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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

Thursday, May 17 • 14:30 - 15:45
What about the 'invisible' unconnected? Targeting gender digital divides with policies and measures informed by evidence from the Global South

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A growing number of efforts are focused on addressing women’s ability to gain access to the Internet and to its potential for enabling sustainable development (c.f. UNGA Agenda for Sustainable Development, 2015). Despite these efforts, the gap between men and women’s ability to access the Internet may be increasing (ITU, 2017).

While a significant collection of recent literature is dedicated to considering and investigating the barriers hindering women’s access and/or adoption, a preliminary review of literature indicates that little research seems to delve deeper into the ways in which unique and often hidden circumstances women find themselves in may impact their ability to access, adopt and use the Internet. Traditional means of data collection tend to overlook or simply classify women broadly according to their location or region (e.g. urban or rural); and neglect richer dimensions about the unique needs and barriers specific communities of women face in accessing and using the Internet.

To help fill the gap, this exploratory session will welcome participants working in diverse fields with so-called invisible women, including women refugees, indigenous women, LGBTQI women, young women, rural women, and elderly women (among others). The session will also showcase research conducted by Research ICT Africa and WOUGNET with the aim of enabling a more nuanced understanding of gender digital divides, including relevant barriers.

To promote interactivity, the session will consist of a preliminary investigation of the themes led by expert panelists and a moderator. By thoroughly mapping current initiatives and research, the organizers aim to promote a more critical approach to understanding women’s ICT access, to provide recommendations for future work and research on gender inequality in access, and to support a sound evidence base for informed policymaking aimed at addressing the gender digital divide.

avatar for Chenai Chair

Chenai Chair

Researcher/Comms manager, Research ICT Africa
Chenai Chair’s interest in the ICT sector developed from learning of mobiles for development while writing her master’s thesis titled “Mobile phones for development: How have women in the informal sector used their mobile phones to enhance themselves and their business?” in... Read More →
avatar for Moses Owiny

Moses Owiny

Program Manager - ICT Policy and Information, WOUGNET
Interested in Gender and ICT Policy, Online freedoms and Security

avatar for Evelyn Namara

Evelyn Namara

Global Community Engagement Manager, Internet Society
Evelyn is the Global Community Engagement Manager with the Internet Society. She works on defining, managing and coordinating community engagement and mobilization activities across departments to support the Organizational objectives.She also leads and coordinates the development... Read More →
avatar for Dhanaraj Thakur

Dhanaraj Thakur

Senior Research Manager, Alliance for Affordable Internet / Web Foundation

Thursday May 17, 2018 14:30 - 15:45 EDT