Enhancing Gender Participation within IGFs

12 November 2015 - A Workshop on Other in João Pessoa, Brazil


The session will begin with a discussion on the past role of women in Internet governance over the years. Next, the discussion will shift to the current status of women in Internet governance and future opportunities to enhance gender participation within IGFs.

Multistakeholder engagement in the National and Regional IGF has many dimensions: it involves ensuring participation and representation of various stakeholders (NGOs, public and private sectors, the technical community, academics, etc), as well as geographically diverse representation, and gender-balanced participation. Yet, often it is this last category that remains an unmet goal. Gender equality and women’s empowerment is recognized as one of the post-2015 sustainable development goals; a clear recognition that gender can no longer be a forgotten component of multistakeholderism.

Focusing women's participation on the IGF, data of the gender report card of 2013 show that there was only one session with no men in the group of panelists. In the same time, there were 24 sessions with no women being panelists. In the total amount, there were 104 women panelists against 146 men, that means, almost three men panelists for every two women panelists. Yet, in the total number of sessions in 2013, only 6% had gender as the main theme.

This roundtable will be focused on the one hand, global IGFs, and on the other hand, national/regional IGFs regarding the participation of women in all aspects of the IGF and N/R Initiatives, such as planning, organizing, facilitating, delivering and decision-making.

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