IGF 2023 WS #447 A Gender-Youth-Accessibility approach to Digital Divide


Digital Divides & Inclusion
Gender Digital Divide
Skills Building for Basic and Advanced Technologies (Meaningful Access)

Organizer 1: Judith Hellerstein, 🔒
Organizer 2: Gunela Astbrink, 🔒
Organizer 3: Phyo Thiri Lwin, 🔒yIGF Myanmar
Organizer 4: Veronica Piccolo, Internet Society Youth Standing Group
Organizer 5: Nicolas Fiumarelli, 🔒Youth IGF Uruguay
Organizer 6: João Pedro Damas Martins, EURid
Organizer 7: Mohammad Ali Jauhar, 🔒University Paris-Saclay
Organizer 8: Umut Pajaro Velasquez, Internet Society

Speaker 1: Umut Pajaro Velasquez, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Judith Hellerstein, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Gunela Astbrink, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 4: Mohammad Ali Jauhar, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 5: Phyo Thiri Lwin, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group


Elisa Haxhillazi, Intergovernmental Organization, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

João Pedro Damas Martins, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Nicolas Fiumarelli, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Break-out Group Discussions - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

Policy Questions

According to the 2022 IGF Messages, “meaningful access includes issues of accessibility, affordability, content, services, digital literacy, and other capabilities as well as connectivity”. Which of these critical issues particularly affect your group?
In what ways can the Internet governance framework be structured and what approaches can be employed to effectively tackle and eradicate gender-, age- and disability-based discrepancies in Internet access and utilization?
What solutions can be adopted to bolster the involvement of individuals of young people, women, gender-diverse, and people with disability in decision-making procedures concerning Internet governance, spanning local, regional, and international contexts?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will leave the session with a better understanding of the intersectional problems that affect people based on age, gender and disability when it comes digital divide. But not only, they will be also able to contribute to the proposed policy initiatives that promote active participation of these groups and offer concrete solutions.


This session aims at identifying and exploring commonalities between different sub-groups within the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), particularly those focused on gender, youth, and accessibility. The session aims to raise critical issues related to the digital divide and foster increased participation from these segments in decision-making processes related to Internet governance.
Overall, this session aims at approaching the issue of digital divide from the angle of representatives from each of the participating groups who have a firsthand experience of the issues discussed. The IGF Dynamic Coalition for Accessibility and Disability; Internet Society Gender Standing Group, Youth Coalition on Internet Governance, ISOC Youth Standing Group, and ISOC's Accessibility Standing Group.

Expected Outcomes

The session aims to foster a greater understanding of the digital divide from the perspective of gender, youth, and accessibility. It hopes to cultivate a shared sense of purpose among the represented groups and identify concrete ways to promote greater inclusivity in Internet governance. The ultimate goal is to develop a set of recommendations or actions that can be taken forward to the IGF and beyond.
The target audience will be IGF attendees interested in issues of gender, youth, and accessibility in relation to the digital divide and internet governance, as well as policymakers, researchers, and practitioners in these fields.

Hybrid Format: This hybrid session involves panel discussions, breakout groups, and interactive Q&A. It opens with a brief introduction of the session's goals and panelists from various Internet governance groups. A 20-minute panel discussion identifies key digital divide issues, followed by 30-minute breakout groups discussing shared challenges and collaboration areas. The session ensures equal representation and interaction between onsite and online participants through Zoom. The following 30-minute interactive Q&A lets each group share their discussions, with equal space for onsite and online conversations. The session concludes with a summary of key points and actionable steps.