BPF Gender and Access (2017)


The 2017 BPF on Gender and Access was approved during the MAG's virtual meeting on 11 April leading into the 2017 IGF Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on 18-21 December 2017.

Regular meetings of the BPF's members will be held leading into the annual IGF in December. These meetings will be announced on the Gender BPF mailing list and are open to all stakeholders interested in or with expertise on related issues. Updates on the BPF will also be communicated through the list and posted on this page. 

BPF Output Document


Content Summary

The BPF Gender’s work remains important because the proportion of men using the Internet is estimated to be higher than the proportion of women using the Internet in two-thirds of countries worldwide. The BPF’s work in 2015 and 2016 made it clear that women in different circumstances may experience unique barriers to meaningful Internet access and use. Yet little research and very few initiatives differentiate between the needs and barriers of women in diverse communities or circumstances.

The BPF Gender’s work in 2017, therefore, focused on identifying the needs and challenges of various women’s groups, including refugee women, indigenous women, young women, women with disabilities, rural women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTQI) women with respect to Internet access. Findings from the BPF’s survey, a session held at the IGF 2017, and other research the BPF volunteers conducted indicate the significance of barriers like affordability and infrastructure challenges, a lack of relevant and local language content, lack of digital skills, and social stigma and cultural barriers. Some barriers are experienced more keenly by some women in certain communities than in others. Uniform policy recommendations to address generic barriers to women’s meaningful Internet access are therefore unlikely to effectively target women’s unique needs and challenges. The BPF concludes to urge policymakers and stakeholders to further investigate and consider the significant effect that unique circumstances have on enabling women’s meaningful access.

Mailing List Sign-up

The BPF Gender and Access mailing list is open to all stakeholders interested in or with expertise on related issues.

Sign up at: https://intgovforum.org/mailman/listinfo/bp_gender_intgovforum.org


Proposal to the MAG for 2017 Work

Final Output Document 2017