IGF workshop 91 Technology, Economic and Societal Opportunities and Women

When? 6 November 2012, 16.30-18.00

Where? Workshop room 4, Baku Expo Centre, IGF

Technology has afforded all segments of populations around the globe with new and unique opportunities. However, some of these come with the need for changes in policies, or increased investment, to enable the full opportunities to be achieved, such as around encouraging studies in sciences or technology. As more aspects of life are increasingly mediated by Internet and information communications technologies (ICTs), access to the Internet significantly contributes to all, in particular women’s rights to freedom from discrimination and exclusion and their right to political, economic, cultural and social participation. For women, access to information and the Internet creates opportunities for economic growth, job creation, and social benefits, such as ease in health care and education (e-health, e-education). Yet, opportunities afforded by the Internet in particular around social benefits often face challenges within their own policy and regulatory frameworks. This interactive workshop will explore 3 dimensions from the perspective of a range of stakeholders as well as the particular development opportunities: 1. Women and economic empowerment: For example, issues around micro-lending; online services and businesses; job sharing and ease of commuting. 2. Enhancing (or strengthening) women’s rights through access to information and the Internet, including use of technology to address issues of abuse or technology related violence. 3. Policy and regulatory conditions that stimulate access to the Internet and information. For example, encouraging ease and cost effective use of technology/the Internet across schools and health facilities.

Draft agenda

1.Exploring the policy and governance issues (45 minutes)

Interactive discussion with the panelists
– women and economic empowerment (micro-lending, online services and businesses, job
sharing and ease of commuting)
– policy/regulatory conditions stimulating access to Internet and information (cost effective
technology use, Internet in schools and health facilities)
– enhancing (or strengthening) women’s rights through access to information and the Internet,
including use of technology to address issues of abuse or technology related violence
– policy changes needed to help exploit and maximize opportunities for women to excel in
different environments
– technology access vs women’s rights to freedom from discrimination and exclusion
ICTs and economic, social and educational opportunities for women
– social benefits and challenges related to policy and regulatory frameworks

Interactive discussion with the participants

This co-sponsorship of this workshop will be consistent with the multistakeholder principle. The workshop will include representatives from business, governments, the technical community and civil society. Geographic diversity will be represented. See descriptions of anticipated speakers above.

The workshop co-organizers are the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) BASIS (Business Action to Support the Information Society) initiative, the Government of Kenya and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) representing civil society.

Moderated by

Virat Bhatia, Chairman, Communication and Digital Economy Committee, FICCI, and President, EA, South Asia, AT&T


Antoaneta Angelova-Krasteva, Head of Unit, Stakeholders, DG CONNECT, European Commission

Alice Munyua, Ministry of Information and Communications, Kenya

Yara Sallam, Manager of the Women Human Rights Defenders Program, Nazra

Theresa Swinehart, Executive Director, Global Internet Policy, Verizon

Lead discussants

Grace Githaiga, Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet), Kenya

P. Usha Rani, Director, Institutional Building, SERP of Gover nment of Andhra Pradesh

Remote moderator

Raquel Gatto, Member of the IGF Remote Participation Working Group, Director at

Inter net Society Brazil Chapter

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