The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Eleventh Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Jalisco, Mexico, from 5 to 9 December 2016. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> Hello? Hello?
Could we have the first slide?
Can we begin?
>> BARBARA WANNER: Welcome, everyone, my name is Barbara Wanner, and this is Workshop 15, "An Internet of Women by 2020: WSIS Vision into Reality." It culminated in an outcome document that recognized something that I think we all probably take for granted now and that is the extraordinary extent to which the Internet and ICTs have transformed peoples' lives creating greater inclusion, economic growth and developmental opportunities, but this WSIS outcome document also acknowledge a significant gender digital divide that has hampered the ability of women to become more productive members in the digital economy, and realized more rewarding and improved quality of lives for themselves, for their families and for members of their communities.
This workshop was designed to enable representatives of all stakeholder groups to discuss what they are doing to bridge the gender digital divide, and achieving gender equality in all Internet users. We have a very esteemed group of speakers here today who possess rich experience and expertise and I'm grateful that they can join us today and share with you.
I will introduce them very briefly in alphabetical order. They are Doreen Bogdan‑Martin from the International Telecommunication Union. Noelle Francesca de Guzman, and Nancy Hafkin with Hibah Hussein and Dorcas Muthoni from Open World. Is she on the line? Not yet. Okay. She will be participating remotely, but we're very privileged that we have Evelyn Namara with us who is ISOC's ambassador to the IGF, Carolyn Nguyen from Microsoft and Jackie Ruff from Verizon and Claire Sibthorpe from GSMA. Finally, I would like to acknowledge two people who will also play important roles in making this workshop accessible to everyone, and substantively meaningful and they are Lea Kingsley with the Internet Society who will be serving as our report Rapporteur and Lori Schulman with the International Trademark Association who will be the substantive Rapporteur.
Thank you, ladies.
Let's first begin. I put the agenda up here on the screen so you can follow along and get a sense of how we are going to develop this workshop, but let's first begin by considering what research tells us about various women's face. Claire leads the GSMA collective women's initiative and last year, I understand you produced a very large study bridging the gender gap. Claire, if you could share with us some of these key findings.
>> CLAIRE SIBTHORPE: Thank you very much. Last year we published a very large study that looked at women's access to use of mobile, in low and middle income countries. I want to start with making point that one of the challenges there's not very much data on this info. There's not a lot of info about women and men's access to the Internet, but what does exist is showing that there's a divide. I think the ITU data this year, highlighted that this divide is growing and that it's particularly pronounced in least developed countries.
And most people in developing countries access the Internet through mobile and so I think it's worth looking first at both access to mobile and access to the Internet. So in our study, we looked at, you know, there is still a significant number of people who don't have access, even to mobile. And we estimate this 1.7 billion women in low and middle‑income countries that don't have a mobile phone and there's a significant gender gap and that gap varies depending on where you are located and where you are based. So, for example, the biggest gender gap in our research showing is in south Asia, where women are 38% less likely to have a phone, that compared to Africa, where women are 13% less likely, but even within countries and regions, there are major gaps.
And even when women have a phone, again, our research is showing that they are significantly less likely to use the phone to access the Internet, to use it beyond voice. So this is really important to look at this issue and to look and understand why. And we have probed into what are the barriers when we did this research. And we found as can be expected that the barriers vary depending on your context and your location, but in general, the kind of overall barriers were the number one barrier was affordability. Cost was the biggest barrier. Handset cost, data cost was the biggest barrier for women to access mobile and the Internet.
The second biggest barrier was accessing accessibility of the networks, network quality, network coverage was still not there. And I think the third biggest barrier is an interesting one. It was safety and harassment. All the women were saying mobile and Internet makes them feel safer. It's a life enhancing tool and safety enhancement came out as the third top barrier. That I mean, concern of theft of phones and harassment by strangers on the phones and online.
This is really interesting. When we did the research, the same research in 2010, this doesn't come up as a barrier and now it's come up as the third biggest barrier, which is showing as more women get online, they are also then experiencing some of these issues. And so as they get online, this issue appears to be a growing concern.
And then the fourth sort of barrier from a consumer perspective, I would like to highlight is usability and skills. Again, women were consistently reporting that they were less confident to use mobile and the Internet and less able to use it.
I think in many of the countries we looked at, they had lower levels of education, less literacy and also products and services are not particularly designed with the needs of those who are illiterate or less confident technology in mind. And so those were some of the barriers that consumer perspective, but I thought I wanted to mention a couple of points. One is that these are not women‑specific barriers. These are barriers that men and women experience, but women felt them more acutely than men and they felt them more acutely because of a lot of the social norms in place and some of the structural inequalities between men and women around education and income and financial autonomy.
So these are the barriers that mean that women are now, as we sit, are being left behind and we need to target these and we need to target ‑‑ we need to have focused effort on this. And we are often asked what is the solution and the answer, that there's no one silver bullet. It needs a ‑‑ we need to tackle these issues in a holistic way. We need to tackle all the barriers. We need to have more data on this issue. We need to have more focus on women. Again, we saw in our research, there's a lack of focus on women and the barriers that women face in policies, practice, services. So we need to take a holistic approach and we need a multistakeholder approach and it needs to have a very specific focus on women, based on the real data and understanding of this issue.
And I will just make one final comment and then I know I have to hand over. So I think ‑‑ I guess it's a call to action to this group. The mobile carriers are doing activities. We launched the Connected Women commitment initiative, where mobile operators are making commitments to reduce the gender gap in anywhere gender gap. In the few months we launched we had over 30 commitments. This is an activity that the industry is doing and I think what we need to do is now everybody needs to take action and we need to tackle the sort of thorny issues otherwise the reality is that women will be left behind.
So, and with that, I guess I will hand over to Nancy here?
>> BARBARA WANNER: Sure, Nancy Hafkin, we are delighted you could join us today. You are recognized as an authority on promoting gender equality in Africa and you have done some groundbreaking work. And can you share with us your findings and compliment what Claire has pointed out. We will try to get your slides up here.
>> NANCY HAFKIN: Okay.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Next slide, please.
>> NANCY HAFKIN: Thank you very much, Barbara. What I would like to say is very much thank you to Claire as well, and to her presentation. I would just like to say ditto!
Very much agree with the idea of the need for a holistic approach and in compliment to Claire's presentation, I would like to look at more some of the women's specific factors that are barriers and constraints to their full participation in the knowledge society. So I'm asking the question, can we have an Internet of women by 2020? And my premise, it is not just a matter of technology, including education in the technology. It's not just adding ICTs and stirring.
Just again to review very briefly, the global gender gap. It's particularly in LDCs. And the largest regional data gap. Claire was talking specifically about mobile business with regards to all forms of Internet access. It's in Africa, where it's 23%. The findings that I will be presenting are based on a series of country studies that I have been working on for a number of years now with women and global science and technology. And what we did was develop a framework of indicators of inputs into and output of participation by women in the knowledge society, at country level. And it was part of the gender equality.
I will try to get rid of my drum. To enter equality in the knowledge society assessments, and you can see the URL for them. It was a combination of quantitative indicators and qualitative research, from 12 countries studies both developed and developing. The latest being done in Senegal and Nepal.
These are among the factors that we were finding that were keeping women from the Internet. Good health is a prerequisite for education, for participation in so many things, and that was lacking in many areas. Many countries with women having high percentages of primary education are less, of course. The problem of needing to know international languages in order to effectively utilize the Internet. One the largest things, though was the predominance in so many countries of patriarchal society which saw its effects in many, many forms. In customary law, which did discriminate against women, taking precedence over civil law.
In an idea of so many parts of life of men first, of women to be guarded in many cases so that they don't access ICTs, without voice, without political voice, without participation in civil and political society, with ideas about women's limited competency in science and technology, and then also discrimination in pay.
Particularly, in many cases, we found that women simply didn't have the leisure time or any time in order to access ICTs, and even if they had the time very frequently, they were living in areas where they had little or no access. Many countries had low percentage of levels of electricity, 7% in some areas.
In terms of macro factors, very important was that the national policies with regard to science and technology with regard to the Internet, frequently concentrated only on technological aspects and were unaware that the Internet was not gender neutral and also even where there was good policy, there was frequently a lack of implementation of the gender aspects of policy. Let me give you just very briefly one results of one of the country studies. This is Ethiopia, which in the last eight to ten years has been booming economically and doing a great deal to make the infrastructure for internet available throughout the country and in terms of women, there were numerous policy advancing ‑‑ advances guaranteeing women's equal rights and affirmative action, particularly in gender and ICTs and also on the other enabling factors. There were increasing numbers of women in public office, of female genitalia mutilation, which was a negative aspect of health, among many Ethiopian women had been outlawed and dropping, but still they found even with those positive inputs in mace, there were few positive results in the knowledge owe site. In the first place, even though the civil law and policy, it at the same time had religious and customary laws which dis 'em powered women. There was a law that said no international organizations, NGOs could talk about women's rights.
A very high cultural over evaluation of boys and men's. And high pregnancy rate. Very low female literacy rate, and a factor that affected both men and women, government controls limiting much aspect of the Internet.
So this is just one example, but putting together the very different situation from the number of countries that we found, that the rate of success in women becoming part of an Internet for all was not based on a single factor anywhere. No single factor was sufficient.
Women needed all aspects of gender equality in order to reap the full benefits of the Internet.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Thank you very much, Nancy and already I can hear a theme, the importance of wholism, that it's not just one silver bullet. That we need a confluence of factors to help to bridge this gap.
The business community has recognized the importance of building capacity to improve digital literacy, to bridge the gender digital divide and has focused much time resources and talent. Our speakers from Google, Microsoft and Verizon will highlight their company's efforts and share best practices and lessons they have learned that can guide others in developing digital literacy programs. Hibah who is with Google, if you can share with us, Google's get online initiative and some of the lessons you have learned with that.
>> HIBAH HUSSEIN: I want to underscore the importance of what my fellow panelists have mentioned. I think a common thread throughout all of this is a need for partnership and multistakeholder approach to all of these issues. There's no one of us that can tackle these issues alone.
I want to focus on something that a few of my panelists talked about, which is the usability and skills aspect of it.
We definitely view digital literacy as a core component of access and connectivity and don't think it's enough to kind of just connect someone and hope the technology. Fix all of these issues on its own. So in order for women to fully participate for even the knowledge society and benefit from it, affordability and seeing the relevance of the web and having the skills to kind of make cognitive decisions about it, you know, how do I use this to help my health or my finances or whatever? And also some technical skills, you know, how do I protect my privacy and security and all of that?
So that and also having a lot of local content, kind of relevant community‑oriented content is critical, and I think it's an important part of paving the way for an Internet of women and reaching those WSIS goals.
At Google we unsurprisingly have a lot of digital literacy initiatives like my fellow panelists. Instead of giving you a laundry list, I want to focus on one initiative that focuses on an issue that actually you mentioned, which is the gender gap in South Asia. This program is called helping women get online. It's a program in India and it was borne out of two kind of startlingly kind of disjointed facts. One being that India has obviously an enormous amount of digital promise. I was just at the ICANN meeting, and seeing incredible tech scene there and growth is awesome but it also has one of the biggest gender divides as you mentioned.
Some of the stats vary based on how they are measured, but around 17% of women are online in the country and the number is even lower in rural India. So kind of thinking about how to ‑‑ thinking, about you know, why is this, like, despite all of our awesome initiatives, why is this gap so persistent?
And thinking about how to address it by leveraging existing offline networks. So this program focuses on rural India, and it really starts by partnering with local nonprofits as well as data trusts, just because they know these regions so well. And basically the program is really simple. There are cycle carts equipped with digital devices and these are women who have been active in the community, have really vast networks, and these women have been trained on how to use phones, tablets, lap tops and they go in and train their neighbors and women in nearby villages on how to find relevant content, and how to make the most of these devices.
And this sort of community‑oriented kind of train the trainer model is something that we haven't done a lot of, but it's something that's been working really, really well, building the curriculum with community input, really making sure that we don't go in and just kind of enforce a top down kind of plan of what we think should be relevant and important.
So there are a lot of amazing anecdotes. I could sit here and talk about it all day, but to given you an example of how this works in practice. You will have a local nonprofit who has been active in the community, go in and kind of talk about this program, and then eventual women who often have never been online who express interest and it's kind of astonishing. One of my favorite stories is a 28‑year‑old woman who lives with her in‑laws has two kids. Never been online. Hears about the program and she's become one of our best trainers. She got really into it. She's trained over 1,000 women and just as an example, she trained her neighbor who is a seamstress to use the Internet to do research on more intricate stitching and blouse designs and also price research on, you know, how much the market prices for various things and her neighbor is now able to sell her saris for over three times as much and use that extra income to send her daughter to a better school. Getting to that level is kind of amazing.
There are a lot of other anecdotes. I think the three lessons and best practices that I wanted to focus on, I think some of the reasons that it's been successful are focusing on local context, focusing on those existing offline community networks. It's much more compelling when somebody that you have known tells you why this is, you know ‑‑ and shows you than to have somebody from a bigger company or the government come in and lecture you.
Also the partnership aspect has been really incredible with the nonprofits and also with the government, I think, both of you mentioned the kind of role that the government can play at encouraging creation of local content. And relevant applications.
And then this is kind of an odd but really kind of important aspect is we notice that supplementing this sort of digital training program with offline resources has been very, very effective. Everything from community meetings at, you know, places of worship or health clinics or whatever, things that people are finding or would like to find and even something as simple as having phone support. There are a lot of folks who are very comfortable having mobile devices and hadn't been online and would be more comfortable calling. I would like to do this thing. So that phone number as low tech as it is, has been incredibly effective.
And I'm sure during the are Q&A, I'm happy to talk about some more of those lessons.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Carolyn.
>> CAROLYN NGUYEN: I will reinforce the importance of partnership and holistic approach. I want to actually start out by saying, you know, it's a great week to be talking about capacity building. How many of you know that this is computer science education week?
So we are not doing a very good job at all in terms of getting the capacity and the digital literacy message out there, even in this audience. So it is computer science education week and the whole point is really to highlight the importance of STEM education as well as ICT in realizing the economic potential of women.
Now, why is that important? So women make up more than 50% of the world's population, but represent a staggering 70% of the world's poor.
Now, Hibah mentioned a little bit in her comment and I want to amplify it. There are a lots of studies that say if you give a woman a dollar, 80% of that is invested in her family. And so as we start to look at the economic power of women, you know, McKinsey did a labor report, $28 trillion or 26% could be added to the global annual GDP by 2025.
I'm sorry the gender gaps that were mentioned before are different, at different stages in a woman's life. It's actually larger when they were young, at 20%, to ‑‑ and then decreases when they get older. So at Microsoft, we have a ‑‑ our mission is very much to empower every person and every organization and empowerment really begins with inclusion. So the approach that we take is we take an entire lifetime approach. We have programs that starts from kindergarten. There's sort of three principles that I will come back to. One is that our programs start from kindergarten and goes through the various stages. We partner with local organizations and communities, governments, as well as global organizations such as UN and the various UN agencies and they are reinforcing another comment made by panelists, it's important to create support community, especially of like‑minded women.
So a very high level ‑‑ I'm not going to address the affordable access, but in this ‑‑ in this panel, really, we talk about capacity building. For the K through 12, our primary program is something called Youth Spark which was launched in 2012. It has happened more than 300 million young people in more Nan 100 countries around the world. There are specific programs for women and girls and what we do is we designed attendance of the program, but then worked with the local organizations and the communities to then create special programs for that country.
The program includes everything from an hour ‑‑ an hour of code is something that we run, especially during this particular week, to something that is a code program which is a seven‑week fast‑paced computer program for girls would want to learn everything from robotics to mobile development, you know, et cetera.
In the middle of that is a program specifically called DigiGirlz which is targeted to the middle and high school.
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How many are aware of Gamer Gate, it's encouraging women to persist, and address some of the online violence. We also have something called Women Think Next for professional women. The online safety is something that Microsoft works very hard at, and if there's interest, we can talk about that later.
Those are really the tenants of the program that are specialized and localized. We partner with UN Women. We also hear with UNDP. For example, on the first social innovation, we have in Cairo and the idea is that this is part of our aspire women program, and the idea there is to try to aim to reach 5,000 young women in Egypt to expose them to STEM. So, again, reinforcing the notion that we work with local communities and local government.
And then right in Mexico, I want to highlight a program that was launched this April by the Mexican national digital strategy, called code to go X and it is about promote inclusion of girls and women in ICT. It's in conjunction with the ITU and the government entities involved are Ministry of Education, national cultural center and also really the national association and institution in IT education. It's very much bringing together education in IT.
Just? Closing, I just want to reemphasize the sort of three things, the three learnings in terms of partnership, the importance of partnership, the importance of live ‑‑ you know, throughout the life programs and support, and also that community level of support.
>> Great. So Verizon is a communications company, an Internet company, technology company, and it should come as no surprise that we are doing very similar work. In fact, I think that's one of the takeaways from this session, which is that businesses are really dedicated, doing quite sophisticated and extensive work along these lines.
So I will give a couple of examples and then pull out some themes related to that. So even the use of the term "STEM" and the focus on that is fairly new, fairly recent, especially in a way that it's become just so commonly used in so many things done around those lines. At Verizon, we work a lot in the education space, as the partners with whom to do this.
So that would be ‑‑ we have something called innovative learning schools across the country, where it's training a teacher, tablets, and the teachers, the students, there's a lot of metrics that we measure. So in the course of that, we would be able to determine ‑‑ it's not for girls only, but we would be able to measure the extent that it is really being used by girls.
Then we have a mobile learning academy, which is remote for teachers to tie them into technological training at a very good university, Johns Hopkins. We have innovative app challenges for middle and secondary schools and last year, a team of seven middle school girls won it, and went to the White House, met with the President on that.
And then we've got girls in code, black girls who code, et cetera. One interesting newer thing is that since we are a wireless provider across the country, we are piloting and trying the idea of doing some experiential sort of trainings and gatherings for girls there: So you've got all the devices in the stores and the experts in the stores and then work with them and their families can come in and I think this is an important theme also when we are looking at working with the education system.
Of course, we are using the same types approaches globally, one that's very interesting is a partnership with Girl Scouts and Girl Gudes, which comes up with in UN Women, there's a competition to develop apps and other solutions to help reach the sustainable development goals. So that's been very interesting.
Then in India, the Philippines again, working with schools, what I like about those is hearing that the families are involved, hearing that they are often very carefully targeted to trying to help make the transition from secondary school to postsecondary school. So getting girls to be interested in trying, and trained and then hopefully making it. Those are some of the kinds of things that I think are important and the fact that we are duplicating is a good sign and even more of that should happen.
My final point here will be, okay, that's part of the pipeline, working with girls, STEM, training all of that, getting employees from Verizon to volunteer in those community‑based programs, but then how do we make sure that when women come into the workforce of a technology company like these here, like Verizon, that they succeed there?
So we have a great deal of focus on working mothers. We have been found by ‑‑ there is a magazine called "Working Mothers" to be among the 100 great places to work, maternity leave adoption assistance, day care discounts, and more generally for women, career ladders, tuition support has been mentioned and a very family friendly culture.
And then one point that I think is very important is to have the internal support groups. We have a diversity council. We have a global women's organization that is actually sponsoring this Girl Guides, Girl Scouts projects. If you look at those institutions inside our company, they are not just about the women. They are about the men in the company that are sponsoring that and that are coming to be the role models just as much as the women. And so we're all important to this. We are all in this together and we'll have more conversation about that, I'm sure.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Thank you very much.
Skill development is only part of the picture. We keep hearing this about the need for holistic approach. For women and girls to fully realize their potential as participants in the digital economy, they also need to good mentors.
I hope that we have Dorcas on the line, participating remotely from Africa. No?
Okay. Then we'll turn to Evelyn, who is one of dark as' mentees and is now a mentor herself. And if you could just share with us your experience working with Dorcas, who pioneered AFCHIX in Africa, which is an extraordinary endeavor that tries to bring more young African women into the world of ICTs and create careers in ICTs. So Evelyn, please share with us your experience.
>> EVELYN NAMARA: Thank you so much. It's unfortunate that Dorcas could not join us, but I will share my story. So I met Dorcas a little over ten years ago at a technology conference as a young girl who was considering a career in technology. I was doing computer science then. And as there are so many ‑‑ the few role models in the STEM world, especially in Africa. So we don't have many women to look up to and say, I want to be like her, especially in the STEM world.
So I met Dorcas at this conference where I was a volunteer setting up the local area network for this conference, and she came to me and told me about her vision for AFCHIX, and what she was planning to build, capacity building for women and girls across Africa.
And so she told me about AFCHIX, which are different workshops across Africa that we do in different African countries building capacity for women and girls, who are doing systems of administration courses, and I became ‑‑ I joined one of the classes, the AFCHIX classes and I was trained in UNIX systems administration and from that she opened out a whole new avenue of connections. You know, she connected me to the African Network Operators Group and I was part of the different technology workshops that AFNO carries out.
She introduced me to a wider network of women in technology, and a wider network of other people doing great things in the field. So I started building my confidence in the space and going out and being a part of all the technology workshops without having fear. And more to that Dorcas has been very involved in my life, like in trying to understand what is going on and how we can help more girls and empower them to be much better systems administrators or build their capacity in computer science and I became of the instructors for the AFCHIX and we did training in Malawi, and Botswana and through that, I can say that having someone to look up to and seeing the things that they have been able to achieve has been very key in my growth.
And, you know, I was looking at Dorcas and she won the Anita change award and I was always looking forward to that. Just a few years later, I won the award because of the work I was doing with women and girls in Uganda. Just having someone to look up to and her being always involved in my life and finding out what other opportunities are there and how can I be involved in those has been very key in my life.
So, yeah, that's the experience I wanted to share today.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Thank you. Noelle?
Is Dorcas on the line? No? Noelle, share with us your experience in Asia.
>> NOELLE FRANCESCA DE GUZMAN: Sure. When we talk about entrepreneurship, you know, entrepreneurship in the digital age, many of us still tend to think of start‑ups. We think of incubators. We think of innovation hubs, but the Internet of opportunity is really about expanding that ‑‑ you know, expanding the opportunities to everyone, especially those who would benefit from it most.
And when it comes to women, entrepreneurship is one of those sure fire ways to empower women, empower women economically, enable them to be more financially autonomous, but we also see that I think it's only about 30% of SMEs, businesses in the world are owned by women. And there's a lot of women entrepreneurs out there but many of these are microenterprises and most of them are ‑‑ and they are in the informal sector and they rarely go past the subsistence stage.
The program that I'm going to share with you today is called Wireless Women for Entrepreneurship and Empowerment. This is part of a bigger initiative that we have called or Wireless for Communities which is a more holistic way of empowering local communities of, especially rural villages, through connectivity.
So it begins with we help rural villages. We just started in India, but it's now being rolled ‑‑ it's now being deployed in many ‑‑ we are starting to deploy this across world, wherein we help communities deploy their own wireless mesh networks, especially those who are considered not very economically viable by ISPs and carriers. And then providing some training for them to be able to operate those networks and obtaining, of course, digital literacy training for ‑‑ to enable them to use those networks to ‑‑ according to the purposes that they see fit.
One of the phases of this project was the W2E2. So this involved teaming women, not just how to use devices to connect to the Internet, but also basic skills like, you know, how to use spreadsheets, online spreadsheets, the software that is readily available online and also basic entrepreneurship skills.
I have to say, though, that this is ‑‑ I have to give credit to our local partner in this, in India, it's the digital empowerment foundation, who has been wonderful in just implementing this in many, many locations across India. And just, you know, we ‑‑ we started deploying this in 2014, and just after, I would say months after we started this training, we already see women starting ‑‑ it's already starting to make an impact. So we have seen some of our former trainees, they started to set up their own eservices kiosks. There was one trainee who was a farmer who has now transitioned. She's using the information she can find online to ‑‑ to start organic farming. So she's trying ‑‑ she's transitioning to a higher value product, and then we also have someone who started, who was formerly working in another town. She left her family in the village, and she's now gone back to the village doing data input, using the laptop that was given to her.
And as a freelancer, but now with her children.
So I suppose the key message that we ‑‑ that we wanted to kind of put across today is really that connectivity as Hibah has already mentioned is the first step. It's important to have the first approach. But it's also to realize that ICT is not just a tool to empower women but an important tool to break down the gender‑based barriers that really keep women, you know, from accessing education, from accessing credit, and overall, just keeping them from realizing their full potential.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Thank you very much. A critical compliment to capacity building, digital literacy programs and mentoring is the need for women to feel safe online. A few of the speakers has already raised this is as an important issue. Women may not use their training because they don't feel safe. Doreen, please tell us about the ITU's efforts to combat cyber violence, as well as some of the broader work that you have done in terms of an action plan to bridge the gender gap.
>> DOREEN BOGDAN-MARTIN: Thank you. Thank you very much, Barbara, and good morning, everyone.
Every day we read something in the news or we see something on TV about someone that has been impacted online in terms of violence or bullying. Last Friday, there was something on CNN of a teenaged girl who killed herself because she was bullied. And in Geneva also on Friday, my daughter came home. My 16‑year‑old daughter to tell me about someone that she knew that had dropped out of school. 16 years old. This dropped out of school, because for two years she had been bullied and harassed online. The school didn't know about it and her parents didn't know about it because people that are bullied and harassed online, it's not necessarily something that we can see, right? You don't see it, as you may if someone is physically abused.
And this young girl was too scared, and too afraid to tell her parents or to alert school officials about what was happening.
And so cyber violence is something that we all need to take very, very seriously, and as Claire was mentioning before, we are seeing that it is actually a barrier to getting more women and girls online, because they are scared. So some of the things that we have been doing at the ITU last year, you may have heard about a report that we launched on the eve of the UN General Assembly. It was an outcome of our broadband commissioned Working Group on gender, and we brought attention to the issue of cyber violence and the millions of women and girls that are affected each year by cyber violence as well as the sort of lack of awareness by law enforcement agencies and the lack of action on the part of governments and on the part of educators to actually take action.
ITU has been very involved in ‑‑ in this space, in the space of building confidence and security and the use of ICTs since back to the time where we had the World Summit On the Information Society in 2003, and 2005. And in 2008, we launched something that's called the Child Online Protection Initiative. And many of you here are working on that, ECPAT and GSMA, it's to bring like‑minded agencies together and we have come up with a series of guidelines. Guidelines for regulators, guidelines for policymakers, guidelines for teachers. Our latest was for, and we worked together with companies like Facebook to put together these guidelines for ‑‑ for our industry so that we can all work together to really ensure that the Internet is a safer space for all.
The other thing is we are working very closely with child help line international to ensure that there's more support for child helplines and that children the world over know that these helplines are available to them, should they need them and that's something that's very closely linked to SDG16, which is about ending abuse and all forms of violence against children.
We all have a role to play as parents, as educators, as policymakers, and being in the industry, and I think we really need to work together to tackle this issue and as a parent of four teenagers, I find this particularly challenges and I always look for new techniques to really keep the message clear in my children's heads and also to make sure that I can protect them as much as possible.
I also wanted to just mention that we are in the middle of the 16 days of activism against gender violence. I think there's five days left in this global campaign. And so I would encourage all of you to try to take actions so that we can really put an end to online violence against women and girls.
And if I could just say a quick word about the action plan. Last year during the WSIS+10 high level event, we came together with many other partners, including UN Women, and we launched an action plan to bridge the digital gender divide. And that action plan kind of covers the whole ecosystem around the digital gender divide from having gender responsive strategies and policies, to ensuring access, making sure that access is safe, to building digital capacities, promoting more women in the tech sector, and finally to establish multistakeholder partnerships. Thank you.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Please share with us.
>> Yes. Thank you.
Hey, good morning, everyone, it's a pleasure for me to be in Guadalajara.
If we look at the problem from a slightly different angle, from the balancing rights perspective. So I would like to emphasize a few points. The first one is that we shouldn't look at the offline and the online world as two separate environments. I think one is a continuation of the other and the lines are very blurry. So in a way, what we see ‑‑ the behaviors we are seeing online, echo or reflect what we see offline. Of course, technology act as an enabler, sorry and has its own specificities, but it's sort of the same thing in a different way. For example, if we look at the issues of sexual violence, we men ‑‑ we know that women are victims, most victims are women, most victims of sexual violence, sorry, are women. And when you look at child abuse images that are online, most victims are female. It's roughly 80% of female versus 20% of male on the pictures.
So why is that? I think that it's because of something that was said by previous speakers. I think the key ‑‑ one of the key issues here is not so much technology but human behavior. It's a human decision to hurt others, to misuse legitimate features of technology. And because that's what we are talking about here also. Legitimate features of technology, being abused by some individuals, offenders, predators, who hurt a child, a female, a woman, for its own benefits. That's what we are talking about here.
So and those individuals, they have total disregard for the rights of their victims, of course. But the same way those individuals abuse legitimate features, there are those who create a safe environment. So we have ‑‑ Carolyn was speaking on behalf of Microsoft, and there is a software solution that is DNA, that is a technical solution that is being used in a positive way to combat crimes and to create a safe environment and basically, it's a technology that is ‑‑ has been created to detect images, child abuse images online and block them, the companies who use this solution can trace back to any content that is on their own networks.
And there are many other technical solutions. They are used in a positive way, when it comes to digital forensic, when it comes to do analysis of victims, victim identification, for the victims, the specialist units of law enforcement who are in charge of analyzing the images. Those are examples of how technology can be used in a positive way, versus combat the misuse of technology. I think that's important point.
Finally, the same way technology evolves, the offenders, or the predators also evolve and yesterday I was reading some of the fining of research that ECPAT is doing, trying to collecting quantitative and qualitative data from law enforcement officers. One the officers who was interviewed said practically on a weekly basis, offenders find new ways of abusing technology to hurt children and mostly female and also males, but it's to produce some type of illegal content, practically find, a new app comes out and is being used and becomes popular and they find a way to abuse this app and to hurt children.
And my final point would be that agreeing with the other panelists that we must tack will the problem from a multistakeholder. It's being implemented, it's called the modern national response has been launched by the we protect global initiative. Basically that's a model that looks at the sexual exploitation and the abuse of children from the comprehensive holistic perspective, from private sector, civil society, any other angle that's a criminal angle from the legal angle also. And that's the best way and the only way we can be more efficient and have better impacts on all of us together. Thank you.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Thank you very much, speakers. And I personally found it very interesting the comment that you just made about, you know, technology is not the bad guy here. In fact, we can use technology to help address some of these egregious violations.
Before I open this up to questions from the audience, I just wanted to pose there are several overarching themes that emerge from all the speakers' comments and one of them is that there's a lot of good work that is going on in a lot of different organizations and I would just like to open up for discussion among the panelists here, how do you think we can go about improving cooperation, coordination, between, between, between intergovernmental organizations, between governments, between business and government to capitalize and harness all of this good work that's being done to maximize our efforts to bridge the digital gap, rather than sort of pursuing this in a siloed manner, which may not be as effective more broadly.
So I just open that question up to speakers. Anybody else? Anybody? Anyone?
>> So I agree with you. I think there's a lot of action but we are not seeing the impact that we would like to see. I think there are a couple of challenges with that. One is I think it's an issue around scale and how do we scale up what we are doing and I also think that it's ‑‑ I think we need to start looking at also the national level and I think there's organizations like ‑‑ I see from AFRI that are looking at that because it's very context specific. It's very context specific, social reasons why women are being left behind and we need to understand data and how can we together make a step change and not do small‑scale pilots but to really drive the needle. I think that has to be done based on a strong understanding of the local context and then a coordinated approach to tackling it rather than some of the more global, which I think are very good. They don't necessarily move the needle at a national level.
>> Yeah, I couldn't agree more with the general ‑‑ there's definitely a lack of granular data and I think it's critical. I think also it is important to kind of recognize a lot of these issues have root causes that aren't, you know, technology related. And I don't think technology can ever be a kind of solution without dealing with the offline root causes as well so incorporating technology into various other parts of the government, parts of civil society, instead of using it as a Band‑Aid.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Just to take this theme, another point further, we have national plans on many things in our countries. So we have a national broadband plan in the US, we are looking at Internet of Things and getting some guidance coming out from our government, not regulations but just sort of guidance and coordination. I'm not ‑‑ and we probably have education plans. I'm just not in that field. But it seems to me that we need to bring those to go. We were driving to this facility. We passed right by the education ministry, I think it is. And is it talking to the national digital plan folks, et cetera and doing all of that.
And then it allows us to make a quantum leap. It's been found in the broadband area that some of the success ‑‑ the national success stories have occurred when there was a plan, and it went cross sectorally. And there were kind of metrics that allowed one to see if there was accountability on that.
The importance of metrics, even in the things that I mentioned that we do with the schools and education is just incredible, you know, it holds the programs accountable and gives some visibility into what more needs to be done, and what we should all reach for a few years out.
>> CAROLYN NGUYEN: Thanks. Just a couple of things I think we need both a top down, the kind of initiative that Jackie was talking, about as well as a bottom up. I love Evelyn's example of mentorship. But a mentor is not just a woman. It could also be a man and I can use my own case as an example. When I came to this country or the US, I didn't speak English. It was my father who said, you could do anything you wanted to do.
So I think each of us, we turn around and we say, for example, even at this conference, how many youth at IGF can we speak to, to do the kind of things that you are talking about, because I think that inspiration goes a long way and it goes back to the country.
Another thing I want to put forward on and this is consistent across the various different initiatives at the IGF is where is this information? How can I find the information? There's a lot of information out there and it's ‑‑ it could be applied depending on the context, the culture. It is a cultural change. So we also need to reframe the conversation. It's not about ICT. It's about cultural change and it's also where do you go to get that information, if there's a way to get the programs, that would be great.
>> Just two things, going back to the data. I suppose one of the things is also the lack of genders, the disaggregated data. We have a lot of studies coming out but then you can't really see ‑‑ well, it's not gender desegregated data and it would help us identify the gaps and where we can come in as stakeholders and where we can collaborate further. And it's also about ‑‑ the second point is having, I pose a common focus between stakeholders and one of them is a common focus on communities. So my co‑panelists earlier underlined that women do learn ‑‑ tend to learn, especially if we are talking about marginalized women, they tend to prefer to learn through their neighbors, through their immediate environment. So it's something that I suppose we could start to ‑‑ I mean, I think we are already starting to do that, different stakeholders but, you know, it could be something that we could all come together on.
>> I don't want to be the nay sayer about national mans but just kind of a caveat. In the studies that we did, virtually all the countries had national plans that were very positive about girls and ICT and the Internet, but they were very weak on implementation. Very weak on monitoring even evaluation, and also divide of desegregated. So to underline the point that it has to be followed up and just the warrants of gender awareness are in themselves in sufficient.
>> Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to be on the panel. And also I work tore ITU. I had joined ITU five years ago.
Before that I also worked in a team where women were leading us on the national level and in 2010, six years after in the same city Guadalajara, there was a conference of ITU, where certain ITU resolution 70, gender mainstreaming and using the ICTs for empowering women. It has been revised and adopted with the international in ICT, it was established something that an ITU had been running as a global campaign, aging out to 240,000 girls in 160 countries. Something that really came from a small administration from a small country in eastern Europe. Although we all have our responsibilities from the industry or from the international organizations, we also should think of what can we do each individual capacity, to really push this forward. So I would say that ITU resolution suggests, instructs, recommends however the implementation on the national level, including bringing the gender main streaming into the national plans regarding education or broadband or anything else, really depends on the environment and it is established in a certain ‑‑ you know, certain country. And at the same time, ITU continues to work with the federation and also the UN regional commissions, because the regional perspectives we need to pay particular attention to. Some regions are more a ‑‑ acquiring more assistance than others. And at the same time, some of the latest accomplishments we have a chance with UN Women, it's called Equals which means that we are trying to push for the sustainable development of all five and gender and this is something that we will be working in the next decade or so, and we all hope that everyone will be joining us in this.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Okay. Do we have any remote questions? And is Dorcas on the line or no?
No. Okay. Let me open this up to the audience. Do you have any questions or comments for the speakers and if we could have some help with microphones.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Thank you very much, my name is Chenai Chair and I'm an ISOC ambassador this year. I also wanted to comment on the data issue and the research issue. I think we need to ICT ‑‑ we have had data, even though in small a.m.s on the levels of access. I call it disaggregated data. Not gender because we are looking at men and women and then when we come into the gender issue, then we have to do at least qualitative data as well to understand the power dynamics.
So in terms of research, I think we need to also look at impact on ICT access for women and men. Does it necessarily increase Internet access results in actually empowerment or are we just saying that because women are Jo unline, it will technically mean that it's going to be economic empowerment?
So that's one comment on data.
And another question I had for the panelists in particular, the business sector who have provided interventions. Do they look at women in urban areas and women in rural areas and do they look at all the women, versus younger women? I think there's definitely a difference in approaches to older and younger women.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Let's take three questions. How about this young lady down here. Second.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Hi. Manuela, Dominican Republic and youth IGF 2016. So it took my attention the topic, an Internet of women by 2020. Part of the technical community in my country, the Dominican Republic, and we still have a lot of issues with women in both the technologies. So when we go to ‑‑ when we are looking for jobs and men are always first. So is this WSIS vision into reality, is it coming by 2020? Because we need to fight against a lot of patriarchal societies like Africa.
And my country is not that much as Africa and so many countries in Asia, but do we think that the WSIS vision is coming into reality by 2020?
>> BARBARA WANNER: Okay. How about this lady right here.
>> AUDIENCE MEMBER: Okay. Thank you very much. My name is Wizetta from Algeria.
My question is actually general. I didn't hear much about the role of patriarchy and region in terms of inheriting effective use of the Internet. Now, I ask this question because we did a pilot study recently, went we found that the ‑‑ of the men we asked, the husbands, over 67% said that they would not like their wives to be online, and when we asked fathers also about 60% said they don't like their daughters to be online.
And then we asked about whether they have had religious clerics talking about the Internet and over 90% of the men said that they did. They have those who preach against the use of Internet and about 80%, actually accept and even more important for us was that many of the women, about 60% actually have had, accepted the use of the net is something that they should avoid.
So my question really is about whether we have had experiences from other places where such issues of patriarchy are handled effectively and the effective use by women.
>> BARBARA WANNER: Okay. Thank you. Let's start first, there were some questions concerning data, and a question directed to the business community.
We also had a question, you know, is the WSIS 2020 a feasible goal, given all the barriers we still see in many countries and finally the impact of religion as an inhibiting factor. Panelists?
>> So first I agree on the data point. We need more than gender disaggregated and we need qualitative data to understand. I mean as I said in my intervention earlier, the barriers that I mentioned are not ‑‑ they are the same for the men and women ‑‑ the men also face these barriers but the reason that women are being left behind is because of the sort of issues around social norms and in our report, we talk a lot ‑‑ we have data and to your point, it's exactly the sort of stuff that you are mentioning, it's about the social norms of power dynamics and all of these contextual things that are preventing ‑‑ that mean that these barriers are exacerbated and women have less access.
In our research study, we found that men often not letting men let their wives and daughters go online, when women get ‑‑ so women have a double barrier. They get the harassing calls from men, strangers and then there are husbands and fathers who feel they are willingly inviting. This.
And in Kenya, we looked at the number two downloaded app in Kenya was a call blocking app which shows you the extent of this problem.
And so I think as all of these norms around behavior. I was at an event in India last month and the amount of porn that gets onloaded by men and again how that makes women feel uncomfortable to visit some of these Internet centers because of some of the content that's being consumed. So I think ‑‑ I think I absolutely agree that we need ‑‑ that these are exactly the reason why these barriers affect women more and that we need data more than the current data we need to understand the issues in the specific countries and how can we address them.
>> Yes, some very important points that you have said. Basically what it seems to be is that social attitudes change at a snail's pace, while technology is absolutely rocketing forward and it's extremely difficult to combat social attitudes and they purvey. And just as we have seen in many countries, women have fought for the right to control their bodies and reproduction to make their own decisions, I think maybe we have to talk about women's right to be part of the knowledge society, to use the ‑‑ the skills and the tools that are now necessary in a global economy. But there is no question that I think we are in a period of backlash against it. We are seeing more and more instances of this where the reaction to the damage that is being done is, well, let's just not let our girls and women near it.
>> So with regards to the need qualitative data, I absolutely agree. And another part of the reason why qualitative data is absolutely so critical, is it will reflect the social, cultural differences that we will have to address. As the Internet goes global, it doesn't mean that it's a unified and a uniformed culture and as technology companies we need to be much, much more sensitive to that. So I completely agree with the need for qualitative data.
Another aspect of qualitative data that is highly valuable is that it teases out some of the issues that have been discussed before. These are behavioral issues and it highlights and gives us critical specific evidence with regard to what are the socioeconomic issues as well. I talked about the need to reframe the issue.
If we look at the entire WSIS conversation, it took about 15 years and about 2,000 to 2015 to align the ICT for this conversation with the sustainable development goals conversation, where it gets translated from a connected geeky, telecom conversation. We need to do exactly the same with respect to the gender.
You know, government stakeholders. Men are not very interested in saying, let's connect women. They need to talk about what they get out of it, right? The majority of these countries have major shortages.
I think overall, women are something like 49% of the workforce. So imagine, for example, what you can buy ‑‑ like, what that family ‑‑ I can't say, like, what the men can get, you know, if his wife goes out and do all of these businesses. We already have the data and the economic power. So I think that's I didn't want to go back and say I think we do need to reframe the question instead of just the connectivity, absolutely agree that that's the underlying issue but what is the socioeconomic gain? You know, you can use the same thing.
Another part I want to go back to, what Marie‑Laure said. Oftentimes when we sit in the room because there are policymakers and there are not many technologies in the room, the tendency is to take the technology is the problem, but the technology can be an answer and I would challenge, especially because eye i sock is here, the technical community is here, what the solutions in terms ‑‑ that can be ‑‑ what are the technical solutions and the solutions how can they help to address all of these questions that have been posed here as well?
>> Thank you so much. I would like to respond to her comment when she asked, is it a feasible goal Internet of women by 2020?
And I think it's very important what she brings into play, because we need to look at research in terms of every single country and see what are the different challenges especially for women getting online. Because there are still so many barriers that are facing young girls and women to accessing, just even education from where I come from, you know, like if families have to prioritize a girl and a boy who gets the education, you will find that mostly boys will be given the chance to education. So we have no think about it in those aspects of different countries and what has been done so far to actually make it really feasible for more people to get online and to access the Internet. So there's still a lot of work to do be done. And I think from a country by country perspective, we can look at what has been achieved and how can that be replicated in other countries. I think that's a good solution.
>> Just to address the question from the gentlemen on religion and patriarchy. We have encountered that in countries that we have participated. We have women who are afraid to go and by SIM cards because it's manned by men. We have women who are afraid to use the Internet cafes because it's manned by men. And I think part of the reason why there is some resistance, is because men themselves have a lot of misconceptions about the Internet. It's that ‑‑ which, is you know, just to stress the point that really a holistic approach, if we are going to raise awareness, it has to be for the whole community. And also to underline you having women as change makers. So in the communities that we have worked with, we now start to see women who are managing the Internet cafes.
So it means that women ‑‑ other women are kind of less afraid to go in and that ‑‑ and then the women who are in there can also teach younger women how no use the Internet and, you know, how to use it to ‑‑ what they want to do. And, well, to touch upon your question, yes, there are ‑‑ if safety is an issue, if privacy is an issue, then, yes, there are end user tools that women can use and everyone can use.
>> Thank you. Back to the point you were making about technology evolving very fast. The key is that social norms, religious norms, they evolve very slowly. Policy and legal processes evolve very slowly. So this is a gap here, and I think it's very threatening for governments, for parents, for husbands. It's very frightening and maybe a natural way of reacting is censorship, thinking of blocking, demonizing technology. That's a natural reaction, right?
>> BARBARA WANNER: Okay. I just wanted to wrap up, because what we wanted to do is issue a call to action or just highlights of what we feel are important next steps in terms of bridging the gender digital divide. And then invite the panelists to make one final comment here. I guess what I heard throughout everyone's comments is that, you know, the importance of approaching this problem holistically, there has no one single factor. No one silver bullet that will solve everything that, we have issues as basic as electricity, and the need for good healthcare that serve as important foundational elements in terms of creating gender equality that will bring more women online and evolve into productive members of the digital economy. We need better metrics and data to ascertain where the problems are in specific countries and how we can go about addressing them.
These barriers that have been identified, they are not specific to women, but because of a lot of the cultural factors that we just discussed, the burdens of the gap seem to fall more scarily on women. The need for partnerships, this was reiterated repeatedly between the public sector and the private sector, between intergovernmental organizations, that know one entity, no one organization can tackle this problem alone. It's important to bring in local communities and work with local governments. The need to build cross organizational representation, and maximize the work that's being done. To create like minded organizations to improve the digital skills and launching a digital business and coming online. The need for efforts to create a safe digital environment and we have talked repeatedly about this that human behavior, and not technology alone has created an unsafe environment that's keeping women offline or serving as a deterrent to bringing more women online.
All of this should be tackled most effectively in a multistakeholder process so businesses can inform what is economically and commercially feasible and it can inform what is technically feasible and it can keep us advised concerning human rights‑related issues and governments can be there to implement necessary policies.
On that point too, what Nancy just mentioned, that words are not enough, that there are national plans, and there are these commitments to addressing gender gaps, but that implementation is critical and that's where organizations and forms like the IGF are critical because they serve as the nudge, the implementing nudge, are you ready good for your words?
I would like to invite our panelists to offer a 60 second wrap‑up thought and we graciously thank you for enhancing this guy log. Let's begin with Noelle.
>> NOELLE FRANCESCA DE GUZMAN: When we talk about digital literacy, we are not just talking about teaching women how to use the computer. It's also teaching them how are ‑‑ or helping them realize how they can use it for productive purposes.
The second one, more specific to entrepreneurship is that we really need a kind of organized system of support for women. You know, whether it's your government grants to help or incentivize women, to invest in technology, you can have women kiosk ‑‑ women dedicated for the agencies that are dealing with MSMEs and you have initiatives like what we are doing here to just ‑‑ just to help build women's confidence in using ICTs.
The last one is that as we think about connecting the next billion, the next 2 billion, it might also be worth considering or starting to think about how do we address the needs of the women who are doubly disadvantaged. These are women with disabilities, women who are part of indigenous communities, women who are migrant workers, and women who are informal workers. Women who live in urban areas and rural women as well.
>> I was thinking as she was talking about digital literacy, that one other thing is to also consider bringing the relevant information online for the women to access, because most times we don't have relevant information. We don't have, you know, the kind of information that would attract women to be online. So if you could start building the relevant information to get these women online, then they will be more involved.
>> BARBARA WANNER: That's a very good point. A lot of studies have said exactly that.
>> So my quick summaries, takeaways here are, sorry, I really like the combination of bottom up ‑‑ sorry, bottom up, top down and for top down, trying to use the SDGs and the WSIS results as much as possible to motivate and to drive. Second, the theme of multistakeholder and partnerships, all the things that we do, that our company, our partnerships with somebody, nonprofits and the data, the disaggregated data. I have think if we make that data be collected it forces a different type of thinking.
>>> For miff wrap up remark, I want to put a challenge out to this panel, because we all talk about the need for quantitative, as well as qualitative data that will reflect some of the cultural differences and the issues that we're hearing here. So I want to challenge this panel to get our heads together to figure out what we can do, because we have got, you know, really a great representation here of how to start getting that data, and think about having it as a multiyear set of data that can then be used to identify exactly what is the problem. What are the barriers, you know, et cetera.
>> Yeah, absolutely. I definitely agree with everything you have said and I think what is really interesting to me is to see that there really isn't a one size fits all model. We heard about everything from pipeline programs that target, you know, that initial kind of ‑‑ that initial life, and we talked about entrepreneurship and mentorship and taking different approaches for urban errs and I think we will need all of that and more and I think a holistic approach, one which involved non‑tech organizations and bringing them into this fold is also really important, because oftentimes those organizations have been in communities for a very long time and understand some of the subtleties and nuances that we might not.
>> I guess any takeaway, I think this came up quite strongly that technology sits within a social and economic context and we need to ‑‑ the issue is not technology, it's understanding that and what we need is data and evidence base to inform it, and I think it wasn't ‑‑ it was mentioned a bit but not highlighted enough. Women are not a homogenous group and that's why we need more data and evidence.
And I think the other key takeaway, we need to get away from talking about it. We need to take actions and dream big and dream at scale with targets and measurements and measure us against them and hold ourselves to account for them.
>> Why do I want to keep saying ditto to you?
I want to say a personal note, for about 15 years, I have been working on promoting the quantitative, disaggregated data and was extremely happy to see that we have 9 mobile users by sex into the SDGs, but it also underlines for me, the tremendous importance of the quantitative studies because the Internet and ICTs are not gender neutral. Men and women exist in society. Society and social factors. It can not be separated from their technology behavior. So we have to have quantitative ‑‑ we have to have qualitative studies as well.
So that we can see the factor that both inhibit and promote in the particular countries and situations and locations and work on those.
>> Thank you. When it comes to cross border, cross cutting issues, I think the way to go is, as we said, think global, act global, but also regional and local. It's multilayered solutions and also think holistically, but we need to be realistic and also if we all agree that the way to go or one way to go is multistakeholderism, there are challenges to it, and it's not easy.
For example, collaborating with the private sector when there are global companies but then when you see national, more locally‑based companies, it's kind of harder. So we all need to be prepared to face those challenges.
>> Thank you. Information and knowledge societies will not be achieved without inclusion, contribution, and leadership of women and girls. We more than ever need the equal world. This is the momentum that we need to use, but we always needed the equal world. Sometimes in certain sociopolitical context, gender issues have been deteriorated or empowered and the technology now brings the new paradigm shift that can help the gender main streaming and can help women, and through partnerships we can achieve this together.
>> Okay. I know we are at the time limit here, but I just wanted to thank you all for joining us today, and join me in thanking our panelists who shared our expertise and gave us a thoughtful action plan no move on this issue and truly bridge the gender digital gap. Thank you.
(End of session 11:04)