TechWomen: Driving ICT, Innovation & Collaboration in CASA

7 December 2016 - A Workshop on Other in Guadalajara, Mexico

Also available in:
Full Session Transcript

>> Okay.  I can just talk to them.  Hi, we're waiting to are the signal to get started.  So if you would kindly relax.  Just make sure you're at the right workshop.  This is ‑‑ in south Asia.  Mod pod good afternoon, everyone.  Welcome to this workshop, tech women driving ICT innovation and collaboration in central Asia and south Asia.  The workshop purpose is to explore collaborative programmes that will focus on women in technology and its implications for inclusive and sustainable growth among various players in central Asia and south Asia.  And for our purposes, we are looking at 13 countries Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the mull dives.

I'm sorry that I did not have time to do time to do a chart of this information, but the important things out of this chart are the figures related to penetration or percent of population.  So, for example, in Afghanistan, it's only a 12 percent penetration.  And then I think the highest one is mull dives which is 6 to 7 percent.  As you can see from the raw data, there is a lot of work to be done in terms of inclusiveness and getting the Internet out to those various countries.  So for today's agenda, we're going to have an overview of the Internet Governance framework.  We will do country presentations from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Tajikistan will be online.  And then we will break up into small group sessions to look at three issues related to capacity building.  We'll do a report back to the larger group.  And then action planning.  And as part of the action planning, we have some resource speakers who can speak to us about the possibilities and opportunities that their organizations can provide at the regional level.

So in terms of super net governance ‑‑ Internet Governance, what are we talking about.  We're talking about three things mainly.  We're talking about stakeholders, issues and decisionmaking processes.  Who makes the decisions about the Internet in a particular country?  It's another more complex chart with regards to what the different issues are, who the different actors are, and where the decisionmaking rests.  So just as a reminder for everybody some of the issues we're focusing on is telecom infrastructure, the protocol standards and services and content and applications.  I'm reviewing this because they will be important as we talk about capacity building.  And then in terms of the decisionmaking processes, some of them are related to technical decisionmaking.  Some of them are concerned with infrastructure and access, decisionmaking and public policy issues.  And of course a question of whether or not there is a national Internet Governance Forum.

Stakeholders.  We are all stakeholders in Internet Governance.  Some of us are with government.  Some of us are with technical agencies.  Some of us are with academics.  Civil society and I wear my consumer hat, as well.  A user of technology.

So briefly again, those three things, issues, stakeholders and where do the decisionmaking processes rest in each country?  And in addition, the country presentations will focus also on gender policy and practice and technology and the reason for why we're together, recommendations for a tech women in central Asia, south Asia and we just call it casa for now.

So we'll start with the country presentations.  But before that, let me just go through the small discussion group sessions so that you can be thinking about which group you want to be with.  So one discussion group 1 will talk about fostering collaboration among target countries by creating a network of women in technology in casa.  Discussion group 2 will explore capacity building ideas including online learning that could be done on a collaborative basis in the region.  And discussion group 3 explore what technologies could facilitate collaboration among women, for example, a platform for networking, an online repository of resources and I'm sure you have other examples as well.  So that's your sort of as we multitask, you think about those discussion points as you are listening to the country presentations.

So with that, we will start from the bottom of the list with Pakistan.

>> I work an organisation called code for Pakistan.  I know we have very little time so I'll run through this quickly.  I'll talk a bit about policy and decisionmaking and some of the work that our organisation does and then talk about some other aspects of Internet Governance ‑‑ Internet Governance public policy.  Often defense concerns can take precedence over the interests of citizens.  An example of this is the frequent suspensions of cell service during religious holidays and public events.  Moral and religious concerns also affect availability and access of condition tent online in the most prominent example of that is the YouTube ban, which went on and off, continued for about eight years and was just recently lifted earlier this year.

People in charge of IT policy are in many instances not from IT backgrounds, so they have a lack of expertise and limited understanding of Internet architecture and other concepts.  However, the IT policy draft was drawn up in consultation with IT professionals so that's a step in the right direction.  Some policies under development are publicly released as drafts and input is sorted encouraged in stakeholders.  However there's no transparency on some decisions are actually made in the end.  The prevention of electronic crime bill which was recently passed and highly controversial.  When the act was introduced it was highly cite sized.  And there was feedback from civil society organizations wasn't really taken into account.  And the bill was just recently passed.

I'll let ‑‑ talk more about policy and practice.  Women in Pakistan largely face restrictions to the Internet due to cultural and societal factors particularly in rural areas there's a huge divide that needs to be bridged in terms of access and digital literacy.

The Pakistan association of software houses, the president is also a woman and she runs ‑‑ as well has conducted research on the IT industry but there is a need more comprehensive methodology research.  The last survey conducted about four years ago.  Part of our work with government departments to improve their service delivery by leveraging technology.  Democracies an organisation that we work very closely with on multiple initiatives they run a gender in tech programme capacities and digital security and of women in media for effective use of ICT tools and on encountering gender abuse online.  To policy reviews from gender lens is required before developing a comprehensive strategy building.  One is to start with a network of organizations both commercial and nonprofit that engage and work with women in tech at various levels.  Advocacy and awareness raising is also necessary to change societal attitudes about women's access to tech and their participation in the space and not just focused on women but entire communities.  And the men who hold the decisionmaking power in our society.  Regional network like this would be incredibly helpful in developing methodologies and approaches to such research and tech is generally a male dominated field.  A network like this can allow ultimate gender to develop and map and analyze and combat challenges to diversity inclusion in digital spaces.

>> Thank you.  Hello everyone.  I'm Numana Suliman.  Pioneering organisation with the perspective of social rights and social justice.  The fact that my colleague has talked about I will avoid repetition.  Basically I will be focusing with a little ‑‑ we have different focus but on the whole it's like to you curb or to end violence against women driven buy technology and for the digital safety and capacity building and all that stuff.  We have been doing.  It's basically a research and advocacy organisation around all these issues and all these thematic areas.

So with regards to the policy thing, there are like quite different things happening.  Talked about the electronic crime base which is another form.  So there have been several reservations from the civil society organisation not only from the organisation who are like very much into the digital rights discourse but also from the organisation who are like solely like coming from the Human Rights perspective, as well.  So now it is being passed.  And some of the concerns were addressed.  But there are sometime a lot of room for improvement in those laws and policies which can be indiscriminately those can be used to curb Freedom of Expression and opinion or association or assembly.  So there is a dire need to have a review on that.  Since this discussion is being revolved round the tech women and the issues regarding women facing so back in my country, to be patriotic, patriarchy society, it is like different social fabric.  Mostly happens in most of the south Asian countries I can say.  But in my country it's like the access is there though there is an advent of 3 G and 4 G technology.  But still the people are not necessarily in the urban areas but in rural areas as well specifically they are like having a kind of remote access.  And even when it comes to the point of access, then women are like they have less access because of that all like norms and societal pressures.  So currently the recent research which fight for all did the Internet access in Pakistan showed that there are like almost 30 million users of Internet.  But of course women are like less in numbers.  So when it comes to the use of Internet, so first they don't have that kind of infrastructure.  You don't have that facility even if they have that facility so there is a need of capacity building as well.  So how they can use Internet safely because there is a lot of cases and things we have seen which were basically the violence against women using the technology as well.  There is a report we wrote technology violence against women which you can find on our website.  There were several case studies we did and sometimes if you are uploading your pictures, if you are like sharing your views, so being a woman, it's easy.  You are being to give like kind of shut up call or being harp assed or abused.  But it happens in different genders, as well.  So gender equality comes in question, then.  So it's not like that all the like genders of people from different sexual orientation or stuff like that, they are equal.  And then when it comes to the women and then if you narrow it down to the minority women, then they have a double jeopardy.  Happened to be women in that male dominated society and happened to be a form of minority faith.  So there is a different story for them, as well.  And even the minority communities like whether they are on the basis of their language or culture or ethnicity, so there is a difference how they deal with all these challenges there which are being brought not like only because of the de facto situation there but because of the ‑‑ situation as well.  So therefore it's like we see, it's a good thing and opportunity that we can like move forward by building this kind of network.  And learning from each other how we can better address all these issues and get them resolved so we can have a peaceful word in the technology arena, as well.  So having the rights online and offline, as well.  Thank you.

>> Thank you.  Now we'll hear from Afghanistan.  Please introduce yourself.

>> I have my presentation there.

>> Can I have some technical support?  Can I use this?  Okay.  My name is Omar Mansoor Ansari.  We are based in Kabul.  We do technology development, startup support, community technology and some policy advisement.  One of our programmes is called tech women Afghanistan which is a network of diverse stakeholders.  It's a women‑led, women‑focused initiative helping bring together women with technology background to get us where they can support each other through different activities as well as to support other women who are not in technology by providing them with computer literacy programmes, awareness on technology and different other issues.

Our presentation, I'll be co‑presenting with my colleague Shabani Mansouri.  Overview of Afghanistan.  The presentation is called Afghanistan plus tech women.  So I'm going to be doing Afghanistan and she's going to be doing the tech women part.  I'll be giving you like a general overview of how the situation related to technology access and telecoms, ICTs is Afghanistan have and then we'll go to Shabana and hear from her about what the status of tech women is and how they're dealing with the situation and what activities and all are.

Okay.  So let's go to this is ‑‑ can you go back?  This is about the spectre.  This is our tech women summit last year where we brought together about 250 women in technology in Kabul.  It was big summit.  It was opened by ‑‑ chaired by the First Lady of Afghanistan.  We had cabinet members.  People from the industry leaders, the government of Afghanistan and civil society.  And the major issues we discussed here why how we can promote and support women in technology in Afghanistan.  So let's go to the next slide.  Just in order for the people who do not know where Afghanistan is located, this is the map.  Yeah.  You see I'm sure you know, but, still, when we say casa, the central Asia south Asia, you see above Afghanistan, central Asia, below Afghanistan is southern Asia.  On the left side you will see Middle East.  On the right side you will see China.  Which by itself a region, right?  Afghanistan is in the middle of these three, four regions.  Sometimes we are considered as part of central Asia like if you see the UNESCO documents, you will see Afghanistan as part of central Asia.  But when you see the World Bank, some U.S. government and others, you will see it as part of the south Asia.  And we are member of this south Asian packet, forgot the name of.  Yes, we are member of that.  But when you see the ICANN documents.  They put us in the Middle East.  So it's quite confusing sometimes.

In casa is south Asia, central Asia, and the reason Maria and I thought about doing casa thing was that ‑‑ not being able to connect with the rest of the world.  South Asia compared to central Asia has like more access to education, to opportunities, to the resources.  So in order for us to transfer the knowledge from south Asia in technologies from south Asia to central Asia, we thought it will be good to bring these two subregions together so they can collaborate.

There are a few things I wanted to share with you.  The technology infrastructure, we have information technologies here, honorable Wahab Sandat, who might intervene when we come to the resource persons discussion.  And we have two other very informative personnel from the mini industry of communications here.  They might talk more about what the situation is and how they are planning it in the future.  But this is just an overview.  Voice and data, when it comes to the voice and data infrastructure, there are technologies used like satellites.  We have an AfghanSat and YMAX, GSMN CDMA operators.  We have land line and 3G connections.  There is a national data centre and operations centre which is a centre for cyber emergency response team which basically deals with a cybersecurity issues.

One of the biggest assets Afghanistan has, I'm going to go back to the map slide, is the optical fiber ring.  Can you go back to the map?  When you see the map of Afghanistan, there is a ring, optical fiber ring within Afghanistan that connects the major provinces with each other.  And then data provinces are linked to the main optical fiber ring.  And then it's connected in the north with Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and ‑‑ and in the south with Iran and in the east with east and southwest Pakistan in two locations.  One is Torkham on the line and other is bin bullic and we are connecting with China very soon.  So that provides like the only hub in the region which would contribute a lot to the regional collaboration when it comes to the data flows and a lot of other collaboration in the information communication technologies.

In terms of access, we have over 24 million subscribers.  The total population of Afghanistan is about 30 million.  GSM active subscribers include 18.5 million.  3G subscribers is about 18K.  And population coverage is about 89 percent.  That's both voice and data.

Internet users, that's very low, about 500,000.  Investment in total in the past 15 years is about 2.2 billion U.S. dollars.  The figures are as of from the September 2015.  I couldn't find the latest figures on the ministry's website or other source, but I'm sure the figures have changed and improved, especially with the rollout of the fiber insert and provinces as well as the 3G expansion across Afghanistan.

We have one major problem which I discussed this yesterday, as well.  And that's the cost of Internet which really limits our access to not only the Internet but so many other resources like education, business, development and social development.  Internet in Afghanistan costs 300 US dollars per connection.  That's for redundant connection.  And redundant means when there is a fiber cut, you will have a backup.  Which doesn't happen all the time.  I had like five hours.  I have redundant connection.  Like the contract says it's redundant.  But there was like four hours that we didn't have Internet.  I call this ISP.  I told them hey, what's going on?  They said there is a fiber cut.  I said we have written connection.  What does that mean?  He goes, get me Internet from satellite or somewhere else.  I mean that's your job.  But they were saying no.  There's no option.  So the redundant still has a problem.  It done mean you will get 99.9 percent of the connection.

But for nonredundant is 150, which means you could have ‑‑ you could not have Internet for weeks or something.

Fiber to home, that's another big issue.  Although we have the biggest asset of being the hub in the region, when it comes to the fiberoptic erg, but if you want to bring fiber to home, there are additional costs.  The 150 to $300, that's monthly subscription if he for one MBPS connection.  If you want to get a 10 MbPS connection, then you need to multiply that figure by 10.  Plus their monthly maintenance fee which is $550.  And there is one‑time installation cost which is from $2,000 to $30,000 depending how far you are from the main fiber cable.  Other challenges include availability in certain areas, security issues.  Engineers cannot go to maintain the fiber in other infrastructure.  And investment of the private sector because of lack of security and stability in certain areas.

The policy process includes ‑‑ time's up.

Though is the policy policy?  I'll quickly wrap it up and pass it on.

With laws when it comes to technologies, they draft the laws and then parliament has to approve it for the policies MCIT drafts it and cabinet approves it and regulations are done directly by the ministry of communications in IT.

Sometimes they bring consultants to do their policy formulation for them who do not understand the local needs.  They are not aware of the issues and challenges.  That's why sometimes the policies cannot address issues locally.  But it's improving.  They are e trying to do some open consultations.

Human resources is one of our biggest challenges.  We do not have the capacity or expertise in certain areas that is required, especially when it comes to the public policy and regulatory issues.

Stakeholders involved are diverse.  This is the list which I can share with you later on.  But there are like a few big projects which are really contributing to the ICT sector development in Afghanistan.  There's $50 million World Bank funded project called ICT sector development.  It's divided into different smaller components which is like business incubators, policy development, trainings and different other areas.  Digital casa, digital central Asia south Asia is another World Bank project like a cable coming from the central Asia and going to the south Asia to connect the region together.

More details, promote that's $216 million project.  The biggest in the U.S. government's history that's helping empower women across Afghanistan.

Another NATO project with general review the total population of women constitutes 48.46 percent.  Female literally is 49.2 percent.  Tech involvement is 3 million now.  Very low in 2001.  Public university enrollment is 62 K for women.  And women life expectancy is 64 years.  Thank you and gracias.

>> Hello, everyone.  This is Shabana, I work for tech women Afghanistan at the same time having two hats here, tech woman and also ISOC Afghanistan and this year IGA.

So contributing to the sharing of my colleague Mr. Ansari, without any doubt, information technology has been one of the leading drivers of economic of globalization have Afghanistan is having fast growing ICT industry in past 15 years of development and also a new generation of technology advanced and increasing group of entrepreneurs and technology.

Fortunately women are playing an increasing Rule in participation and contribution in this growth.  Among the 30 million population, 20 million have access to mobile technology.  We are 48 percent of the population of women and 80 percent women have access to the ‑‑ mobile technology.  This digital literacy access has given them the ‑‑ international and also regional conversations.

Participation in ICT growth in the country in past one decade has been positive and increasing annually by both male and importantly by females.

After many years of efforts and optional launch of tech women Afghanistan in 2013, three years from now, through public and media presence, efforts thousands of women are given the opportunity of awareness and encouragement for participation and contribution to digital literacy as well as the importance digital literacy.  Hundreds of women are supported and encouraged for current technology since many women lose interest having current technology even having education and degree and ICT.  Women are given support, encouragement and capacity building to take participation and innovation entrepreneurship related activities and events.  Fortunately women participation innovation and entrepreneurship programme have given tech woman a positive and considerable result.  Many of the winners of participation in the country have been female just recently.  On the major issues which was addressed or were corruption harassment and education.  We consider these contributions key role player in creator of hope.  Peace through innovation and establishment of businesses in ICT and industry and economic group of the nation and contribution to global Internet Governance.  One of those challenges not having aisle strong government policy on gender and ICT.  Through joint efforts.  Lack of connectivity and support to regional and international efforts for capacity building, technical support as well as financial support for the initiatives recently.  Not only intention globally as joint efforts for supporting current initiatives and leading to the development as well as for sustainability of the initiatives and the achievements.  Describes these challenges especially for having connectivity regionally and internationally to Afghanistan for supporting the initiatives and area of woman in ICT through capacity building and collaborative efforts and also through the joint efforts.  Thank you.

>> Our speaker from India got delayed at some airport.  So we have asked ambassador Latha Reddy, who has an freed to give us some information about India.

>> LATHA REDDY:  Let me begin by saying you're not going to get a structured presentation from me because I was asked to make this presentation five minutes ago.

[Laughter]

But it's a cause that's dear to my heart to bring more women into technology issues.  Let me tell you briefly my background.  I was a diplomat for 36 years.  I was a deputy National Security Adviser of India.  And part of my responsibilities as the deputy National Security Adviser was to work on cybersecurity policies and cyberspace issues India and on Internet Governance issues.  So I can claim to have some expertise in the general area of how Internet Governance and how cyber issues are looked at in India.  And so I'm going to perhaps as Omar did, talk a little bit the general situation in India and then talk a little bit about with women's situation in technology.

As far as India is concerned, where the technical governance or important issues related to Internet Governance are concerned in India, obviously the government plays a big role because though we do have a separate information technology ‑‑ do you want me to close it?

We do have a separate information technology ministry in the government.  We've had that for a long time now.  We passed the information technology act in 2000, which was amended in there was a separate department which earlier was part of the IT ministry but is now a separate ministry.  And what we discovered when we started looking at the issues of Internet Governance and how we should be looking in general several industries had a very key role to play.  For instance when you look at information security or cybersecurity, it becomes an issue of national security and of internal security.  So obviously the home ministry or the interior ministry as it may be called in many other countries has a crucial role to play.  Similarly if you look at Cybercrime or cyber terror issues or user cyber for terrorism, these issues would also be dealt with by the home ministry.  The foreign ministry would be involved in international negotiations on Internet Governance as well as on the development of some norms on which discussions could take place in the UN and other bodies.  You also have specialised agencies.  We have set up an agency called the national from for critical information infrastructure protection.  And that means the key sectors which would vitally affect the economy and well‑being of a country are defined as critical infrastructures.  So for instance it could be roads.  It could be power.  It could be the banking and financial sits tempts.  It could be airports.  It could be the entire transport sector.  And it could be sensitive installations such as in defense, nuclear, space installations.  Satellite systems that disrupted that can cause unimaginable havoc in the connected world of today.  Also the commerce ministry gets involved because there are certain WTO, trade and other issues which get affected by the Internet.  So the first task was really to build a kind of an architecture within the government to make sure everybody knew what they were supposed to do and without too many overlaps and gaps.  In government you can never avoid overlaps and gaps but the idea is to reduce it to the minimum possible.

The second job was to write an actual cybersecurity policy for the country, which we did in 2013.  We were only the third country in the world to publish a cybersecurity policy.  And we set up a joint Working Group on public private partnership in cyberspace which was to say the government couldn't do it alone, the private sector couldn't do it alone so wed to work together in order to develop the Internet in our country.

Now India is a paradox because at the same time we have the second largess e the number of connected people in the world on the Internet, the last figure that was put out by the Minister for IT in September this year was that we had 400 million people online in India.  Given the fact that India's population is 1.3 billion, we still have hundreds of millions to get online.  So it's a peculiar situation.  We're the second largest connected country after China.  We have now overtaken the U.S. in terms of numberless of Internet connections.  But we are the largest number of unconnected people in the world.  Because of India's immense size.  So it's a dual challenge.  You're trying to find the place at the high table to pay part in Internet, international decisions and negotiations because you feel you are a major IT user and a major country of the future to be a major IT decisionmaker, really.  But at the same time, you have to look at it from the point of view of a developing country of how are you going to get hundreds of millions of people online?  Many of whom are illiterate and who have special language needs because you need diversity in languages because many people do not speak English fluently and the majority of the material available on the Internet is in English.  So I was asked ‑‑ I was given some general guidelines by Omar and Maya just now about what are the decisionmaking processes within government?  I think I've given you a broad idea of the government departments and so on who would be involved.  We do have a national Security Council that would talk about these issues.  We have a cabinet committee on security that would talk about issues like cybersecurity and so on.  Internet Governance largely has been coordinated between the foreign ministry as the main negotiator and the ministry for information technology.  And they are both on the same page.  India, after wavering for sometime has come out clearly on the side of a multistakeholder system of Internet Governance.  But they have also very clearly stated that it cannot be the old definition of multistakeholder but that you have to have a more democratic, inclusive, multistakeholder arrangement where the new emerging economies which are really going to dominate the use of the Internet in the future, for example, China or India must have more of a say in how the Internet is going to be run or how important decisions are taken.

Infrastructure is a big issue.  Omar, you mentioned the question of optic fiber networks.  Last mile connectivity is an issue.  But I'm hearing some very interesting things from technical companies about the possibility that low flying satellites could be used to overcome the problems of ‑‑

I know Google has been doing work with balloons for the same reason.  But that cost has to come down because if the cost doesn't come down, it would still be cheaper to give optic fiber.  But I'm told that the cost is coming down to where the cots the of developing infrastructures, using alternative methods is going to be better.

I think as far as on public policy issues, we have a very healthy and vociferous civil society in India who make their views known, and which is as it should be.

I find the system has become far more democratic and engaging with industry and in engaging with civil society.  We see that, for instance, the cybersecurity policy was put on the Internet.  It was put on the Web.  And people were asked to give their comments.

The same thing with the telecom policy.  Right now an encryption policy is under consideration.  And when there was a great objection to the encryption policy, it was actually withdrawn by the government.  So you can see that there's a give and take between civil society, industry and government.

How much time do I have?

>> I think wrap up.

>> So let me turn now to the question of women and technology in India.  Obviously as with all Developing Countries, women are not present in the numbers they should be in the connected world.  In fact, a survey done showed worldwide that the vast majority of those who are not connected are more likely to be female from a rural background, not educated.  And that's as true in India as anywhere else.  We do have some shining stars.  We have women heading CEOs, heading some big companies.  We have people who are working in institutes, Ghita is doing an exemplary job in trying to get women to take up technology courses and work in technology.

And we have some very prominent figures who are very frequently seen in forums like this ‑‑ heading the Twitter government policy in India.  We've ‑‑ who is heading Facebook in India.  And we've ‑‑ who is with ICANN.  And we have journalists.  We have experts and people who sort of devoted some time and attention to these issues such as myself, woman.  But by and large it's the exception rather than the Rule.  So I would completely endorse and I'd be happy to engage with your group in seeing how we could build a group for central Asia and south Asia and try to come up with some concrete recommendations.  Thank you.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you for that.  We're also missing our Kurdistan participants.  So we're going to do hear from Zuhra, who is from Tajikistan but will be logging in from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  Do we have Zuhra?

She has been texting me on the side.  Yes, I think she couldn't hear us.  But if we catch her sometime, we will do that.  But for now I think what well do is go to our small group discussions.  Remember, there were three questions.

Fostering collaboration.  Exploring capacity building.  And exploring what kinds of technologies.

So to make it easy, we could just say this will be from here to there raise your hand, please, with the stripes.  That will be group 1.  And then group 2 from you to the U, to, yes.  And this will be group 3.

Now, as you try to ‑‑ no.  If you want to move to different group, that's fine.  But please stay within the topic so we can have as many specific ideas regarding to that topic.

So group 1 is going to do collaboration.

Group 2 will do capacity building.

And group 3 will do technologies.

And as you discuss, please also try to see if you can figure out what should be kept national and what can go regional.  And please also assign a rapporteur who would report back to the large group.  We will give you ‑‑ you come with suggestions.  And we'll give you 15 minutes.

Capacity building.

If you really want to move around, feel free to do so.  For the purposes of the streaming, they will just do one of the groups, right?

(no captioning during group discussions).

>> MODERATORWe'd like to get back to the big group.  Your small group challenge was to try to come up with some suggestions.  We're not interested in problems and challenges.  We're interested in ‑‑ time's up.  We just want suggestions and recommendations.

Okay.  Each group will have about 2 to 3 minutes to provide the highlights.  It doesn't have to be everything that you discussed in your small group.  Shall we start with group 2?

>> Thank you, I'm Brandon from citrus at U. C. Berkeley.  And group 2 we were charged with answering the question of exploring capacity building, including online learning that could be done on a collaborative basis in the region.

In our group what I found interesting about our discussion was that we didn't just focus on technology capacity building but capacity building around the technology.  So looking at training and online safety, also I think this is a critical issue especially we're engaging young women and girls in technology, thinking about retention in the field and building a culture of acceptance in the professional workforce of having women in technology and making sure that those workplaces are inclusive and welcoming.  And also around leadership skills, which is incredibly important for women, even in discussions here, making sure women speak out.

We had specific examples using a train the trainer model in Pakistan where you had ‑‑ you trained women in how to develop apps and then they go on and train other women.  One that I thought was very interesting in Pakistan was connecting women entrepreneurs with tech companies to enable them to have broadband in the home so that they could engage in their business from their home.

And then also I think that we should all be acknowledging what the Internet Governance Forum has done at promoting capacity building among youth and women and actually having an Internet Governance course.

I think that's it, unless someone else from the group would like to add anything?  No?  Okay.  Thank you.

>> MODERATORThank you very much.

>> Hi, good afternoon, everybody.  This is Hasim from Afghanistan telecom regulatory authority.  I was the rapporteur for our group, collaboration on woman network.

Due to loss of challenges in fostering the collaboration, budgetary, culture, there is less awareness and capacity building.  Some suggestions which come out of the discussion was:

First to identify organizations in each country which are working and engaging with women activities and technology.

And the next is to do some research and provide or pave the way for them for some capacity building through the fellowship programmes of different technology summits.  For example, ICANN.  IPNIC or GSMA.

After that, in this conference will pave a way to connect each region or each country with another country and then do some technical exchange which will pave some common ground for them to find the networks and foster the collaboration for capacity building and make a better network.

The time was very limited and lots of ideas, so we can just report this of out of it.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Those who still have ideas coming out of their heads and brains, feel free to send emails to myself or Omar during this IGF, or even after.

Group 3?

>> Good afternoon, everybody.  My name is Minia, I'm being bossed by Omar today so I'll be presenting with Kathryne.  Group 3 is a group of 3.

[Laughter]

I'm going to take names today.  But we're coming up with a concept.  The name is not necessarily novel.  The concept is necessarily novel but we think is necessary.  So what we are proposing is something that we'll just in short call "the hive." Now, the hive would be a resource hub or ecosystem where women in this region that are interested and want to gain more from the technology space will be able to post and join events, have access to educational resources that would be uploaded and populated by those potential members, educational resources would be on particular site.  They would be able to connect ‑‑ well, let me back up and say the one thing that we thought and know that was going to be a challenge is how do we find a common platform, a common denominator.  Because again ours is exploring what technologies could further facilitate collaboration among women.  And so the common platforms plural would be Facebook, Twitter, linked in and others where a lot of individuals use but have this hive be sort of its own ever evolve ecosystem where women would have the support that they need, the resources posted and the like.  And so this would be multipurpose, multidimensional, ever evolving.  But using those social media platforms and whatever physical platforms would be easily adopted.  For this to not just be educational sup support for women in central and south Asia.

>> I like the name, the hive.  You know the queen bee?  Exactly.  Two to three minutes.  Just let us know if we're building a capacity building network for women and by women in the region.

I've written the names alphabetically.  I don't see Marilyn here.  Sylvia, I see you.

>> Hello, my name is Sylvia.  I work with APNIC foundation.  I'm the head of programmes there.  We do APNIC is the regional Internet registry.  We are located IP addresses and provide a lot of capacity building for network engineers to set up ISPs and IXPs and network around the region.  We cover from Afghanistan to the Pacific.  So we cover 56 economies.

We do have fellowship programme that encourages women to participate.  And we have ‑‑ we pitch funders from donors and other agencies for capacity building for women engineers that are able to build the network that they want to use for their daughters and their mothers and the other women out there.

So, I think that for such a platform to exist is not only about underestimating the technical capacity that women have but also that there were many women that are very technical and willing to enroll and participate and give time to these.  And it's important to look at the network engineers in the region which would be a good base on which to build the platform.

There are lots and lots and lots of capacity building materials in the region available already.  Most of them available free of charge.  We do have our own share of those training materials.  The big problem that we have is that most capacity building efforts are not necessarily done in a local language.  So translation is complicated and collaboration, as I was mentioning in the small group that we are working, is a wonderful word but is very expensive not only in money but is expensive in terms of time and effort and just to find that common ground that you need to be able to make the commitment to work with someone across the world that might be ‑‑ that you share, I don't know, a corner, an angle or something, and not someone that is directly linked to the work you do.

So it's important that you set up expectations about what that collaboration actually looks like in terms of times, commitments and then conference calls, things like that, kind of rotates.  Everybody has to wake up early once, I don't know, every three months but not every time.

I'm based in Australia, and that rotation is great because sometimes it will be impossible for me to join every single conference call at 3 in the morning.  So I'm grad that my colleagues in Los Angeles sometimes decide to just okay, I will wake up really early and you can have a normal day at the office.

So it is about being considerate with others and acknowledging what already exists in the region.  So do your mapping.  Very good mapping of what is out there and try to look for the network engineers that are actually building the network.  There are plenty of women out there, many from the countries that you have mentioned.  We cover Afghanistan and some of the countries in casa, but ripe and CC covers the others.  I mean, we will be able to support you at least on the technical side.

>> MODERATOR:  Can we have Joe?

>> Joe:  Sure.  Thank you very much.  My name is Joe.  Thank you for inviting me.  I'm with the United States Department of Commerce Commercial Law Development Programme.  10 seconds of my 2 minutes I just wanted to say I find it very interesting and almost ironic that the word casa is well known in central Asia, south Asia to mean the collaboration.  But yet we're in Mexico and it means something quite different.  Your house.  There must be some kind of ironic statement to make but we don't have time to delve, to this think about the houses.

I've been thinking about how the work we do relates to what we've been talking about.  And throughout the course of the session, I found that I think there are a lot of parallels.

I should put the caution that I have a limited view.  I work for a very small office that does development work, technical assistance to countries around the world.  And because we're small and because we're legally focused we don't have all the solutions to all the projects.  But perhaps from the examples of types of things we do.

And in that context, we do an number of projects going on in ICT and currently our largest projects, we're funded country by country, are in Afghanistan, in Pakistan.  And what we do is in the ICT world is try to work on technical assistance that helps grow the sector or that generally affects the investment climate.  That gives us in this field a lot of leeway because things that are directly related to, say, connectivity obviously are important.  Cyber security affects the network and therefore affects investment.  Trust in the network.  Whether a woman feels safe on a social media platform will affect usage in development.

So we're able to get into a lot of different things.  And thinking about how we are talking literally at this session about technology and about women, and I think in our work, we're not focused on women exclusively.  But this infuses everything we do.

So, for example, we sometimes advise countries by bringing in ‑‑ we bring in private sector or government experts who would volunteer their time, say, to advise on a Cybercrime law.  One of the issues might be how does this law affect women?  And that will affect us because that is a policy we watch for.

We also do training.  We also do workshops.  We have it as a policy throughout the United States to include women in our training and capacity building programmes.  Same for internships and fellowships.  We in the past, for example, have made it possible for law student to get internships with afghan telecommunications firms.  Again, there's an opportunity there.

In our small group earlier, we were talking about there being several aspects here, one is the collaboration itself.  And it's a challenge.  We agreed it's a challenge.  The other is getting the women, finding the women.  I do struggle when I do programmes in the region, in all due respect to the folks who are here, who are with me, to find the women candidates to participate if our programmes.  And if we look at the whole system, whether it starts with education or training as some of our participants said, they would be available for us to identify.  And having organizations that are dedicated for this that I could work with provides an opportunity for me to put my programmes to work in that way.  So I think that covers it.  Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  Let's go to Karen.  Yeah.

>> Karen:  Hi, I'm Karen McCabe and I'm with the IEEE, which is one of the world's largest technical professional associations.  We have like 460,000 members around the world.  We're really sort of rooted and grounded in the community approach.  So we have technical societies.  But within those, there are affinity groups and technical communities.  And one that we're really proud of is our women in engineering affinity group.  We actually have 600 of them around the world including in south and central Asia which actually our largest representation is in India.  And the focus here is looking at that full life cycle.  So it's from technology development and use and teaching skills among those but also, and we touch upon it, I was in group 2 when we talked about capacity building, is the entrepreneurial skills, the leadership skills.  One might look at it as soft skills of that whole ecosystem of ICT and technology and getting women comfortable with it.

Another focus of the group is also, of the groups, I should say, is getting young girls excited about getting into the ICT, in the engineering fields.  It is a cool field to get into.  It's something that we really are needing in the world is to get more young girls and women engaged in ICT from a profession.  And a big focus of the work in our women in engineering affinity groups is to generate that, as well.

So it's really sort of a local approach where we bring communities together through education, capacity building, networking to teach these skills along this full spectrum along the way.  So I'll end here because I know we're short on time.  Thank you.

>> Hi, I'm here.  My name is Laura.  I work for the economic corporation and development.  We have a Forum where governments come to share good practices on common problems.  And we deal with several issues ranging from economics, trade, environment, health, education.  And today I'll be talking about gender and what we do in gender.

In 2013, the ‑‑ adopted a recommendation gender equality.  It recommends members to adopt good practices that promote gender equality through a whole of government approach and in cooperation with all the relevant stakeholders.  It also instructs the university to support efforts by producing data analytical studies and collecting good practices on achieving equality in areas of education, employment and entrepreneurship.  So in other words, what this first recommendation from ‑‑ to this issue states is at least four messages.  It's that there's no silver bullet solution, that this issue needs to be addressed holistically with the help of the partners cross institutions and stakeholder groups and it also highlights the necessity of the evidence‑based studies.

And since the first recommendation the university adopted a new recommendation on gender equality, this time on gender equality in public life.  This was in 2015 last year.

We also carried out analysis on engineering quality in education, climate change, financial education, health, taxation and science and technology.

So having been actively building a substantial body of work in the area, the university created a gender portal in 2015 through the university gender initiative.  So our gender portal compiles good practices, analytical tools on gender across all university policy work.

So examples of that include a gender ‑‑ on science and technology we have statistical and model surveys that can help countries to address the gaps of ICT usage and availability of male and female IT specialists.  It is imperative we compile data to develop evidence‑based policies to monitor the implementation of these practices.

In terms of regional focus, the university has regional programmes within our member countries.  So we have programmes in Latin America, Caribbean, in southeast Asia and in the Middle East in North Africa region, it's one of the regions where we've already implemented projects targeting gender issues.

So I invite you all to assess our portal.  It's university.org/gender.  And get familiarized with the work that we're doing.  And we believe getting to know the data and implementing these model surveys is a key input for you to understand what's missing and what are the bottlenecks to improving gender equality.  So thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR:  Thank you.  We have one more.  Facebook?  Maybe we could just give them the URL later for the video.

>> So we will skip the video.  In terms of what Facebook is doing to build capacities of women in the casa region, so we around this programme means business which celebrate entrepreneurs throughout the region workshops and training sessions and online resources.  The programme with women entrepreneurs with knowledge, connections, skills and technology required to build and grow their businesses online.  So far we have trained more than 1800 women entrepreneurs in India.  And we are going to sort of hike train more and more women as we increase our programmes in the region.

In Pakistan, we have recently launched this programme in collaboration with ‑‑ which is an initiative of the pan jab information technology board.  So that's the SME prong of it.

Another prong of how we sort of build capacities of women entrepreneurs is develop engagement.  We innovate through partnerships.  We partner with fast moving startups from around the world to help them test and develop new platform technologies which would benefit developers everywhere.

We have worked with top startups from across southeast Asia from India our top music April to Pakistan's top real estate application to Bangladesh's top traffic app called go traffic.  We also have the Facebook platform and also the FB start programme which sort of works with startups and entrepreneurs and developers to necessarily scale their products.  We give them the tools.  We give them the mentorship and get them involved in the process.  We've also worked, this is very specific to the work that we are doing in India.  We are also working with organisation called key start on startup goal challenge where we partner with this organisation to induct five women‑led startups into the FB start programme.  So where we'll sort of give them the mentorship and also the tools to develop.  Then we have the developer round tables and advisory councils that we do.  Production engineering team from our headquarters in Menlo Park to key markets in south Asia like in Pakistan to listen to first time feedback on what are the market challenges and the values so we can design and develop products accordingly.

We also have Facebook developer softwares.  It's sort of like a community programme where we invite developers, from all backgrounds to raise awareness, solve problems and build a bridge with our tech teams have I'm really proud of the fact that in the heart of our developer circle, we have more than is thousand developers, we have more than 1500 developers participated.  And lastly we live by the principle of open source.  Many of the solutions we use internally at Facebook are viable to any startup or developer at code.facebook.com.  So everything from building cross platform applications are available on this site and developers are free to use that.  There are over 387 open source in that site.

>> MODERATOR:  Okay.  May I ask the resource speakers to please email me the text.  I guess we can get it from this discussion, as well.  But whatever you haven't been able to discuss, please share with us.

I'm sorry I have to wrap up.  It sounds like we will ‑‑ it's a good idea to move with a regional capacity building for casa, central Asia and south Asia.  And we shall do so by setting clear expectations, beginning with a mapping of what's already there, which organizations are working with women, which women are working with technology.  And I guess we also need to be clear in terms of what we, as organizations or as individuals can give to the network.  It's not just about getting from the network in terms of this collaboration.  It's a reciprocal collaboration among the various players and stakeholders.  So if you are interested in learning more about the network and continuing this discussion, please email me, Maria.bb@gmail.com or Omar, you can find our names in the programme and so on.  Thank you so much.  If you want to stay for the video, the Facebook video, we can do so.

Is there another organisation happening?  Okay.  Sorry.  We're out of here.  Thank you so much, everybody.  And thank you so much for all the wonderful ideas. 

(end of session)