The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Fourteenth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Berlin, Germany, from 25 to 29 November 2019. 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 event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> MODERATOR: Good afternoon, everyone. I think ‑‑ not "I think." We're starting the BPF gender session now. My name is Vanessa, I'm one of the BPF cofacilitators for 2019.
I would like to begin by thanking my cofacilitators at this BPF. Agustina Callegari, Maria Paz Canales by my side, Chenai Chair, and our consultant, Anriette Esterhuysen. This is a BPF that is part of the intersessional work of the IGF. And we're proud of being here, presenting it here and having it running for maybe the fourth year, if I am not mistaken. So yeah.
Five years? Man! Just for starters our agenda for today will be I will do a short presentation on the best practice of gender and access. And then we will present the draft report.
As you know, all BPF have to present a draft report for discussion. This is to left hand of to ‑‑ listen to the subjects we propose for 2019. BPF gender and access has been addressing barriers faced by women and girls to access Internet use and make the most of it for the past five years. This year, building on previous work and years, we have decided to examine different challenges that women and gender diverse persons and groups face once they have an access Internet. It is almost the post access. It is trying to bridge it with the ongoing postaccess. In previous years, BPF has looked at violence against women, actual barriers to access and now we're starting to think of a more practical or maybe more ‑‑ maybe a practical way with this. I will not say more than this. I will give the floor to Anriette Esterhuysen to do a short presentation on the report. Thank you very much.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Thank you very much, Bruna. Is it possible to display what is on the screen? Of this computer? What do I need to do?
>> (Off microphone)
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: Got it. Thank you. To add what Bruna was saying we're bringing up, not a presentation, I'm just going to show you a table of contents.
Firstly, the process we used was to, as Bruna said, build on previous best practice forums and identify topic based on that. Then we went to the community and asked for input and we got a really rich range of input. We got really five inputs. Two of them very misogynistic and antifeminist. That in itself is significant.
And based on that and the research that people have done, we have compiled this report. I know that ‑‑ you probably can't see because of the ‑‑ let me see if I can make it a bit bigger. Whereas my control? Where is the plus? That is a little bit bigger.
Okay. So the theme. The theme is ‑‑ just bear with me. Okay. The title of the report is beyond access. Women and gender diverse peoples participation in the digital economy.
The report has much more about the participation of woman, so on participation of gender ‑‑ gender‑diverse people. I said we had a call for input, draft report based on that, based on research. The report is not complete. So the purpose of this session is for you to give us further input into the report, and we have about two weeks to finalize the report. So ‑‑ well, I have about two weeks to finalize the report. So essentially, I would like people in this room to commit to in the next maybe until Monday to send additional input.
The structure of the report at the moment ‑‑ I think I can do this without losing my place in the document. It was the background which Bruna has just covered. Then the next section is really looking at defining digital economy. Because that actually emerged. One of the questions we asked people in the call for input is what do you understand digital economy? What does digital economy mean in your context? And we got nuanced responses. I mean there are some people that have a very fixed understanding of what the digital economy is. And who look at it as one integrated globalized economy. And then some people say there are many different digital economies. And there are local digital economies as well as national and regional and global. So clearly just how one defines the concept and to what extent that allows you to have a sense of control and participation also emerged as important. We did use a definition that was developed by the team at the University of Manchester, Richard teak's unit, dioda, the ‑‑ what does that stand for?
Then one of the most established ICT for development research institutes. I will show you the diagram a little bit later. Then we looked at the next chapter, which was developed with some of the coauthors. This report is a collective product. So we had Maria, Bruna, Chen, Cynthia who isn't here. Agustina. So it is really a collection of people that contributed.
The next section, which is called beyond access structural descriptions' discrimination and cultural norms and barriers, that was developed mostly by Maria Paz. I would say this is a theoretical section. What this section does is it looks at digital space as a political space. And it also looks at the participation of woman and gender diverse people as a process which takes place within the context of structural factors of discrimination and exclusion. I think what the Best Practice Forum is trying to come up with, policy recommendations.
But policy recommendations that are embedded in it a broader analysis of what discrimination and exclusion actually ‑‑ or how it is constituted and how it operates. So from the outset, the Best Practice Forum coordinators didn't want to participate in a simplistic way, which sometimes does happen in the ICT field. Which is if you train woman they will be empowered. If you give them handsets, they will participate in the digital economy.
So the report actually starts off by doing this more analytical, political analysis. And that looks at patriarchal structure discrimination, and power more broadly. Then we look specifically at skill and capacity development. And there we had really good contributions. We have contributions of projects that are working. Work that people have done. But we also have the benefit of the equals research group. Anyone in the room here that was part of the equals research group? Put up your hands. Okay. So equals is an initiative that exists within the U.N. system. ITU, U.N. woman, UNESCO is involved.
The equals research group made up of independent researchers around the world, produced a nuanced report on skills. And again, their conclusion, looking at lots of different examples and cases is that it is not a simplistic problem and simply skilling women and having skilling programs does not actually produce real change. You need to look at other factors as well. Cultural norms and barriers are enormously important.
Other forms of actually having control. So it is not just about skill and access to tools. It is also about having some kind of control and influence over how you participate in the digital economy. And Bruna was our key author for that chapter.
Then we have chapter 6, which is looking at access to infrastructure and devices. Meaningful access, affordability, autonomous infrastructure and community networks.
So in this chapter, we had the benefit of contribution from people from the community networks movement. Authors for this were Chen, Cynthia who was part of the community network movement. And they have set a very concrete recommendations on how leaking control over infrastructure and service provision creates a platform for more empowered engagement with the digital economy. So woman and gender diverse people, not just as users of technology, but actually as drivers and owners of Internet services at a community network level. In particular. But there are also other models. And then, the next chapter is looking at gender and the digital workplace, the gig economy. Mainly looking at platform work at the moment. So there is, again, we have ‑‑ there is a lot of research on platform work at the moment.
And as you will see, when you look at the chapter, there are different types of platform work. And it is important to understand that as well. And in fact, there is still not a lot of gender disaggregated data about platform work. In fact, many of the microwork platforms don't necessarily even identify people by gender. But there are some studies that are emerging on online work. So there is sort of microwork, where you do work through a platform often you need to be fairly skilled. Maybe skilled to have some coding skills.
But there are platforms that are used a little bit like uber‑type platforms. Used by sex workers, used by domestic workers, where people are outsourcing platforms.
I found one study that really did look at gender. And just ‑‑ it is not in this version of the report, it will be in the next one. I found I.T. for change has also done some research. The trends are really disturbing. Because what it seems to indicate is that the same patterns that you have in the workplace in the offline workplace are repeating themselves, the same kind of woman in domestic work, for example.
The woman who do platform work because they can do that and still look after their children, do all the cooking, do all of the domestic labor. The same patterns of exploitive labor practices that women are subject to in the offline labor market is being replicated online.
Similarly, where research has been done on pay differentials, men are paid more then women. No data about gender‑diverse people, but certainly in the difference between men and women. And generally, broadly, working continues in online work and platform work is ‑‑ it is ‑‑ it is very exploitative. There is very little opportunity for workers to organize. They're very fragmented, very distributed. This is an area, the international label organization is doing a lot of research on this and is trying to take this concept of their work into the digital workplace.
In the Oxford Internet institute, I think some of them are actually here at the IGF, I saw Mark Gray is presenting something. They have done a lot of research on that as well. I get the sense that there is a lot of data beginning to emerge about platform work. What I have not found a lot of evidence are advocates, Civil Society groups, rights groups, workers rights groups beginning to take that on as an area for policy change. The research, the data is actually there, that indicates this is an extremely exploitative sector. That could just deepen if there is not some intervention at the policy level.
That's really it. In section 8, we have short bits of text on access to finance. Which is actually a very important area. And again, there is some research that there are patterns of gender discrimination around access to venture capital, for example.
Access to loans. Not a lot of research, I felt. Not ‑‑ you know, maybe I should have looked further. But there is not enough data on that. An then there is also a section in there which this emerged from the community as an important area and maybe we can develop that further. But privacy, security, safety online. It is a real consideration for workers. It is important for gender‑diverse people, sex workers who do not feel that they can actually ‑‑ that they have the privacy or security. They live in fear. They don't want to disclose that they engaged in online sex work. Yet for many of them, it is the only form of income. So the issues ‑‑ there is strong awareness of our important privacy and digital rights are in this online workplace. Good.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much.
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: This is a long list of resources. When we put out the call for input, many of you sent out resources. That is a growing document that can live on the Internet. As I said, I only found the I.T. for change research last week. But there is a lot. It has research, links to organizations, and it is categorized. It has support groups for women in the tech sector, for woman coders, research initiatives and also rights and support and capacity building and training, research initiative. That is a growing resource that hopefully people will be able to use in their work.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. This is Bruna, again, for the record. As she explained, I guess access itself is not the sole purpose of the BPF. The reason why we continue this work is to properly assess how it the onboarding of woman in gender‑diverse groups in the digital environment. On that note as well, I guess I speak on behalf of every single coorganizer here, we're thrilled to expand the focus of BPF.
We're shifting solely to woman to woman diverse groups and people. This is a truly a great thing to do.
The second segment will discuss how the gender considerations impact the ability of women and gender‑diverse people to participate in the digital economy. We have questions for the panelists. We have parts and each will have five minutes. Then I will go through the questions so everybody goes. I think we can try to share the screen on the questions. But I will do this after thes.
Our questions will be, the first one, what further cultural norms and barriers do women and gender‑diverse people have to confront in gaining meaningful access to the Internet and extracting value for themselves, their families or their broader societies?
What is women and gender‑diverse people's experience in gaining necessary skills to participate in the digital economy?
What is women and gender‑diverse people experiencing in accessing financial support and services needed to be part of the digital economy?
What is women and gender‑diverse people's experience in gaining access to infrastructure and devices to participate in the digital economy?
Yeah. And this group as well, experiencing participating or in trying to participate at digital economy as workers, developers, or entrepreneurs?
Some key recommendations for the panelists that you will be able to offer to incorporate gender perspectives in building a truly inclusive digital economy?
And what lessons have we learned from specific models to try to promote women and gender‑diverse people participation in this digital economy. We will start with Nicole Patterson. You have the floor Nicole for five minutes. Thank you very much.
>> NICOLE PATTERSON: Thank you, Bruna. Let me tender my arc apology ‑‑ aapology at the start. I am a member of the equal coalition. The ITU equals will have their awards at 5:20 which I am a key part of. So I appreciate the opportunity to go on first.
Speaking to a number much the issues that you have raised, I'm going to speak from the experience of the work that myself and my colleague along with a number of different partners are doing across the Caribbean, that is under a program called Caribbean girls hack, which is linked with equals and ITU girls and they're related to building digital skills of girls across the Caribbean to do that, bridge the digital gender divide.
It is interesting the triggering questions we have ‑‑ this is the third year we have done the hack‑a‑thon. We're happy to say we have had 600% increase over the past three years. This year we did a sample survey of the participants looking at issues you are speaking to in terms of the cultural issues.
I know the Caribbean consider itself diverse and open in terms of culture and context.
But just to give you a bit of a flavoring in that we had a question that was looking at what are some of the challenges that the girls face in their countries in terms of promoting ICTs? And it is very interesting to note that from the target group, from the sample group, that the highest at 46.7% of respondents said it was limited content, relevant content. I just came out of a session that was one of the plenary discussions. They were speaking there about importance of relevant content and I think even relevant content beyond our situation in the Caribbean, speaking about different languages, that kind of thing, to reiterate the target group is between age 13 to 23 years. Girls from high school to university. We have the high school girls catching them early before they decide which programs to continue with. And then university girls to give them a different opportunity.
But that is quite a significant one. And also from the cultural context, those indicated that they find that predominantly, the ICT courses are largely male, and they find that intimidating.
I will speak more ‑‑ I can actually touch to it now. That one of the things I will do ‑‑ the other questions we had afterwards are saying, okay, what are some of the ways that you think ICT skills training can be more responsive and more. They have indicated in bootcamps that would be more targeted for girls. So it is not that they want to separate themselves, but I think that they feel that level of intimidation from being with the boys. You also mentioned you were speaking a while ago in it terms of some of the privacy issues. And in fact, some 21.2% of respondents, which is a fourth highest point, indicated cyberbullying as one of the largest concerns. A number of you may know the work of the colleague, Dan that we're happy to claim as a Jamaican. Who had also did some work, research work from while at the web foundation on the information. He did point out in terms of the limited research out there in other context, that there is little research in the region to date, examining the relationship between ‑‑ this is now looking at let's say gender based violence. Oh, you're timing me. I was like what's that?
And ICTs. But nevertheless, the issue of online safety vis‑à‑vis the exposure to cyberbullying is regarded as a high issue. When we look at the question of content, interesting to note a few things.
One, Jamaica has 53% of women on Facebook are women, women. And it is interesting to note that in terms of relevant content, they were saying could we get 67.3% of our respondents were saying it would be great to have more information on work opportunities. I'm saying that to say because anecdotally information that quite a significant number of young women are looking for work through Facebook and actually where there is some limited correlation is the fact that that has exposed them to significant GBV.
I will touch two last things, which is education and healthcare are the other areas that are seen as well that would be very interesting to girls in terms of relevant content. And my time's up. So I'm going to stop speaking. Hopefully the information that was shared will be useful and I look forward to working with the BPF some more.
>> (Off microphone)
>> NICOLE PATTERSON: Yeah, by Monday.
>> Please do.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Nicole. I'm going to give the floor right now to Chenai Chair. Also one of the cofacilitators on this. I skipped the order. Chenai, now you're up.
>> CHENAI CHAIR: Thanks, Bruna. As Nicole was talking about the importance of research, it segues into what I will talk about. Unfortunately, it won't be ready by Tuesday, that is something to note.
But I think from our perspective, with Foundation, One, we have a focus on women's rights online. And this year, we're actually conducting surveys in four countries, Colombia, Indonesia, Ghana, and Uganda. It is to understand what is gender‑diverse and women have common online. It is trying to figure out what they look at online. In terms of the cultural questions, there is definitely need for different methodologies around research to understand why is it that participation online in the digital economy is difficult.
We are aware that access affordability to devices is a challenge, digital skills indexes is still a challenge.
Even now we have launched an understanding of what is meaningful connectivity from a web foundation perspective. What we understand is if the device is produced and in order to carry out the activity online, you need good quality connection at a good speed. That does allow for you in one of the focus groups a participant said I need Internet that allows for me to watch a one‑minute video in one minute.
So that is already an indication that if we want to have an understanding of how it is gender‑diverse participation carries out online, we also need to understand do we have the infrastructure and resources in place that allow for people to actually be able to fully participate on the platforms. And then another thing that will be in our research is also trying to understand the extent to which people are part of a financially included in particular women, because that is where the issue is in terms of access to resources in order to be able to carry out online activities.
I think this is public information. But Facebook did conduct a research on women who were using their platforms for economic activities. And I can share this with you Anriette Esterhuysen. It was a matter of actually pointing out that most of them were funding from their families and communities. It was much more difficult to get loans from the bank because of the profile being a woman and didn't have enough capital to bring it back for leveraging that. Actually building the research base to understand the level of financial inclusion that women and gender‑diverse people are. In terms of do they have access to formal banking? We know some of the countries, Uganda for example, huge extent of mobile money, could be a different case in Uganda. We need to understand that. There is the reaction framework, this is where the policy discussion comes in. What are the targets put in place for gender responsive policies not gender sensitive policies.
The difference we find is policymakers have a line of gender. They will talk about the economy and say to ensure economy that includes women. When you ask them what the targets are or do they have initiatives that do allow for funding, that is targeted gender‑diverse people and women, you find they stick to the ITU level or say there is a certain ministry that knows about it, we will figure it out.
That is sort of what is exciting about the research we will do to unpack the level of the targets that are involved. Because it does ‑‑ we do have the quantitative component and qualitative focus groups and key informant interviews. And I think the IGF community as a whole would benefit from having this research to be able to engage with data that is nationalryly representative and takes into account diverse people.
>> (Off microphone)
>> ANRIETTE ESTERHUYSEN: One of the investments of getting ‑‑ quickly ‑‑ a gender response, by a colleague on the policy team is to have an e‑skills training for policymakers, which would then allow for if we are campaigning for additional economy everyone can benefit from, let us work around capacitating helpless makers and highlighting to them why gender is something they should really focus on instead of checking the box. Those are my five minutes.
>> MODERATOR: Thanks for that. I just wanted to it highlight, because it appeared to me, maybe there are people and other speakers that can comment on this. In my traditional microlending ‑‑ I'm talking about the last 50 years of microlending in development. Usually favored woman, because woman were better payors. They were better microborrowers. If there is a difference in this trend, in this digital space, which it appears to be at the moment based on the data I have seen, I think that is a very significant finding.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much to you both. Yeah, it is also in the draft report that is part of inclusion and gender‑diverse groups that will allow us to attempt in not having less biased technology and policies. This is a good point you both highlighted in your interventions right now.
So I will give the floor to 7amleh.
>> 7AMLEH: Hi, I'm here with my colleagues. 7amleh is a human right organization that focuses on personal rights. We have this study of gender based bias online and participation of Palestinians in the digital economy I have a lot to talk about, I think. I will try to cover as much as possible.
I can basically starting off by saying some access to some of the highest literacy and education in the world. More women are in higher education than men, with the violations happening towards Palestinians, you know, human rights violations and ongoing occupation of Palestinians which is utilizing patriarchy to fragment society and turn violence inwards. The occupy little power in this case, Israel uses extortion measures on women in the online space.
Palestinians have been surveyed by the occupation. Including women of course, in a state of constant paranoia in the digital space. So also, this digital space has amplified this fear and families have a lot of fear of, you know, they try to prevent their children, especially women from participating online because this can basically create risks for them in the offline sphere. Different forms of offline violence.
Increased control of women's online freedom of expression and ability to participate in the digital economy as well.
There is investment in the Palestinian ‑‑ from Palestinian private companies. And organizations. Helping women building capacity to become entrepreneurs. For example, there is this online e‑commerce store, which is an online lingerie e‑commerce store that just recently been launching its project regionally.
And other than that, women also are mostly discriminated by online financial service companies, such as PayPal. Which have very recently published a report that restricts ‑‑ shows how they restrict like other digital economies being restricted. Another thing is Palestine recently only got 3G, actually, which the rest is ‑‑ it is not competitive with the rest of the world. Suppressing person in digital development.
Israel has been making electricity cuts, on the ICT practice infrastructure in Gaza creates barriers for entrepreneurs for successful businesses ‑‑ to run successful businesses.
Control of the import and ekport, this also has made the import highly costly and making electronics as well difficult to obtain for women which is also outdated.
Despite the challenges women face as well, as I said, there are like the private seconder and NGOs that have been enabling and enhancing women skills and capacity to grow businesses like having entities that provide training for women and such. My recommendation would be to end economic discrimination in which to allow actually Palestinians to have online platforms where they could, you know, access and gain economical opportunities, as well, which you know, as we have this economic blockade. It would be great to just try to find ways within the social media companies and within the financial service payment companies that can try to put some pressure on Governments such as Israel in order to end the economic blockade.
>> Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Best panelist so far in terms of timekeeping. Thank you very much, Allison. Moving on, I will now give the floor to Sarbani. You have five minutes.
>> SARBANI BANERJEE BELUR: Hello. Thank you for this opportunity. My name is Sarbani. I'm from India. My organization is Gram Marg. I work for a community network, one of the peer member of APC. So everyone are talking about, it is good to her about all the good works people are doing on the gender. It is mostly still online. I will be talking on ‑‑ it is most he remote area, we don't have good Internet connection.
I will mostly talk about how we solve some of the problems with the offline technologies, using mesh or Wi‑Fi technologies how we are trying to address some of the things with the Government.
So first of all, I would want to introduce how women are participating in the digital economy. So we have a small space called craft space. We have given an open space for them. Where they can come and do ‑‑ so this is one of the craft of space where they build baskets. Cleared baskets. This is a small radio device, I will come to this.
Something like this they produce. This is created from the local resources available in the area. And they do the baskets, all this kind of small stuff. And how ‑‑ so they do this at the smaller area, there, but so what we have given them a space building a small mesh set up for them. Where they can upload their local skills or local development, whatever they are doing, like they can describe early on how they want to share among the groups or how to market it.
Is all through the phone. We have given each of you a phone. I'm giving a platform for them to use. We have given them phones, Wi‑Fi services. This is one day of accessing for them to like express ‑‑ to express themselves. How ‑‑ what they feel about the platform in that area, if they want to express more
So there are different mediums that we have created for them. So one such is ‑‑ so the women ‑‑ so the space that they're talking about is a practice space that I was telling about the woman from across the village they come together, sit and do craft. They do talk about like what they are doing and so one person, there is a master trainer, it is consider. What she has learned and other women she will teach in a different place. It is very rare that it happens that no woman, a whole family wants to move just because they want to share their knowledge to some other woman in the place. So it very rarely happens in this scenario. So how they share this? This woman comes from a different place, she is there. How the local villages help ‑‑ already?
How the local women help them to be in the culture. She is from different and some said, they're from different cities, many people that have come together to share the work. One local person that knows about the technology, these are low trade people that just understands media, not the text. We give the devices, the one person that is (?) how she teaches the other people how you can use the technology and how to browse, share your skills, use very little Internet and also how to share your knowledge on the Internet or how you can post on the Internet. The open space created is shared.
Quickly. So it is not just ‑‑ the woman there, but like also the men feel like the space, how they can participate in the open space that is created for them. Gender is just not ‑‑ it should be equal balance, where the women, men can both participate to bring something good within the culture.
So that happens when we give a good space for them. We have the radio, when the women and men want to express something they do it. When they don't want to share in public, but they want to share through some other medium, this stand alone radio, community radio that we call. We record through this. We have like many many reused materials. This is from one of the craft. We have used old telephone booths. Solar powered (?) Many such devices we have created so they don't feel like this medium is just for them to try to experience what they want to actually share. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you. Up next is Kemly Camacho, from Sula Batsu.
>> KEMLY CAMACHO: Thank you. I feel honored to be at this amazing table. I'm from Costa Rica. We work the Central America region. I'm from Sula Batsu. I have five minute, I'm really going to highlight just three points. Three specific points if I can share long things.
We work ‑‑ the work I would like to present is the work we do with women in I.T. industry. I have to say only 15% of the students for computer informatic developing are women, and 13% of engineers are women. And only 2% of the entrepreneurs or enterprise owner are women in Central America.
And then, because of that, we have the developed nine years women in I.T. industry, women in technology and women introduce technology we're at this point 800 women from all over Central America. We together, we have the actions, research, to understand and to start the own reality as women in the I.T. industry. The program, the name is TKAS, the objective of the program is not to integrate more women in the I.T. industry, but to create a leadership of women in the I.T. industry to change the I.T. industry. This is the objective we propose our staff. I said we have been working on that for nine years, I would like to present three specific points. During the last three years, the amount of programs trying to integrate women in the I.T. sector is increasing and is incredible the amount of programs coming from private sector, coming from public sector. And even from Civil Society.
In general, if we look at papers, many of the programs are needed with the strong need for human resources. If they don't, they can't integrate women in the I.T. industry. I.T. industry is going to be in danger.
For instance, in Costa Rica, the I.T. industry needs 8,000 human resources per year to continue growing. There are not enough to cover that. That is why we have to look very well this specific program to integrate more women in the I.T. industry. And in the research we have done, we also have really a lot of data and a lot of information and other evidence that the difficulties for women to be in the I.T. industry because the professional quota of I.T.
This is really an expensive quota of the diverse, even if they need women for diversity.
Then this quota of exposure is created especially at the beginning in the universities. And we have a lot of evidence about how these expensive quota manifest in the daily life of women in the universities specifically.
Then this is one point I want to raise, and the second point I want to raise is a reflection that we have if until now women we haven't participate in the development of I.T. enterprise, this model for the I.T. enterprise that we use and now we haven't participate on that this this model, this enterprise are created mostly by men. And then the business model is not the time to really develop now multibusiness bases in totalally all the reference, yes. Now environmental responsibility, more data privacy, more transparency, more business related with the problems of the daily life of the women. We have built a model, a business model integrating or created with five principles, that I'm going not share because of the time. But this is the time for women to really define another I.T. industry and another business model.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much Kemly. I apologize for the small interventions in the panelists. In the next section we will have more time in the Roundtable, so everybody can rejoin the discussion and participate maybe even add on one or two points.
I will give the floor to Schmitta. You have five minutes.
>> SCHMITTA: I want to speak more on what we mean with gender diverse women. One of the draft report, one thing that really stood out is the fact that there is not enough information on gender‑diverse persons to contribute meaningfully to the report. That is a problem. That is also important to see this as a problem. Right now, the economy is big, especially with L.G.B.T.Q. persons and of course, specifically more in vestern countries, U.S.
And it is slowly growing in other countries like India where now there is relatively like lesser legal values towards homosexuality with the problem. In spite of the growing pink economy and pink economy is so huge. It is like $4.6 trillion. That is bigger than Germany's GDP. In spite of this, when you want to look up this economy on gender‑diverse persons, there is next to nothing
This is not to say that digital economy has not helped persons because several cases to avoid differences in work spaces, trans persons take on jobs in it the digital economy to one income. This is a small part of it. When you think about ‑‑ when you think about technology itself. When we start talking about it when we talk about including how to close the gender gap and provide access to women. It is always provide access to only women. The conversation hasn't gone agenda gender binary here. If we look at the technology itself. We know a lot of the people that create technology are men, that is true. That is why the gender gap exists.
If we don't talk about nonbinary gender when we talk about gender gap, it is too late. You can't say we'll deal with the women now and then go to the others. If that is the attitude, implicitly creating a hierarchy and it can never be closed. If you look at the digital economy itself, what are some of the barriers which gender‑diverse people face when you are taking up jobs as a part of the digital economy? One is when you look at ‑‑ one is the construction and design of apps especially in app‑based economy a lot of the food delivery apps use male pronouns for the delivery persons. They ‑‑ the loggees they use in uber, now actually, in the last update uber started showing female drivers but I don't know if they changed the language to accommodate for female drivers. That is language in one level. The degree they have on facial recognition and visual identification of people here. Who is stuck in the gaps.
By facial recognition, I mean that when you get an uber, when you book an uber, the first thing they tell you is check your number plate and check if the person driving matches the identity, matches the photo online, right?
This is right wing, because when you are queer, one of your ‑‑ the most private things you have is your visual identity. Do you compromise your identity so you can afford things like food and ‑‑ yes.
Next is the fact that a lot of digital economy is dependent on cards and banking system. This is a huge barrier for trans persons and gender queer persons because you may not match with the identified gender. Where do you bring the issues? In spaces like IGF and what does it start with? It starts with your prefix, Mrs., Mr., doctor or professor. I am not a doctor or professor or mister or miss. I have to bring it here. The space is not safe for genderqueer or trans persons. It is not just absent in the places where they mitigate the issues which are not accessible, which are not safe. This is something to be addressed at several levels. We cannot start at the binary and say we will address all of this later. Yeah. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much, Shmitta. Last but not last, we will have Anita. Anita I hope I pronounced the name correctly. You have five minutes.
>> ANITA: Thanks, after the inspiring presentations. Whether we talk in a forum about women, women empower and the gender‑diverse. You tell stories of change, or push back and context of women in the digital economy, there is always this question as to whether you tell stories about women or telling stories about the economy.
So I think in this context, I'm going to try and focus a little bit on the economy itself. I will focus on broad challenges. For sure, the access. We are told by the status is that after 2013, Africa is the only continent where the digital agenda gap has widens.
Secondly, in a country like mine where geo scenting is found that (?) this is 2019. On the other hand, I'd also like to actually reflect a little bit on the idea of access. Maybe it is a postaccess world in a very perverse sense. What is that perverse sense? That I fear is your default integration against your consent, regardless of whether you know, you're a user or not into this larger digital economy.
So your integration as a user may not count at all in the way in which the economy is designed. What do I mean by this? Look at the ILO gender pay gap report for 18‑19, it tells you based on bid data modelling, whatever you do, you will not be able to break the glass ceiling, that means the digital gender pay gap will remain for the foreseeable and nonforeseeable future. It means regardless of whatever access we give women to skills, technology, whatever, the economy is so brutal it will leave women behind.
First access also means that you may not even have a gadget, you may not even own a mobile phone, but the fact that the digital economy is bringing about automation, 3D printing, those things, you are losing a job as a garment factory worker. This is impacting you.
What is this digital economy. It is reorganization of production and value chains. And indeed, the economy itself is very fluid. It is local as it is global. Because we live in a globalized world. Value chains are organized from global to local and local to global. All sectors are changing. This is impacting local relations. I would like to give a couple of illustrations in India. If you look at on‑demand work, we have done small research, but at this point in time, what we understand is that women who may be integrated into platforms like urban clap are offering services are completely squeezed. The algorithm games them in a way if you just joined the platform, you may not get opportunities, if you have proven loyalty you are there, you will get some rewards. You have lots of disincentives on the platforms because you may not have reached there right in time. You may have had a transport problem, but who cares. And many of the workers really want to be out of the oppressive relationship with the platform instead of their own enterprises but the policies don't allow them to set up their MSME.
The domestic workers on the platform are offered completely racist ideas. The ads say gift your wife a domestic worker and not a diamond ring. This is an upper class man, saying this wedding anniversary I will give you a domestic work are on a platform.
The second example is microwork, it is not what we imagine it to be across geeing on arrivings ‑‑ geography and the economy. It is in feudalism paternalism, with minimum wage, and performance based controls and highly (?) work spaces because this is the environment in which data annotation takes place. Any data leaks compromise Europe and data standard of Europe. Women in one part of the world are surveilled so other areas rights can be upheld. We have policy changes from global to local. These really need to be based not only on traditional policy areas but also emerging policy areas like digital infrastructure and data.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much Anita. We have 20 minutes left of the session. 20 minutes. 25. Yeah. And the idea now is more of a Roundtable. Just so everybody who is here attending this session has the opportunity to offer more input or ideas.
So the floor is pretty much yours. Anyone who is wishing to give a contribution. Either to our report or if you have doubt on our report, raise your hand. Maria Paz Canales will take names and anyone else who wants to participate in the discussion. I open the floor now.
>> AUDIENCE: I'm not sure if you are able to say about the feminist Internet Network. Also, who is here from Digital Empowerment Foundation? Not here. I'm saying these are people that I communicated with that said they might be able to share.
So feel free. I know we weren't able to give everyone a platform, but several others contributed content, the feminist network run by the progressive communications. The research is not quite up yet, but if I understand correctly, there is quite a lot of research coming out of the network that looks at the topics that we have discussed today.
>> I apologize, we will be short. The feminist research network is a simple idea. It needs to be done and contextualized by the people that live in the places we're from. This is what you all have talked. The idea was to support and work together, learning from a feminist perspective. It is a work in progress. Researchers are from different part of the world, from India, from Kenya, some are probably here. I will not enter into the conversation, just saying that whoever is interested and working already on this, it is a transversal insectional way to build evidence, because we notice the evidence is missing. The very person with the analysis are not able to access the spaces where the analysis should be shared. So just this.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much Bally. Anyone else? Okay.
>> AUDIENCE: Thank you. I'd like to speak with the speaker about Palestine. As an outsider, I would like more literature, more what we can do as outsider to help you on the issue. The literature about that on the Internet is very little. It is weak. We need more about that. Thank you for speaking. And I hope you give us more information what we can do as outsiders to help this situation. Thank you very much.
>> MODERATOR: Allison, do you want to?
>> Allison: Yeah. So as we were saying in our ‑‑ yeah. More information about what you can do as outsider, do you mean like people in diaspora, how to be engaged with the issue with the whole issue of gender and economy and Palestinians? Yeah, like we were saying in our presentation, that it is highly connected to the occupation, the access of Palestinian women, so of course, we ‑‑ things related to that kind of end of taking the priority in some senses.
I think that is why it is important also for us to be in venues where we speak about the gender aspect. Sometimes as people experience in other countries as well, when you have issues of occupation or issues of high level of human rights violations for different maybe broader root cause issues that sometimes the issue of women or the issue of gender nonconforming communities ends up being marginalized further. So it is important also to have this topic of discussion.
In regards to what we have said so far about creating an environment that is safe for women, Palestinian women, it has a lot to do with harassment online, family control, lack of proper judicial and law enforcement responses to real violence that is happening, and then I mean, you can think of different cases in which ‑‑ for example, we have one case of Palestinian who went to a shelter because his ‑‑ their family was pursuing them for their sexual orientation. They went seeking safe harbor, and their family found them and came after them. There was violence in the street related to this issue. But a whole wave of online violence happened where people were saying a lot of hateful things towards the LGBTQI community in Palestine. We always have to think about also how people are in physical space and violence people are experiencing in the physical space you can see how the online space enables the amplification. That is the chilling effect that silences freedom of expression but people's engagement with the economy and access to the digital economy.
>> I think what also stands out from the Palestine case, is that Palestinian women are generally highly educated. Again, if you have a context of political disempowerment and control that has massive impact, what you find in a lot of the ICT ‑‑ who was it, Kimberly was saying there are so many initiatives that are skilling women in S.T.E.M., science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Many of the initiatives assume that is the only barrier. Lack of education is the primary barrier.
When you actually look at people's stories and different context, different parts of the world, there are many other factors that are disablers for participation. And I think not ‑‑ they're more complex, more local, more content specific. They're often not taken into account.
>> MODERATOR: Okay. I have two more hands ‑‑ two or one more hundred raise period one here on the right. You are the next one. Please introduce yourself.
>> AUDIENCE: Kathleen Digga, with the association for progressive communication. I want to talk about on what sha‑Linnie was talking about. It is an innovative mechanism of creating e‑commerce using the mesh in an offline network that is affordable. Because to get online for women in this particular place, in a rural area, where Internet is not even available or even affordable, this is providing that opportunity to engage in the digital economy.
And I guess that also touches upon some work that has been done by WIFEGO, the Women in Formal Employment Globalizing and Organizing. Marty Chen had an Article around informal workers, that is the basic mobile phone that is affordable to informal workers. Not being able to afford computers and the Internet connection, just being said, it remains divergent for the wealthy class to take advantage of the digital economy and remains out of reach for the rest. It is only with, you know, individual maybe sacrifice and finance that then digital participation happens. And opportunities for, you know, poor people or low‑income persons to engage in that type of access to particular devices.
And there has been also discussion when I talk about informal work of those who are in the informal economy who collect e‑waste. So where is that in the digital economy and environmental discussions and amongst women and gender diverse people? I think it might be a space that needs further research or if it is out there to maybe take another look and I will make my contributions by Monday for you Anriette Esterhuysen. But yeah, I think more look into the informal economy and ICT and the use for digital, this digital space would be most needed.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. If you want to take one of the microphones here at the table.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi, everyone, my name is Judy Kial I'm a feminist. On a conversation on digital feminists, we know there is a growing organizing online on different topics. Our goal was to create a space on unpacking why are women and gender‑diverse persons usings the Internet to break silences either anonymously or publicly but also unpack in different ways, even when they dare to access freedom online, they also are attacked and kind of lose that freedom by not being able to publicly own their voices. What I want to talk on is even though we talk about digital right, patriarchy doesn't stop in offline spaces, it comes with us in online spaces, which means that when we talk about online accessibility, there are intersections we shouldn't forget in terms of race, gender and social class. My grandmother has a phone that can access WhatsApp and I video call her. Up to now, she doesn't know how to do it because of lack of education. She has accessibility to the technology but because of lack of education she cannot call WhatsApp to talk to her.
My mom is an educated women that knows how to use Twitter, but most of the time doesn't know what is going on. This is layers when we talk about online accessibility and how patriarchy has kept the women and the women not being able to access that. I was really happy when he touched ‑‑ sorry if I used the wrong pronoun ‑‑ when they touch on the diverse ways we can unpack layers that comes with not accessing Internet. It is not only women and girls, there are layers, poor women, underprivileged woman, black woman, brown woman, what type of woman are we talking about? It is important that we unpack on all of that, because it comes with a lot of layers. Also, it comes with different regions and what is happening. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you very much. Do we have any further interventions? Okay. So another part of this last ‑‑ finishing part of our panel was for us to maybe get some inputs for future subjects that the BPF can address.
A little bit of how this happens. So we will right after the IGF, we will release the final report. And then the final report will be submitted to the Secretariat. Next year, the MAG members have to propose a new subject and provide reasons to why the Best Practice Forum on Gender and Access, it should continue. And we often do this with a preposition of a subject to discuss. So if any of you has any suggestions or topics you would like to see being addressed by this group, this would also be the moment for you guys and the floor is open again.
>> MARIA PAZ CANALES: Just in complement to what Bruna mentions. I'm Maria Paz Canales, cofacilitator. I'm an MAG member, I will keep engaged in the BPF work for the next year. It is not also only about the topics that you want to ask to maybe propose working on in the next iteration of the BPF, but also to hear more about you, about what kind of methodologies work are better for you in terms of reach out. Because we know that this is time‑consuming, but we really want to have more active participation of everyone that is interested in this topic.
In order to better reflect the wonderful job that you are doing in each one of your ‑‑ from each one of your places. So both are very welcome in terms of even if this imply a little bit of criticism of how we work in the last time. Everything is welcome. It will help us to improve for the next year. This is for you. You are the BPF. So we need the community to be alive and participating. Thank you.
>> AUDIENCE: Hello, everyone. My name is Debra. I'm from Brazil. I work at the institute for technology and society. I think to give my input, not even five, a fourth dimension in access. Meaning, first we're talking about infrastructural access, then we're talking about access to Internet in itself. Then we're talking about what content is there, and how can we actually have the skills to access that content. But how about if you go through the maybe layers, you get there, you have cyberbullying and digital online violence and you cannot actually continue to use that online space. So I think maybe this could be a topic or a series of topics that we could address, specifically on gender violence online. Just my two cents on the topic. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Debra. Just to make sure that I mention it to you all, online abuse and gender based violence was the approach of 2015. Maybe if that is the need and maybe we can find ways of restructuring and expanding the debate and the research at the time. It is also worth mentioning that every single report of the BPF is available at the IGF website. Maybe on this upcoming weeks, the exercise would be to take a look at them and see what we distill need to address, how can we still address it.
>> AUDIENCE: I will be quick. I would like to build on what is said in the first round, second round. If we want to have gender‑diverse people, why we don't do work in access, what are the barriers that prevent? Because it is this, no? It is how you can tell if you disclose yourself. If you lose safety. What kind of barriers, physical barriers people have to come here. When from the registration and saying, if this is one net, I think it is the no net. Is the net the one that are white, have privilege passport, have good bank account, that they can camera every time with no hassle at all. If you want, let's have all of this community ‑‑ what are the barrier? Because access, it is a very thick word. Then we can build that issue on the work. I think that is true on that level. There is a lot that need to be said.
>> MODERATOR: We have two more on this side then Nidera and Schmitta.
>> I wanted to mention and maybe build up on what you said, the financial part of it. I think as we can see in this room, a lot of underrepresented people in the world of tech. We're not all white CIS men. I think that is also a big problem that we as underrepresented problem have to put our time, volunteer our time, come to the places. This is happening during the week. If we work we have to come and cancel work, and this is unpaid work added to the normal work where we have to nonstop prove ourselves to stay on the same level as everybody else. I think this is added, added, added and it leads to people burning out. One, they have to always prove themselves, and two, pick others up and do the extra volunteering because they see the problem, sitting in a roomful of men working and programming. That is also, if I can say a statistic from Germany, we have for women over 40, 40% leave tech, people that have been in tech. For men, it is 20%. It is the burnout happening to every underrepresented person that has to do the work, prove themselves 10,000 times at work. This is also a huge topic to be talked about, this unpaid work and burden that we all go through. Thank you.
>> MODERATOR: NaDirae and Schmitta.
>> NADIRAE: Simple comment, talking about dynamic condition for gender. We're still working in silos. We have to some some male contributing, even to our discussions. That is one point. Thank you.
>> This is a suggestion for the next BPF we were discussing, it is important for algorithmic and opinion learning, it creates barriers and online violence, and also the economy constructed by the digital space. A recent example is a Facebook where on Facebook they found out the job ads and openings shown were based on gender and age.
People over the age of 40 or 45 are not shown certain kind of job openings with higher pay, and neither were women. This is something ‑‑ it is important to tackle it sooner rather than later. More and more it is not the humans that are causing barriers. What is taught to machines and what machines are learning every single day. Maybe this is something that would be interesting.
>> MODERATOR: Excellent suggestion.
>> Thanks, Bruna. Yes, I think ‑‑ I think we can ‑‑ we could ‑‑ I think when we look at what to do with the IGF gender BPF, I think we should look at the IJF context as well. We can share information, we can collaborate and gather research, but I'm trying to think what would be useful in this space. Maybe the fact that this is a global platform. It is supposedly multistakeholder. We have policymakers, we have companies. Maybe something that does look at the platforms and looks at gender in the context of platform work, companies like Uber, other practices of social media companies. Because we can get them here. What I would like us to do ‑‑ the MAG has to listen to what the BPF says. I think to walk in a continuous way. The way it has been working with the BPF. And the funding.
I was appointed as a consultant in July, August. I think ‑‑ was it ‑‑ it wasn't you aruda. The consultant last year, as well. Raddica. So is there a way we can actually use the material we have gathered with this year's BPF, bold on some of the content, the issues, the gaps that some of you have pointed to. And actually come up with something that we can present as a challenge at the next IGF. Actually, for ‑‑ if not to just have a BPF session, but to organize a debate or something ‑‑ getting the ILO here. Getting some of the employers here. So we actually take it a little bit further. I'm not sure.
I think we need to decide. Do we want to explore new areas? It is useful to do that, but do we want to work in a more sort of targeted way? I think there are different ways. As Maria Paz Canales said as an MAG member you want participation. It is good for your feedback. How do we approach this to be strategic and get an impact?
>> AUDIENCE: I think I will support a lot what Anriette Esterhuysen is saying. But to be honest, I think we have to reflect a little bit more on the strong in the alternatives. Is it possibly to grade other kind of digital economy or would the need of the digital economy to be ‑‑ to put us further down? Yes? It is really we as women can propose another kind of business, another kind of platform with other principles. Can we or not? I think we have to think also, for the alternatives, to hug the digital economy, if we say in one way. I think we have to understand very well how that is working. Yes, and how the gender is working in the platforms. But those will be alternatives or try alternatives. And relations with the week and ‑‑ yes, exactly.
The way to work, I think we have a lot of topics here, to be honest, yes. Very interesting topics. I don't know if it is possible ‑‑ I don't know if work in groups, inclusive persons would be very nice for the next year at this topic on the gender.
>> MODERATOR: One last, yeah.
>> AUDIENCE: Yeah. So just thinking about the ‑‑ how to use this forum in the best way. I think that kind of there is a few stakeholders in the room beyond just the companies themselves. But also, I think the development policies of development organizations also greatly impacts the work that is being done in this sector. And the possibility of kind of having digital rights related issues, and you don't just teach them to build an app, you teach them digital privacy related issues and other aspects of the entrepreneurship and how it relates to digital rights. Also from a research lens perspective. For the next year we're doing research about Palestinian's access to the dig economy in general. We'll look at platforms and see their access. I don't know how I would bring the gender perspective to that. I'm starting to understand from what you said, like oh, okay, checking to see if it is Mr. Or Mrs. Or who can sign up. If it was a one‑page or few page document that gave me research questions and explained to me the type of evidence I should be collecting, links or policy relates things or links to different evidence. I I would know how to do that next year and next year be better prepare period that would be helpful.
In regards to the companies and the evidence collecting, the understanding, that would enable us to develop a set of recommendations towards next year where we could target specific companies for the way they are conducting their either hiring practices or business in different ways and make better recommendations.
>> MODERATOR: Thank you everyone. We need to wrap up this session, we have run out of time. I thank you all for being here. I think the IGF might not be the most ideal place, but we are trying to foster this gender discussion around. Spaces like this are important in the years, in which you can really count in your hand the amount of gender related debates at the IGF. So I think that there were two or maybe four. We need to keep this space and discussing with each other. Maybe discussing avenues for proposal panels and maybe bombarding IGF with hundreds of panels on gender. This is where we strategize.
If you have anything else or have doubts with the IGF, reach out. We want to keep working with you all. Thank you very much for being here.
>> Thanks, Bruna. I know there are more hands I'm sorry we have run out of time. I wanted to check, is everyone signed up to the BPF mailing list? Who is not signed up to the BPF mailing list?
You probably are. But if you are not, the link is on the website. I know people don't want more mailing lists in their lives. That is the only way we have of working. It will be important for you to participate. I think the first MAG meeting is going to be in probably February, February, January or February. So by then, we would want, with your input, some kind of idea of what the focus of the BPF should be next year.
>> Sorry, one quick thing. Another important intersessional activity at the IGF is the gender dynamic Coalition. Tomorrow morning, 9:30 is the session for the gender dynamic Coalition. It is different that they use the space to learn more. My colleague Dr. Kovacs will be sharing research on body and data and looking at data as a resource and putting the body back in the current data identification. I hope to see you at 9:30. It is in Saul B. If I am not mistaken. The next one. Yeah. Thank you.
>> Just one more announcement. On Friday between 9:30 and 11:00 we have a session called Internet detox, looking at what to do with some of the issues that were raised here on gender based violence. It is in room 5. I suggest all of you come join the discussion.