on stateless and stateless Arab worlds a study of Egyptian women married to foreigners she's participated in the preparation of a shadow report submitted to the CEDAW committee in the United Nations she represents Egypt in numerous international and regional conferences on women's issues and Human Rights.
    Our speaker after that will be Enam ElAsfour.  Enam is from Saudi a women entrepreneur with a bachelor's degree in nutritional sciences currently she's completing her masters in political science at the Denmark Arab Open University she's earned numerous training certificates including a certificate in Human Rights education from the Geneva institute for Human Rights in cooperation with the Arab organisation for Human Rights in Cairo.  
    She's an owner and CEO for CAD for interior design and real estate marketing and to the right of Enam is Erika Mann.  Erika has a distinguished career in the European Parliament where she was focused on critical issues for the digital economy, R&D, telecommunications Internet policy and trade issues she was with the Committee of Industry Research and Energy as well as the delegation for relations with the United States.  She's from Leipzig and Erika is with Facebook right now and she runs the Brussels office she's a good colleague of ours, as well and an organisational member of the Internet Society.  We are proud to have all of you here with us today I should also say Erika is on the Board of ICANN which is important because there's a lot of debate about ICANN here this week but more importantly we're here to hear about the great stories and work of the women sitting here today Andrew Mack will join us for the Q&A in a bit but now I'll turn from Azadeh to hear from her she'll give you a few minutes about WAVE the important organisation that's trying to help women and create economic development in technology.  
    >> AZADEH DANANDEH:  Good morning, everybody.  I'm happy to be here with you talking about some women issues regarding Internet and I.T. technology, Information Technology.  First of all I want to introduce a short WAVE for you.  Three years ago there was a programme for women which was organised by two Lebanese associations, SCC and ECMA.  
    In this programme some associations, women associations around the region were there.  And this was a good programme.  
    But at the finishing off this programme, they found that there are a lot of potentials for continuing this programme.  And now we are here with you under the name of WAVE, Women Alliance for Virtual Exchange.  The main objective of WAVE is improving the quality of life of women around the region.  But the -- by the region I mean Middle East, North Africa and central Asia.  Central Asia.  
    And now WAVE has 31 members from 13 different countries in this region.  And we hope that we will grow the in the future and have so many members in these countries.  
    Why we choose this area for activity?  Because we have common cultures in these areas.  And we believe that women face same situations in these areas and this is important for us to emphasize, to focus on commonalties, cultural commonalties and finding the way for our problems regarding these commonalties, cultural commonalties.  
    And you can find more information about WAVE, but its vision, mission, objectives on the WAVE portal and it's a rich portal.  You can find lots of information about this.  And is there any formation that I must tell you about the WAVE or this is enough?  Thank you.  
    >> JANE COFFIN:  So thank you very much.  And now Azadeh you can tell us about your story.
    >> AZADEH DANANDEH:  Okay.  Thank you.  
    >> JANE COFFIN:  For those of you in the room, it's easier for some of you perhaps to see the real-time transliteration of what we're saying.  So if you want to look up here, that's also helpful to you.  
    And please Azadeh.
    >> AZADEH DANANDEH:  Okay, thank you.  First of all, I want to start my speech with gender equality which is the main problem in the whole world.  But this is the main concerns of all the women around the world.  But I want to take your attention about the main results, main cause of this.  And I want to bring you to the pastimes when people live in village.  
    In the pastimes, when we look at the way they live, nobody claim about gender equality since men and women worked together in farms, they are taking care of animals.  They do their duties and responsibilities very good at home.  
    And there was no conflict between the role of women in their job outside the home.  And inside the home.  Considering her responsibilities about her role as a mother, as a wife.  
    At that time everyone knows his role.  And nobody had any complaints about gender equality at that time.  
    But when human beings start living in the cities, the limitations, the constraints, start.  Jobs are changed.  They work in factories.  Their jobs changed to service activities and they start living in the cities was the beginning of some limitations for women.  The woman stays at home.  And the role changed.  
    And they have focused on women duties and responsibilities about the families.  And they start to be far from outside living, outside home living.  I believe this is because of starting living in the cities.  And in the village now in many countries, especially in eastern countries, still we can see women living in village and there's no conflict between their role inside the home and outside it.  
    And we hear less complaints from them about gender equality.  
    But in the cities, we --
    (Audio cutting in and out).
    >> AZADEH DANANDEH: As a fact and it means we must redefine the role of women in this kind of living in these new cities, in this new environment.  And it needs some deep redefinition of women roles in the society.  
    In countries like Iran in Easter countries, with these special cultures that the role of women in family is more important.  And they emphasized in our culture the main expectation from women is taking care of children.  
    And I knew many women, many educated women, that preferred to stay at home and taking care of her children rather than go out and have good jobs and good careers out of the home.  Because the whole society expects this from the women in these societies.  
    And when we want to talk about this issue, we must consider this as a main concern.  
    And I believe in this situation, technology will help us, with ICT we can prepare an environment for these women, to be at home, to be connected with their job, to be connected with the society and simultaneously doing her responsibilities, her duties in the family, taking care of children when she stays at home and doing her job.  
    And in our culture, we must regard this as an opportunity for women to be at home, to stay at home.  And doing their job outside.  
    So when we think about development of infrastructures for Internet and other technology issues, this can be an opportunity for women.  And if we change the mind of all the society to regard technology as a tool for facilitating women's jobs and women's working, it will be better.  And the women can enjoy, can benefit from technology in this regard.  
    This is one issue.  And another important issue in the whole world or at least I can say in my country, Iran, is this, that Internet has two different aspects.  One cultural aspect and one I call it economical aspects.  
    In the whole world and in my society, people emphasize on cultural aspects of Internet in the society very much.  And you know since we have different culture with Developed Countries, we consider it as somehow some threats.  These are cultural threats for our culture, for our society.  
    But if we can change the minds of the whole society and emphasize on other applications of the Internet, like eGovernment, eHealth, eEducation, eLearning, and other Es that we know are very important for all countries to benefit from this, if we emphasized on them, then there will be a balance between this series of applications of the Internet and threats that we feel about using the Internet and attacking our culture maybe.  I'm not believing it.  But the whole society think about in this way that there might be some cultural threats for our society.  
    And when, for example, the Government, the society, wants to decide about spending on infrastructures regarding Internet, they must know what they are paying for.  They are paying for chats.  They are paying for transferring videos.  They are paying for connecting youth together.  Or they are paying for very serious society problems to solve for example environmental problems.  Or to make the organisation more productive.  Or to serve the citizens better and be making them satisfied about the services that they can get from the Government so I believe we must emphasize on these aspects of Internet applications.  And in this way we will promote the Internet in our societies.  And many concerns about side effects of Internet will be removed.  And this means that we must change our mindset about the Internet and it's application.
And also we know that the Internet introduces not just Internet, ICT introduces the new ways of businesses.  In my country there are a lot of youth seeking for jobs promoting ICT and Internet will cause new jobs and they can be innovations and entrepreneurialship, these occupation problems may be resolved.  
    So if I want to summarize my speech, I can tell you first redefinition of roles of women in the is a service problem, a service issue.  We must consider on it.  Second is ICT can be a good facilitator to bring women connected with their jobs and with their society and simultaneously staying at home.  
    The third one is changing the mindset about the Internet applications and convincing the society that it has good impact on economies outside of its society a good.  And also it's a good tool for innovation and finding a new way of business for women and also men.  Thank you very much.  
    >> JANE COFFIN:  Thank you very much, Azadeh and very important points about technology as something that can bind us together rather than separate us.  
    Next up we have Roslyn, who will give you a bit more about what she's doing.  And we thank you for joining us today.  
    >> ROSLYN LAYTON:  Good morning, everyone.  I'm based at Aalborg University in Copenhagen, Denmark we have a department for communication media and information studies and we've been very fortunate to have a new professor from the University of Tehran come and join us.  His name is (off microphone) and he and I are working together on a project about women and the media in Iran I'll share with you some of the highlights of our research to date.  It's not conclusive but I think it's interesting about some of the challenges that women face in Iran but also inspite of the challenges that women are still making advances in the country and also some of them may be fundamental issues around the Internet that when we look at improving status of women in Iran, what some of those issues may be.  
    So it's important to keep in mind when we talk, this whole conference is about the Internet.  But not to forget that still two-thirds of the world's population is not online.  And for that reason it's important to pay attention to other media and what's going on this, whether television, print newspapers and so on.  
    And it's definitely important in the case of Iran where at least from an academic perspective when we want to study these things we can't necessarily you go to the Internet to get the information that we want.  
    So when we are doing an academic analysis about women in Iran.  We have to use a Persian language print materials frequently that are found in Iranian libraries.  So it also creates a challenge from an academic perspective to study some of these things.  
    In any case, I want to emphasize that there are many amazing and impressive scholars working in Iran today who are studying these issues.  Working in Iran today who are studying these issues and it's important that people outside of Iran may not necessarily get access to the information.  
    Iran the population is almost 80 million people.  Internet penetration as I understand is about 43%.  That is in line with the world's -- that does fit kind of the world's average.  One of the challenges about the Internet in Iran is a lot of it is just the physical architecture itself.  The two undersea cables that go to the country are under the Persian Gulf and they are frequently disrupted by maritime traffic so there have been outages of the Internet just because of ships and damages to the actual cables.  
    The other challenge is that the data moving into the country is moving at a speed about 1-1,000 of the world average that's just one gigabit per second where the rest of the world it's moving much faster so Iran today is considered one of the black holes, if you will, where it is restricted by the geography, by the limitation of the infrastructure to the country.  But also some of the Government activities.  
    So because of that television is very important.  And while certainly most people have a television, satellite television is extremely important.  
    So even in remote village there are maybe satellite dishes to enable people in Iran to get information from the rest of the world.  
    So our particular project is we wanted to investigate the depiction of Iranian women on official state television, that is from the IRIB, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Corporation.  
    So over a period of a month we collected all of the advertisements.  And studied them for how women are portrayed and then we compared it to a variety of the of state statistics about women in Iran, education, employment, participation and so on.  
    And interestingly, we found that women are featured only about 30% of the time in any advertisements at all.  And overwhelmingly they are depicted in very traditional roles.  They are in the home.  They are wives, they are mothers taking care of children and so on.  And the official view of women in Iran is very traditional.  
    But what's interesting is when we study the statistics from the women and family social cultural Council, which is an agency in Iran part of the supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution's statistical database we find women have much more dynamic life in society increasingly in the universities and in the workplace.  So perhaps what's most interesting that the number of women entering higher education -- well the number of all students there are more women entering higher education than men so that 60% of all of the people entering university today are women.  And this has been on the rise since 2002 the Iran Iranian Government made a policy to try you to encourage women to enter education.  
    It's interesting that the Government will explicitly support certain programmes for women but not others.  So for example we see that the number of women who enter medicine is two to three times higher than men and this has a lot to do with women are being trained as doctors and nurses to go to remote parts of Iran to be health care providers and also some Islamic Conventions about women should only be working -- there are certain health -- maybe health obstetrics or gynecology where women are expected to deliver the health care and not men.  Additionally we see three times as many women entering fundamental science degrees -- programmes as men.  And also -- so that's also interesting.  At the same time the Iranian Government has certain prohibitions that for example women can't enter the mining industry.  There's certain degrees where they are not allowed to enter.
So the sort of industrial or maybe certain area, oil and gas and mining we don't see so many women getting those degrees.  The one area which we haven't explained as of yet is that men are still outnumbering women in the engineering and mathematics areas of degrees.  Some people say this might have something to do with video games, this is still something that's studied.  We don't really have the answer to that.  So at any rate, some of the things that we found when we looked at the advertisements and in many ways it's almost kind of funny because some of the ads will depict women in such an old-fashioned or maybe cliched way.  But for example, there's as I understand that women in Iran are in charge of the family finances.  So that women are taking care of paying the bills every month and making sure that everyone is -- children's school tuition is paid and so on.
    But the advertisements of women in the banking industry always feature women that can't find their wallets.  They don't know what to do.  They are asking their husband, oh, we have to pay uncle.  You know, Dad would you please take care of it.  
    So women are -- as I understand, it's not the way -- women are in charge of finances at home.  But not in the advertisements.  
    The other thing we find is that women are major consumers of telecommunication services but the advertisements are not depicting women at all even though they are a very important part of this consumer market.  
    The other area is that women are getting 30% of all of driver's licenses in Iran.  But there are no advertisements showing women with cars.  The only one we could find was where women were at home receiving a gift of car accessories.  
    In another case, we also know the Iranian sports teams for women are getting visibility around the world.  And of course they are --
    (Audio cutting in and out).
    >> ROSLYN LAYTON:  They are in advertisements around food, food products, olive oil, noodles and so on and also in home appliances.  There's a brand called Pars Khazar and the women are considered the experts in explaining which kinds of appliances are to be used.  
    So at any rate, it's not unlike many places in the west where we might find that the advertisements don't always match up to the reality.  But what this -- what's interesting is that when you want to find the more realistic or authentic portrayal of women in advertising people will tend to look at social media whether it's Facebook or other Iranian social media and this research is not concluded but it essentially shows that the process of how people create the identity, how they see themselves is very complex.  And that people can take in a number of media but decide for themselves how they want to see themselves in the world.  So there's certainly a lot of theories within a feminist literature about do we see something in television and that's how we portray.  Or do we take what we see and then change it for our own belief system or do we make a mix of things.
    So as I said there's not really a conclusion to that but it is essentially showing that there's no doubt that Iranian women are very creative in terms of finding media and putting it together and constructing their identity thank you.  
    >> JANE COFFIN:  Thank you very much.  It's interesting I think to see the progression of advertising and how people are depicted and how that may change over time.  With Hala who I also should have mentioned started her career as a journalist she now serves as the Board of Trustees and Executive Director of the Egyptian foundation for family development so over to you Hala and thank you very much.  
    >> HALA ABDELKADER:  (Speaking in language other than English).
    >> JANE COFFIN:  Translation.  One second.  Just a small intervention there's no translation.  No.  Okay.  What channel would we be translating from Arabic into English?  
        (Background talking.)
    >> JANE COFFIN:  They are checking.  
        (Background talking.)
    >> JANE COFFIN:  So just to confirm, English is on what channel?  Raise your hand, 1, 2, 3?  
    >> HALA ABDELKADER:  (Speaking in language other than English).
        (Background talking.)
    >> JANE COFFIN:  Okay.  We'll try it one more time thank you for starting over.  Ready?  Go ahead.  
    So I think we're just going to do one more translation check.  So Channel 1.  What is Channel 1?  2?  
    This is a technical difficulty not created by the Internet.  
    >> JANE COFFIN:  And I've worked for many years and when I go to ITU meetings with lots of different languages so this sometimes happens.  
    Okay so Channel 1 is I believe which language is Channel 1?  Channel 2?  Channel 3?  
    I think someone is going to have to design a new programme for translation so when we come next year we speak and it will come up.  
        (Background talking.)
(Standing by).
    >> JANE COFFIN:  Thank you so much for your patience everyone in the room.  We appreciate your time.  Channel 1 will be English, channel 2 will be Farsi and Channel 3 Arabic so I'm turning it back over to you Hala, thank you.  
    >> HALA ABDELKADER:  Okay.  
    (Speaking in language other than English).
    >> JANE COFFIN:  No translation.
    They say it's because you are speaking too fast.  But that's okay.  I speak fast.  You were talking about women --
    >> HALA ABDELKADER:  (Speaking in language other than English).  
    Regarding this area.  Therefore we are trying to face this through Web sites and electronic magazines.  And this is our subject for today, to mobilize the handmade crafts that are made in Egypt by women.  And we think they use a lot of hand crafts, try to economize it and try to market these products.  
    They try to do that through a page on Facebook.  And we have a lot of illiterate women in the world that they have pages on Facebook.  They try to mark their products through that.  
    And even though she can ask someone who is literate, which can help her in organising the Facebook, the page.  
    They want to reach national marketing and through the Arab world marketing, as well.  We are proud to say that women were able to overcome the challenges economically and socially through using these -- through using these Web sites through some of the users of the Internet, which leads that a lot of women through, they were able to use the Internet or their page automatically without having the knowledge but there were some disadvantages that might cause her career.  
    This is about what -- this is about the Internet -- use of Internet.  Our recommendations, how can we overcome these challenges which is related to illiteracy, to poverty, to economy, the women interested in the Internet helps us to get over these problems.  Through technology, through the world, and technology nationally especially.  And that's through programmes that are specialized for women to support these activities.  
    So studies and trainings to face these challenges of women in this area through the Civil Society and through their Government.  Some of the institutions of the Civil Society to produce and support issues of women, issues to reach some laws regarding these issues.  And for example WAVE alliance, for example WAVE alliance has thought about the issue of illiteracy and that's the cause that today we present WAVE which you means today that we say that we have national support.  We think you using the Internet in our Arab world is considered as luxury.  And we need to be the opposite.  And we want to become internationally becomes nationally and then locally.  And we hope that if we go to regional and locally but I think that through this alliance, I hope we can adopt this kind of alliances, especially through IGF.  Through our meeting today after I believe that the idea of women in technology, that it should be actually the main issue in this to be present and adopt -- this is going to have a lot of followers from women from different society on Civil Society.  And to be internationally and we can enter that through regional and then national-wise.  I thank you very much.  
    >> JANE COFFIN:  We are saying the Internet can take and level the playing field.  You don't have to be rich or poor.  Man or woman.  Everyone can use it.  But with women, it's a great story.  We are having women use Facebook to do business.  That's great.  
    And I often think we use the Internet now with symbols.  So the more that we can use those symbols, whether it's on Facebook or Twitter, it can help facilitate more conversation and understanding, which is fabulous.  
    So we are headed down the line here to Enam and to Erika.  And we'll go to Enam first.  And Enam over to you.  
    >> ENAM ELASFOUR:  (Speaking in language other than English).
(Standing by).
    >> ENAM ELASFOUR:  (Speaking in language other than English).
    >> JANE COFFIN:  One second I think we're now on Channel 2 we're going from Arabic into English; is that right?  Give it a try.  So if you're interested in the English it's Channel 2 and I believe the Persian is Channel 3.  Is that right?  Give it a go.  
    >> ENAM ELASFOUR:  (Speaking in language other than English).
(Standing by).  
    >> JANE COFFIN:  Thank you very much Enam and one of the take-aways I have from that is if you had --
    >> ENAM ELASFOUR:  (Speaking in language other than English).
    I'm obviously amazed I must say, this is --
(Speaking in language other than English).
    That's a challenge we still have in Europe and Germany.  And this platform on this technical diversity, it's called a German name, Copentensom (phonetic).  I'm happy to give you the information about it later.  And the Government had in Germany two ministries, very interesting idea of what they supported.  What is called a Girls' Day.  And a Girls' Day is a day, one day in a year, where kids can choose and are supported by the schools, they can choose to go to participate in a business environment or university environment.  They can go with their parents, can visit their parents, either the father or the mother or they can do it independently.  
    So this gives an idea for a very young girl an understanding how the business environment looks like.  
    And then they can talk about it.  Schools have experience.  In the school environment they can talk about it.  They can talk in the family about it.  Father can say, now, do you like what I do?   Because kids sometimes have no ideas what their father is doing.  
    The mother can say, do you like what I'm doing?  Where I work?  Or where -- if the father is working if the mother is not in a business environment.  
    So it's a very nice idea.  And it's a very nice programme it's very, very, very successful it's covered in many European countries and it's something I would recommend you look into.  It's nice and it's very easy I think for most governments if not for all governments you know to take on.  
    The same can be said in many other environments, political environments, wherever we are, I think we have to look for simple solutions.  It is good to have a theoretical debate about the empowerment of women but in many ways when we can start implementing and finding and looking for very simple solutions.  
    I have done the same when I was in the European Parliament.  We build again for women we look to where inequality exists how we can support initiatives either inside the European Parliament or where we can support initiatives outside in the business environment.  In the research environment.  In wherever you see, you know you need to intervene, that's what I tried to do.  There's a group of women and a group of men, it's an issue we both have, I think we need to support.  
    Now I'm with Facebook, and again, we see you know that women have it harder sometimes to --
(Speaking in language other than English).
    >> ERIKA MANN:  Like Facebook in the engineering environment not because Facebook is not interested or all of the other --
    (Audio cutting in and out).
    >> ERIKA MANN:  To find women.  But they are not sufficient women, qualified, who went through engineering qualifications.  
    And again, that's something we have to change.  We have to you know, make it attractive so that young women love to go into an engineering environment, work in an engineering environment, it's a fun environment.  But you know, there's still in many cases perception, it's less interesting than work in a health care environment or work in other more attractive environments sometimes for women.  
    So I think this is a perception we all have to work onto change.  And we have to embrace a new way of teaching maybe even in schools.  Maybe a new way of teaching at universities.  How we talk about engineering.  How we explain and how we have our own models, women owned models who talk about this in a positive way and I think young women's perceptions will change.  
    Let me finish with this and I'm looking forward to the discussions.  Thank you so much.  
    >> JANE COFFIN:  Thank you very much for the stories, interventions, discussion.  We started off with a great discussion about how the Internet in Iran can help women and level the playing field.  But also not be something that is seen as a bad thing.  Because women can work at home potentially using the Internet and technology.  Roslyn gave us a very interesting overview of what she's doing with women and how they are depicted in Iran.  And hopefully that will change in the future as we put forward potentially a better use of the Internet.  
    Hala, great information about women who may not be that literate but are working with other women to put up businesses online.  And the use of the technology in the country and moving forward.  
    Enam, again, the importance of the Internet for business, for women, and to try to work with other ministries to try to help change the situation moving forward and we'll want to hear more from all of you and from the others here at the table and Erika about the importance of -- I love the story about the Girls' Day.  We've seen the same sort of thing where children come to work with their parents and it's very interesting for them to see what's going on.  But just moving forward, and engineering is something that's very interesting because technology is changing things so much.  I think engineers and now anything having to do with the Internet is seen as something very important that's moving forward.  
    I'm going to turn it over to Andrew.  And he's going to help facilitate the discussion.  And we can jump in where we need to.  But Andrew was on another panel and he's happy to be back with us.
    >> ANDREW MACK:  Very happy.  Thank you very much.  And my apologies for being a little late I had the privilege with sitting down with the panelists yesterday to hear a little bit about their stories and what they were going to be saying today so I'm a little bit caught up more than I should be.  Very, very interesting, picking up on one of the things that Erika was just saying it is really true that technology culture has historically been very male culture and I think that that has been a real challenge for people looking to get into the space.  Because it's not just a question, can women do it.  But also in this environment, will women feel welcome?  
    And I know we have also worked in natural resources with big oil companies in the past.  And one of the things that you find is it's just not an environment where you feel welcome.  Right?  
    So I am encouraged to think that this is changing because I know it is.  But there's no question that there are tremendous opportunities for women who are willing to take the chance and maybe spend a little more time in this male dominated culture to open the door for the next generation and the next generation.  
    As we were talking yesterday about the future, we came down to a conversation that revolved around two different polls so I would like to talk to each of them real quickly with the panelists.  
    One was the role and the attitude of Government.  And second one is the role and attitude of women themselves.  So I'm going to pick on my panelists, I'm going to ask my you panelists for help.  To say in your countries, when you are -- if you tomorrow had the opportunity to sit down with a member of a ministry, Ministry of ICT, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Telephony, whichever would be the appropriate ministry and you wanted to open their minds to the possibilities in a small conversation, what might you say to them to get them to think about technology and women differently and more positively.  And I don't know.  Who would like to start?  Can I pick on you?  Enam?  
    >> ANDREW MACK:  Is the translating up?  
        (Background talking.)
    >> ANDREW MACK:  The question is what would you wish to say to the Ministry to get them to change their mind?  This is the question we discussed yesterday.  
    >> ENAM ELASFOUR: Okay.  (Speaking in language other than English).  
    Started to use technology more than the man.  She's more active, more active than men.  
    The women can look through the environment in a more expanded way.  And so --
    (Audio lost)
    (Audio cutting in and out).
    >> ENAM ELASFOUR: People with new programmes that are different from now like Facebook and Twitter usually is used in a bad way.  And we need to rephrase the way you we use Facebook and Twitter.  
(Speaking in language other than English)
    It will help us to correct the situation outside.  
    >> ANDREW MACK:  The technology and also that's an amazing statistic 70% of the Internet is used by women that's -- any Government should be looking at that.  That makes good sense.  Would you like to pick it up?  
(Speaking in language other than English).
    >> HALA ABDELKADER:  You can't hear me?  Okay.  
    Hiring women to have women have positions in some institutions or organisations.  That works in areas of technology.  Because life especially in Egypt and some organisations they have rate of technology, the percentage of women is really slow -- less.  
    And leadership positions we know that the people of technology and communication are there.  But in some positions are only women.  And all men.  And all men are opposed to this idea.  And also I will ask that to progress or develop more studies, training studies, to use the technology on a high level, other than just using it.  Because the majority of women that use technology.  But they use it I think they use about 5 to 10% of what we can use the technology for.  
    We need to present programmes on a higher level for women especially that are in areas that it's difficult to get to use the Internet was one of the issues that I think would improve the use of women of the Internet and the technology.  
    >> ANDREW MACK:  Moving from more use of the of Internet in the home to also more hiring of women as part of the Government, as part of the policy making, yes?  Very interesting.  Erika?  
    >> ERIKA MANN:  I think that it's an excellent recommendation made.  But I would just love to pick up.  And this is the idea you said.  You mentioned is to use social media in a more professional way, in a professional environment.  
    Personally I do this all the time.  I do this on a daily basis.  So yes I use it for my private you know communication, as well.  But then I have many subgroups which I only use professionally.  And I think this is something super interesting to explore more.  And to learn more about it.  Because it really helps in particular in environments where one can't be daily in contact in a business environment.  But it's something one has to learn how to use it.  It's very, very helpful.  Very successful.  If somebody wants somewhere outside how to do it.
    >> ANDREW MACK:  It sounds like an offer from your company very nicely done, excellent.  Get Facebook involved.
    >> ERIKA MANN:  It's the same for other social media, as well.
    >> ANDREW MACK:  For sure.  Azadeh would you like to jump in on this?  I know you talked about this yesterday.
    >> AZADEH DANANDEH:  Yes, if I had an opportunity to sit in front of some Government people and talk to them about the technology and about the women, the opportunity that we had to be at the beginning of this week, I told them that don't think so many about the threats, about the unwanted impacts, consequences of this technology.  Just think about -- yes.  Think about the positive consequences.  And emphasize on that.  Rely on women.  And give them the opportunity.  Women and technology are not threats.  They are opportunities to be part of the country's manpower to do man good things to do many positive things.  
    You know, I want them to change their mindset about this.  And thinking positively about women and the technology.  And it will be -- many things will be changed.  And we will see the performance of women in this area and the role that they can play in a country's development.  
    >> ANDREW MACK:  Wonderful.  And so men are afraid of this change, right?  
    >> ANDREW MACK:  I'm speaking as the gender balance now on the panel.  Right?   For the first time.  This is not a typical tech panel.  
    So men are afraid of this.  What is the first thing that you want to say to them that -- why they should not be afraid of this change?  
    >> AZADEH DANANDEH:  You know, by the nature, women are responsible for continuing the generation.  And so they will behave and they will do their main role in the whole society.  And they will find some ways, the ways that can be beneficial to their society.  
    Women in the whole history do the things like this.  And they can find out themselves in the situation.  
    But when you think about them, that they are threats and they are in the opposite direction of the society benefits, they will act like this.  But if you accept them as the main player in the development of the society, they can find their role.  And they play it very well.  
    You know, rely on them.  They did it in the whole history.  And they will do it in the future.
    >> ANDREW MACK:  Please.  
    >> AUDIENCE:  I think the best solution to use this to overcome the threat is that children use the Internet widely and they can get to everything through Internet through taking care of their child.  They should be aware, also, of how to use the Internet so she can protect them from all environmental issues.
    >> ANDREW MACK:  The traditional role of protecting the family and the other traditional role of being the establisher of culture or the guide of culture those are both very interesting things that I think will sound good to the ear of most men.  
    Roslyn, to you.  What would you say?  
    >> ROSLYN LAYTON:  On which -- I'm sorry, which --
    >> ANDREW MACK:  We're talking about changing the mentality and we have the need to talk to men in Government, how can we make our argument that this is not scary?  How can we make our argument that this is a direction we need -- we must go.  Recognizing that there are culture and history that may not follow that?  
    >> ROSLYN LAYTON:  Well, it's something that you know my colleague and I, we're really trying to understand through this project that we have done.  Is that there's a kind of discrepancy between what people believe and the sort of official state line of what things should be.  And that at least in the context where we're looking at in Iran that it's a sort of dissonance where people know what they know and then the Government tells them certain things and how exactly to go against it I'm not sure in that people are living their lives every day.  They find ways to work around.  I don't have an answer for you other than people are creative.  And they find ways to educate themselves.  And they simply go forward in the way they can.  I don't have the answer.  I hope that by the time we publish the paper, we will, and I'll tweet it back and post on Facebook.
I hope it will give some more ideas.  
    >> ANDREW MACK:  So now we talked about Government and to some extent we have talked about culture change.  Let's talk a little bit more about business.  Okay?  
    As you look to try to expand your business, what would the next five years look like in a perfect world for you?  And how can an organisation of other women facing similar kinds of challenges, how can that help you?  
    >> ENAM ELASFOUR: I would say I'm a business  woman.  And I have an interior design organisation.  And it's not about designing inside the office.  It's about to go to sites and to overcome the -- it was a challenge the in Saudi Arabia because of the limitation the social limitation of women.  
    The Internet was an area to present ourselves of to use it to let people through these sites, how we can communicate with the laborers and I am maintaining the way I dress and my beliefs to break the obstacles or these challenges.  It starts from ourselves.  We can change these laws and these rules through on Twitter or on Instagram or on Facebook.  I would go through all the work that I do.  
    We care about enabling women economically.  Now at the moment we work on having an economic market that women at home can produce products in any kind.  She can rent a place in that market.  And she can do that through virtual exchange.  
    So it is important that we have an infrastructure, which is enabled with good human resources and that present us with prices that are well evaluated.
    >> ANDREW MACK:  Two pieces that I thought that I picked up.  One is about using the Internet where to be present at times when it may not be always easy to be present.  Especially for women, it's a good place to get started.  You can start your virtual market through the Internet in a way that might not otherwise be possible.  
    So as we are -- it's a very rich conversation.  We have a lot of things to cover.  What I'm going to suggest is for each of the other panelists, if you could do quick responses your business and the value of the network a value of the network like WAVE for two minutes and we'll do as much as we can.  Okay?  
    >> HALA ABDELKADER:  I really don't understand what you want me to answer please.
    >> ANDREW MACK:  Let's talk about the future of your business.  The future of your business and women working together in an organisation, how that can help you and how you can help them.  
    >> AZADEH DANANDEH:  I believe that in the future because the shortage of the resources in the whole world, we need -- there's no choice other than technology to overcome this shortage of resources.  And we must think about productivity and solve many of our problems with the use of technology this is a principle.  This is a must for all of the businesses.  And I believe and my experience is in this male environment, we as women can play a very good role to lower the tenses, lower the anxiety --
(Speaking in language other than English) help me, please.  Angers, the angers.  And have a more calm environment to be able to teach others.  
    This is my experience.  We need women to be at work to have a better environment for business.  You know there are many pressures from outside to businesses.  And we can handle it better because we are more calm because we are more patient and because we are more -- we have better motivations.  We are more motivated about this.  So we must be at work.
    >> ANDREW MACK:  Women as a calming force in the workplace.  And a positive force when men will create conflict.  Okay.  
    >> ROSLYN LAYTON:  I'm not working on the ground in Iran but in my own particular way what this project has taught me and what I really value and what we try to do, I think in the west, in the United States and in Europe, we really take for granted our free and Open Internet.  And it's really wonderful and fabulous.  And for example, the United States if we wanted to make commentary to our Federal Communications Commission, a million people made comments and every single comment was delivered and is available online.  
    My colleagues in other countries in Iran, they are absolutely amazed that you could send in a comment to the Congress or to a Government institution and then the next day it's posted online.  And this is a tremendous freedom that we have.  
    And so I think as an academic, part of what the value I think that we can bring is to try to take the knowledge in many ways it's not online unfortunately to translate it, talk about it in our research and post that research outside in other places, post it on social media.  Make links in a lot of these places.  Use all of the -- and so maybe not directly working from those places but showing from outside in the world, bringing more attention to these particular -- to these challenges and the countries we have talked about, that that's another way to improve the situation.  
    >> HALA ABDELKADER:  For the first example about where can women be in the future, I think in Egypt after the two revolutions, I believe that women are coming and really the women are coming is not an expression, a vague expression, but it represents that all Egyptians know that that is generally talking but especially about using Internet and women using the Internet.  
    Women usually use something positively.  I'm not being biased.  But I think that I work in a local area.  And I work with illiterate, poor women.  They could overcome these challenges.  And they could have their Web sites that they can sell the simplest things that they made at home.  So I think that through very simple skills, women can get through technology and use technology to use it in a way that it can develop the society.  And to be enabled economically and to enable the society in local areas.  And this is a challenge that I told you that's through my area.  
    About generally speaking about, I think that with God's help I have a hope that it will happen.  That the next conference we will have Women IGF.  We will the have a high percentage of women trying to join in.  And we will present models different than the ones that we have now.  That women are trying to enter a technology in the future we will see new challenges.  We will see women in the IGF that as examples as using Internet and having successful stories and participating in IGF.
    >> ERIKA MANN:  By time and projects and now with Facebook I had my own company before I went to the Parliament and afterwards so I think for women, it's the Internet of extremely many opportunities and interesting opportunities.  But I think it is important to understand from the Government side that much more can be done to ensure that in particular young women and girls understand how important this environment is and how they can use it.  So there shouldn't be any limitations and I think the second issue important for governments is to understand how important an Open Internet is.  Because only if the Internet stays open as it is right now, it offers the opportunities for men and women to build their business to use it for educational purposes, to use it for all kinds of society important purposes.  And this is something I thinks important for Government to understand and to do their part, to keep the Internet truly open.
It's important for all of us.  Sometimes we forget as we think there are issues which are problematic.  And I think we all as a society, we can deal and we learn to deal with problematic issues like we have learned to deal with them in real life but the openness it's important for all of us.  Thanks so much.  
    >> ANDREW MACK:  Yes okay no we are actually lost in paper space.  I'm trying to -- so very interesting.  And a tremendously rich conversation.  A conversation in some ways a little bit about fear and a lot about opportunity.  Fear of what technology can bring to us that we aren't expecting.  Fear of what technology may mean for our cultures today and tomorrow.  But also some tremendous opportunities for what we could be and especially what our daughters and sisters might be.  
    I heard a number of things from this amazing panel that I would take into a meeting with a member of the ministry.  Talking about technology enhancing women as stronger parents in an era when parenting is more difficult because of technology.  
    Talking about women as more capable participants in society.  In many different ways.  And on many different levels.  
    Talking about women as drivers advancing your national culture in a positive way.  In a way that is very traditional in some senses.  
    Women as business leaders but not just as business leaders.  As business starters.  Because we talk all the time about the very large businesses that are set up by women but most businesses around the world are like my business and like Erika's businesses, small businesses, right?  
    We talked about women in the tech field generally.  And how the tech field, the field of technologies itself is changing to be more open to women.  And how it will need to change to be much more open to women and so one of the of big themes -- the last thing I'll leave you with is it is clear that things are changing.  In every part of the world.  And especially in the parts of the world that we're talking about.  Things are changing whether men like it original frankly.  And things are changing partly because of changed attitudes by women and changed attitudes that come through the technology.  We've got a lot of good arguments that we can make to the public and to the powers that be that this is a change that we should embrace.  Part of that being the Open Internet.  That it's a benefit for everyone.
And thank you very much for the chance to be a part of this.  It's terrific.
    >> JANE COFFIN:  And we will finally wrap it up by thanking everyone on the panel Azadeh, Roslyn, Hala, Enam, Erika, Andrew, Jane, all of you for being here.  This was a great opportunity to hear more about what's going on in many countries but also to understand that there's a lot of hope for people to realize that the Internet is a very good thing for families, for work, for business as Erika said we need to keep it open.  Use social media to do what we can.  And get some of that information out there.  But also to keep innovating through the Internet and creating more business and more opportunities both social and economic.  It's not easy in many countries where many of you are from.  But you can't give up.  There are a lot of us here that use the Internet every day for our jobs and our businesses and what we do.  And our organisation is committed to extending that benefit and we'll try to do as much as we can to help you in the future, as well.  
    So thank you very much to everyone for spending the time with us.  And I think we would love to have Q&A but we have ten minutes left and the next panel will be coming in.  I see people with their hands up.  So first I'll thank the panel and if we could perhaps -- does everyone have about five minutes to stay?  No.  That's Andrea.  I know Andrea very well.  So I guess what we have -- perhaps what we could do is that we could gather over here to the side and have some question and answer.  
    There are some people with some disabilities who cannot see who are coming into the room and they are on the next panel so we need to allow them the chance to sit down because they can't actually physically see things.  
    Okay.  So in any event so we're going to move to this side as suggested and we want to just give everybody a round of applause, thank you for staying.  

This is the output of the real-time captioning taken during the IGF 2014 Istanbul, Turkey, meetings.  Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the session, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.