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- BPF Gender and Access
 Welcome to the United Nations | Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Please see the BPF's page on the IGF's new website for updates on this BPF's work:

This year, the BPF Gender and Access 2016 will firstly investigate women's ability to access and benefit from the Internet (or the gender digital divide), with a particular emphasis on how we can also ensure that access is meaningful to women and able to help support women's empowerment.

Secondly, the BPF will also be building on and updating the outcomes of the 2015 BPF Gender, which focused on online abuse and gender-based violence against women (see the outcome document here), in line with recent developments in this field.


Why is it important to study gender and (meaningful Internet) access?

Almost 60% of the world's people are still offline (World Bank, 2016), and are thus unable to benefit from the many opportunities ICTs offer for empowerment and development. This digital gap is more acute for women, as it is estimated that 12% fewer women than men can benefit from Internet access worldwide; rising to 15% in developing countries and almost 29% in least developed countries (ITU, 2016). 

Without addressing the gender digital gap, women will miss out on the potential opportunities the Internet offers for empowerment. As the Alliance for Affordable Internet argues (2016), 

We cannot achieve universal access without bringing women (half of the world's population) online; likewise, women's empowerment through ICTs will not happen without enabling women affordable access to the Internet. 


How can you support the BPF's work this year?

If you want to learn more about the BPF's work in general, especially in the context of the IGF's work on Internet policy and governance, see the easy-to-understand BPF's participant's guide

Three ways for you to participate:

  1. Sign up to the BPF's mailing list, and join the conversation. All information regarding webinars and the BPF's fortnightly meetings are published on this mailing list, along with a host of other information relevant to the BPF's work. 
  2. Complete a brief survey aimed at learning more about existing initiatives and research in the field of gender and access.
  3. Attend a virtual meeting, held every two weeks. Our meetings are open to all. Details for joining are shared on the mailing list.
  4. Attend a webinar at one of the national and regional IGF initiatives' annual events in your country or region, or join it online. All details regarding these webinars are published on the BPF's mailing list. 
  5. Distribute our survey amongst your networks and help us gather broader input and stories.


Join a meeting (online) or webinar (in-person or online)

The BPF hosts open virtual meetings approximately every two weeks. For each of these meetings, a detailed meeting summary is produced and shared on the BPF's mailing list. Similarly, the BPF is participating in as many national and regional IGF initiatives possible in 2016, and also enables online participants to join these sessions as part of a series of webinars. To request past virtual meeting and webinar summaries, please contact the IGF Secretariat. 

Upcoming virtual meetings:

  • Meeting 8: Thursday, 22 September 2016 at 12:00 GMT. Focus: populating framework on topic of barriers and community responses to overcoming barriers to access. 
  • Meeting 9: Thursday, 6 October 2016 at 12:00 GMT. Focus: populating framework on community-led responses. 
  • Meeting 10: Thursday, 20 October 2016 at 12:00 GMT. Focus: reviewing Draft I. 
  • Meeting 11: Thursday, 3 November 2016 at 12:00 GMT
  • Meeting 12: Thursday, 17 November 2016 at 12:00 GMT
  • Webinar focused on BPF 2015 outputs: Thursday, 24 November 2016 at 12:00 GMT (Meeting 13)
  • Meeting 14: 6-9 December 2016: IGF 2016 (Mexico)

Past virtual meetings:

  • Meeting 7 - 8 September 2016
  • Meeting 6 - 17 August 2016
  • Meeting 5 - 4 August 2016
  • Meeting 4 - 21 July 2016
  • Meeting 3 - 1 July 2016
  • Meeting 2 - 17 June 2016
  • Meeting 1 - 4 June 2016

Past webinars/ participation at national/ regional IGF initiatives:

  • informal meet-up at the IGF of Latin America and the Caribbean (LACIGF) - 29 July 2016 (led by Renata Aquino Ribeiro)  (in-person in San Jose, Costa Rica, and online)
  • participation during gender & access session at the Asia Pacific Regional IGF (APrIGF) - 29 July 2016 (led by Jac SM Kee) (in-person in Taipei, Taiwan, and online)
  • unconference session at the Brazil IGF - 12 July 2016 (led by Renata Aquino Ribeiro) (in-person in Porto Alegre, and online)


Key contacts

Jac SM Kee (MAG member and BPF coordinator) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Renata Aquino Ribeiro (MAG member and BPF coordinator) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Anri van der Spuy (BPF rapporteur and IGF consultant) - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.