IGF 2023 WS #316 Bridging Gender Digital Divide to create Inclusive society

Organizer 1: Zeina Bou Harb, 🔒
Organizer 2: Umut Pajaro Velasquez, Internet Society
Organizer 3: Thokozile Precious Miya, 🔒United Nations Youth Track
Organizer 4: Wadzanai Ndlovu, Usapho

Speaker 1: Namra Naseer, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 2: MAUD ADJELEY ASHONG ELLIOT, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Umut Pajaro Velasquez, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Zeina Bou Harb, Government, Asia-Pacific Group

Online Moderator

Wadzanai Ndlovu, Civil Society, African Group


Thokozile Precious Miya, Intergovernmental Organization, African Group


Debate - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

- What are the challenges hindering inclusion and advancement of the digital economy?
- Are there any local policies to address the barriers to digital inclusion with a focus on the needs of women? What could be the best actions to bridge the gap?
- What would be the best governance model for any plan targeting inclusion?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will discuss different types of barriers and will then be able to learn from examples of Gender-related activities what can be done, in their relevant organization and even on their national level, to bridge the divide.


To achieve an inclusive digital society, where no one is left behind, it is crucial to ensure that all segments of the population, including women and people with special needs and disabilities, are provided with the necessary tools, digital skills, and knowledge.Barriers to access can be cost, literacy, content, perceived relevance, and safety among others. Gaps in basic skills limits the usage of digital tools and services, and gaps in advanced digital skills limit business development.
To bridge the divide, as a starting point, we should start by raising awareness on the importance of technology and access and building digital capacities. This can be done through an adequate and applicable Gender policy and by integrating a gender perspective in national policies, plans and budgets.

Expected Outcomes

This session would highlight the importance of national Gender strategies and the need for implementable action plans with measurable impact and the need for collaboration with a multistakeholder approach to bridge the gap to digital divide.

Hybrid Format: The session will include 1 moderator and 2 speakers onsite, with 1 online moderator and 1 online speaker.

Onsite Moderator will start the session by introducing the onsite speakers and give the floor to the online moderator to introduce the online speaker.
Each speaker will be allocated 5 minutes to present followed by 15 minutes of questions from both onsite and online participants. Then the speakers will engage in 15 minutes of moderated debate, then 10 minutes for questions followed by wrap-up by onsite and online moderators.