IGF 2017 WS #49 Digital inclusion for women: Scaling up our efforts

Short Title: 
Bridging the gender gap in internet access and use

Proposer's Name: Ms. Claire Sibthorpe
Proposer's Organization: GSMA
Co-Proposer's Name: Ms. Lindsey Dominica
Co-Proposer's Organization: GSMA
Co-Organizers:
Ms., Claire, SIBTHORPE, Private Sector, GSMA
Ms., Dominica, LINDSEY, Private Sector, GSMA

Agenda: 

Introduction: Claire Sibthorpe, Head of Connected Women, GSMA

Panel discussion: Panelists:

  • Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Chief of the Strategic Planning and Membership Department, International Telecommunications Union
  • Yannick Glemarec, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women
  • Mai Oldgard, Senior Vice President, Head of Group Sustainability, Telenor
  • Nanjira Sambuli, Digital Equality Advocacy Manager, Web Foundation
  • Rachel Samren, EVP Chief External Affairs Officer, Millicom
  • Chat Garcia Ramilo, Executive Director, Association for Progressive Communications
  • Government, tbc

Interactive discussion: Interactive discussion with workshop participants focusing on how we can scale up efforts to ensure digital inclusion for women

Closing remarks: Closing remarks by panellists and moderator


Session Format: Panel - 90 Min

Proposer:
Country: United Kingdom
Stakeholder Group: Private Sector

Co-Proposer:
Country: United Kingdom
Stakeholder Group: Private Sector

Speaker: Doreen Bogdan-Martin
Speaker: Yannick Glemarec
Speaker: Mai Oldgard
Speaker: Nanjira Sambuli
Speaker: Garcia Garcia Ramilo
Speaker: Rachel Samren

Content of the Session:
We cannot afford to leave anyone behind in the digital future. Unfortunately, despite an increased number of initiatives looking at the barriers to gender equality in internet access, the digital gender divide remains. Indeed, the ITU’s most recent estimate indicates that the global Internet user gender gap has grown from 11% in 2013 to 12% in 2016. Today, penetration rates remain higher for men than women in all regions in the world.

It is increasingly urgent that effective, tangible and measurable action should be taken to overcome the digital gender gap in access. A widening digital gender gap has significant implications in terms of women’s empowerment and development as well as for societies, businesses and economies. A focus on gender equality in the digital world is critical to discussions on shaping the digital future.

The gender divide in internet access and use is driven by a complex set of social, economic and cultural barriers. It requires a holistic approach and action by all stakeholders if it is to be addressed. It also requires that we look at how we deliver concerted action and at scale. The recent report from Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development’s Working Group on the Digital Gender Divide, proposes a set of clear and specific recommendations for different stakeholders to address the gender gap in internet access and use, in a clear and concerted ‘Call to Action’. However, addressing this gender divide also requires that we deliver concerted action and at scale.

While there have been efforts to address the digital gender divide, much more is required and it is critical that we take action which enables us to take significant strides to address the digital gender divide. This interactive panel will bring together high level panellists from different regions and stakeholders to explore how we can deliver at scale and address the digital gender divide. Panellists will explore this issue followed by contributions from the audience. This interactive discussion with workshop participants will focus on how we can scale up efforts to ensure digital inclusion for women. Join us to discuss how we can address the digital gender divide, realize this significant opportunity and ensure that women are equally part of the digital future.

Relevance of the Session:
A widening digital gender gap has significant implications in terms of women’s empowerment and development as well as for societies, businesses and economies. It is increasingly urgent that effective, tangible and measurable action should be taken to overcome the digital gender gap in access. A focus on gender equality in the digital world is therefore critical to discussions on shaping the digital future. Addressing this gender divide requires that we deliver concerted action and at scale. This interactive panel will bring together high level panellists from different regions and stakeholders to explore how we can deliver at scale, address the digital gender divide and ensure that women are equally part of the digital future.

Tag 1: Gender Issues
Tag 2: Digital Future
Tag 3: digital inclusion

Interventions:
This session will be structured such that there is an interactive panel will bring together high level panellists from different regions and stakeholders to explore how we can deliver at scale and address the digital gender divide. Panellists will explore this issue followed by contributions from the audience. After initial contributions from the panel where each will share their experiences and insights, the discussion will be opened up to the workshop participants. There will be an interactive discussion with workshop participants which will focus on how we can scale up efforts to ensure digital inclusion for women.

Panelists:
- The ITU and UN Women have both been driving a number of efforts to address the digital gender divide. Last year they luanched 'EQUALS’ (the Global Partnership for Gender Equality) aimed at accelerating global progress to bridge the gender digital divide. Senior representatives from both organizations leading these efforts will be asked to speak about their experience and how we can scale up efforts to ensure digital inclusion for women.

- Mobile operators are driving efforts to accelerate digital and financial inclusion for women. For instance, through the Connected Women Commitment Initiative, mobile operators are making formal commitments to size and reduce the gender gap in their mobile internet and/or mobile money customer base by 2020. Senior representatives driving these efforts from Millicom and Telenor will speak about their experiences in Africa, Asia and Latin America and what is required to reach women at scale.

- Najira Sambuli from the Web Foundation and Chat Garcia Ramilo from the Association for Progressive Commmunications (APC) are both driving forward both research and activities focused on addresssing the gender divide. They will bring in the perspective of those working in non-governmental organisations in different regions.

- We will also ensure that there is a government speaker on the panel since the digital gender divide can only be addressed by targetted action by all stakeholders and government is a key stakeholder.


Diversity:
We already have five confirmed speakers representing a diversity of stakeholders and regions:
• Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Chief of the Strategic Planning and Membership Department, International Telecommunications Union,
• Yannick Glemarec, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women
• Mai Oldgard, Senior Vice President, Head of Group Sustainability, Telenor
• Nanjira Sambuli, Digital Equality Advocacy Manager, Web Foundation
• Chat Garcia Ramilo, Deputy Executive Director, Association for Progressive Communications
• Rachel Samren, EVP Chief External Affairs Officer, Millicom

We will also ensure we have a confirmed government speaker. We therefore have confirmed speakers which bring a diversity in terms of gender, geography (including those representing global organisations as well as those based in Africa and Asia) and stakeholder groups (including private sector, international organisations and civil society).

Onsite Moderator: Claire Sibthorpe
Online Moderator: Yiannis Theodorou
Rapporteur: Dominique Lazanski

Online Participation:
We intend to open up the discussion to online attendees to be able to both make an input and raise a question. The online moderator will work with the workshop moderator to ensure that they have equal opportunity to participate (e.g. will have separate queues for online and onsite attendees to intervene and rotate equally betweeen the two). We will ensure that we have an appropriately trained remote moderator, work with the IGF team to ensure that the online participation session is set up appropriately and also ensure we are learning from others on how to best support effective online participation of the IGF.

Discussion facilitation:
Session format:
- Interactive panel will bring together high level panellists from different regions and stakeholders to explore how we can deliver at scale and address the digital gender divide. This session will be moderated by Claire Sibthorpe (Head of Connected Women, GSMA)
- After initial contributions from the panel where each will share their experiences and insights, the discussion will be opened up to the workshop participants (audience members and online participants). There will be an interactive discussion with workshop participants which will focus on how we can scale up efforts to ensure digital inclusion for women.
- The workshop session will conclude with a brief final remark from each of the panelists on how to scale up efforts to bridge the gender divide following the discussions and short summation of the discussion by the moderator.

This workshop will be moderated by Claire Sibthorpe (Head of Connected Women, GSMA)

Conducted a Workshop in IGF before?: No
Link to Report:

Additional Reference Document Link: http://broadbandcommission.org/Documents/publications/WorkingGroupDigitalGenderDivide-report2017.pdf

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678