While the Internet has been cited by many as an important enabler of sustainable development, significant discrepancies persist that impact who can actually access and benefit from the Internet. According to recent estimates, for instance, more than half of the world’s population will still be offline by the end of 2016; a large proportion of which is made up of women. The IGF best practice forum (BPF) on Gender and Access harnassed the collaboratory benefits offered by the IGF's multistakeholder community to understand and address not only the barriers to meaningful Internet access women face, but also the initiatives that have been designed in an attempt to overcome these barriers. The community-driven efforts of the BPF were both timely and instructive in gathering more information on how access to the Internet and information and communication technologies (ICTs) can help to support gender equality goals and to promote the empowerment of women and girls - the need for which is also expressed in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Join the BPF and its panel at this interactive session to discuss not only the BPF’s draft findings and recommendations for further exploration, but also the ways in which stakeholders can help women to overcome barriers they face to meaningful access.
MAG facilitators of the BPF: Jac SM Kee and Renata Aquino Ribeiro
BPF Rapporteur: Anri van der Spuy
Discussants: Alison Gillwald (Research ICT Africa, South Africa), Claire Sibthorbe (GSMA, UK), Nanjira Sambuli (Web Foundation, Kenya), Ritu Strivastava (Digital Empowerment Foundation, India), Angie Contreras (Youth Observatory, Mexico) & Louise Marie Hurel (Youth Observatory, Brazil), Peter Bloom (Rizomática), Representative from UN Women/ ITU's EQUALS campaign (TBC).
The BPF's second draft of its outcome document was published on the IGF's review platform on 3 December 2016. It will remain open for public comment until 18 December. It can also be downloaded in PDF format here.