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Last Updated: 16.11.2012
Women With the WAVE: High Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls  

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) and the Korea Broadcasting System (KBS) organized the Women With the WAVE: High Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls, held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 10-11 October 2012. This was in line with WTDC Res. 55 (Doha, 2006): “Promoting gender equality towards an all-inclusive information society,” Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (rev Guadalajara, 2010): “Gender mainstreaming in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information and communication technologies,” and the 4th World Conference on Women Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.

Photo courtesy of ABU

SIS Newslog - Women with the Wave Gender Media Forum - Statement on Empowering Women through Media and ICT.

ITU Press Release - ITU, Asia Broadcasting Union call for action to get more women into technology and media

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and media have an enormous impact on virtually all aspects of our lives, while being recognized as a critical enabler for socio-economic and cultural development in all countries around the world. The rapid progress of ICT technologies and proliferation of media platforms creates new opportunities to attain higher levels of development through ICT and media. The ability of ICTs and media to reduce many traditional obstacles, especially those of time and distance, makes it possible to use their potential to achieve digital inclusion for millions of people all over the world. Under favourable conditions, these technologies can be powerful instruments, increasing productivity, generating socio-economic growth, job creation and employability, and improving the quality of life of all.

Regrettably, recent studies have shown that the benefits of the ICTs and broadcast media revolution are still unevenly distributed between developed and developing countries and within societies. ITU, ABU, KBS, Forum partners and supporters are committed to turn the existing digital divide into a digital opportunity for all. These organizations have joined forces to promote digital inclusion of already marginalized social groups who risk being left behind the digital wave sweeping the world, particularly of women and girls.


Day 1: 10 October 2012

08:00-09:00 Registration  
09:00-09:30 OPENING SESSION  
  • Opening remarks by Kim Kum-lae, Minister for Gender Equality and Family, Korea
  • Welcoming remarks by Gil Hwan-Young, Executive Vice-President, KBS
  • Remarks by Dr. Eun-Ju Kim, Regional Director, ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
  • Remarks by Javad Mottaghi, Secretary General, ABU
  • Video Message: Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO
  • Keynote Address: Geena Davis, ITU Special Envoy and Laureate for Women and Girls in ICT and Co-Chair, Healthy Media Commission
A digital wave is sweeping the globe. But are women catching the wave or standing on the beach as observers? What are the issues facing women in surfing the digital wave and participating more equitably in the knowledge society of the 21st century? Where are the roadblocks on the information superhighway which are challenging the way in which women can enjoy greater involvement in the benefits of the new information and communications technologies? And have ICTs been a liberating force in the portrayal of women across all media platforms?

This tour d’horizon will take stock of the current situation on gender balance/imbalance in the media and ICT sectors. It will also highlight the situation regarding the integration of the stories and views of women into a range of media content, including broadcasting, advertising and movies.

Moderator - Eun-Ju Kim, Regional Director, ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Topics and Panelists:
  Ms Susan Schorr, Head, Special Initiatives, ITU/BDT
  Deborah Taylor Tate, ITU Special Envoy and Laureate for Child Online Protection; Co-Chair, Healthy Media Commission, US Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission (Ret)
  Ann Mei Chang, Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary's Office of Global Women's Issues at the US Department of State, former Senior Engineering Director at Google, Emerging Markets
  Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, Bangkok
10:30-11:00 Refreshment and Networking break
The international scene is awash with positive and successful examples of gender empowerment and job creation, especially when women are in senior management positions and can become agents of change. But, while grassroots action will bring gender disparities and imbalances to the attention of managers, practical and real change usually comes from the top. How have broadcast media leaders embraced and promoted gender mainstreaming in their organizations? And how have ICTs played a role?

This session highlights strategies and initiatives for narrowing the gender divide by promoting educational and workplace opportunities in communication technologies and the digital broadcast media. The focus is on increased female representation linked to recruitment, learning, development and retention.

Moderator: Mike McCluskey, Chief Executive Officer, Radio Australia

Topic and Panelists:
  • The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s strategy to involve women employees in a range of genres and multi-media platform
Chrissie Tucker, Diversity Manager, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Australia
  • Internet Empowering Initiative of the Government of Malaysia
Rothiah Omar, Deputy Secretary General, Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture, Malaysia
  • Maldives Broadcasting Corporation policy on gender fairness, implemented as part of the ABU project on Gender Mainstreaming in Broadcasting
Mohamed Asif, CEO, Maldives Broadcasting Corporation
12:30-14:00 Lunch break
Moving images, whether in the form of television programmes, documentaries or feature films, are hugely influential when expressed to the public through modern media vehicles. They reach vast numbers of people via terrestrial, satellite and cable television, in cinemas and, in more recent years, through the Internet in formats such as YouTube. Given the power of the media as a tool of social change, organizations worldwide are seizing the opportunity to make an impact on women’s lives through globally resonant factual broadcast content.

Public service broadcasters (PSBs), commercial television stations and private film companies have increasingly been at the forefront of accepting social responsibility for producing documentary films which illuminate women’s struggles for equality and basic human rights. Their product also documents the way in which countless extraordinary women and girls are already doing their part to change the world. Associated Internet social media campaigns have further empowered and educated viewers.

Highlighting documentary production, co-production and globally-led film and television initiatives, this session showcases the work of creative women in harnessing the digital wave.

Moderator: Hyejung Eun, Professor at the Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Korea

Topics and Panelists:
  • ABU/KBS CARE 2 Documentary co-production: Empower Women
Jihee Lee, Producer, KBS
  • Women at 40 – A Silent Revolution
Tomoko Okutsu, Producer, NHK, Japan
  • Utopia Girls- How Women Won the Vote.
Lucy Maclaren, Producer, Renegade Films, Australia
  • Women and Girls Lead
Judy Tam, Chief Financial and Operations Officer, ITVS, USA
  • Benghazi, Beyond the Frontline.
Natalia Orozco, Filmmaker, Pulso Mundo, Colombia
15:30-16:00 Lunch break

The digital wave in Korea is one of the most advanced in the world. With widespread connectivity and breathtaking broadband speeds delivering the Internet to homes and industries, innovative uses of ICTs have been an example for many other countries. Korea is also a global leader in the manufacture of ICT hardware.

In this digital era, women in Korea are taking increasingly prominent leadership roles across various avenues of society, from business to media, arts to science and governance. However, as in many other countries, much remains to be done to achieve equality of access and opportunity for women. How are Korean women seeing the convergence of broadcasting and ICTs, the rapid growth of social media and the widespread use of computers, hand-held devices and wireless technologies?

Prominent Korean women share their stories of struggle, perseverance and, ultimately, success in achieving status and recognition within the ICT and media sectors in Korean society. With an eye to the future, they also present their strategies for women in the digital era and suggest how women around the world can carve out their own path.

Moderator: Eunseung Jeong, Announcer KBS

Topics and Panelists:
  • Success of ‘GALAXY Note’ and Woman Leadership
Ms. Younghee Lee, Senior Vice President, Mobile Marketing, Samsung Electronics
  • Global Women Leadership in 21C Media
Ms. Sungjoo Kim, Chairperson & CEO, SUNGJOO Group & MCM Holding AG
  • Women are Our Future!
Ms. DoeSun Na, Professor, University of Ulsan College of Medicine
  • Creativity in Woman and Digital Storytelling
Ms. HyeWon Han, Professor, Division of Digital Media, Ewha Womans University

Day 2: 11 October 2012

09:00-10:15 Summary of the Day 1 Discussions: encompassing significant points raised, strategies resulting and potential objectives for follow-up and inclusion in Forum outcome documents

Martin Hadlow, former Director of UNESCO's Division of Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace
Despite the widespread use of computers and Internet technologies in the so-called ‘developed world’, billions of the world’s citizens still have no access to any form of digital technology. However, mobile phones are increasingly entering even the most remote regions, while broadcasters are moving from analogue to digital equipment as formats change and previous technologies are left behind as the digital makeover gathers pace.

Studies regularly show that the benefits of the ICT and broadcast media evolution are still unevenly distributed between developed and developing countries. In particular, women and girls are disadvantaged in terms of access and participation.

Strategies and initiatives exist to assist the narrowing of the gender divide, thus promoting greater educational and workplace opportunities in the digital broadcast media and in communication and technology fields.

Moderator: Shanti Bhagirathan, Group Director Radio, MBC, Sri Lanka

Topic and Panelists:
  Yunkem Chang, Director, Asia Pacific Women’s Information Network Centre(APWINC)
  • Addressing the gender divide through media and technology in training.
Adilah Omar, Director IPTAR-Malaysia Training Institute for Media
  Susan Schorr, Head of Special Initiatives Division, ITU/BDT
  Maria Teresa Camba, Director for Operations,
10:30-11:00 Refreshment and networking break

Already, many women worldwide have grasped the opportunities afforded by the digital wave and have made substantive professional and management careers in a range of technological and media fields. With generational change sweeping through the broadcasting industry, the new digital environment, combined with higher educational standards now obtained by females, has started to level the playing field in terms of enabling women and girls to achieve a greater variety of senior and influential industry positions.

Inspirational women who are now riding the crest of the digital wave discuss the bright future in ICTs and the media that lies ahead and the challenges and opportunities it presents to a new generation of women and girls.

Moderator: Eun-Ju Kim, Regional Director, ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Key Note Speaker: Geena Davis, ITU Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT, Co-Chair, Healthy Media Commission

Topics and Panelists:
  • The Effect on Society of the changing technology and the impacts and opportunities for women
Ann Mei Chang, Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretarys Office of Global Women’s issues at the U.S. Department of State, former Senior Engineering Director at Google, Emerging Markets
  Ruxandra Obreja, Chairperson, Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium
  Aurora A. Rubio, Head, ITU Area Office for South East Asia
12:30-14:00 Lunch break

The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are a set of universally agreed actions to alleviate poverty and reinforce human rights, educational opportunities, environmental programmes and sustainable development across the globe. Existing radio and television technologies have already played, and will continue to play, invaluable roles in enabling citizens to help achieve the MDGs by providing media platforms to enhance community ownership and give voice to individual participation in developmental activities. The broadcast media is a relatively inexpensive technology for information sharing as it reaches widely into communities in local languages and is available to both literate and non-literate consumers alike.

Successful radio and television projects have supported MDG implementation worldwide. In addition, international organizations and NGOs have produced a wide range of free resources, especially in the health and education fields, which can be used by broadcasters in their work. The Internet affords an even broader range of material in print, image, video and audio form, along with enormous databases of life-saving information. But how can all of these resources be accessed to positive effect by the most vulnerable people in society?

Murray Green, Media Development and Legal Policy Advisor, Australia

Topics and Panelists:
  • Empowering women through media: Indonesia’s experience in using radio to help women take charge of their lives
Rosarita Niken Widiastuti, President Director, Radio Republik Indonesia (RRI)
  • Empowering women through health
Radharani Mitra, National Creative Director & Executive Producer, BBC Media Action India
  • IWART projects on achieving women’s rights and MDGs.
Racheal Nakitare, President, IWART
  • Broadcasting for all: Rural Women Citizen Reporters
Anothai Udomsilp, Director, ThaiPBS Training Academy
15:30-16:00 Refreshment and networking break

A digital wave is now in motion worldwide, gathering momentum as it moves forward. Increasing numbers of women and girls are catching the wave and being included in the knowledge revolution, but huge disparities still exist, with countless millions excluded and unable to be part of the global conversation.

Partnerships of like-minded stakeholders and an on-going dialogue to support initiatives for advancing women’s rights and development through ICTs and the broadcast media need to be nourished and strengthened.

Adoption: Declaration on Empowering Women through Media and ICTs

Moderator: Martin Hadlow, former Director of UNESCO's Division of Freedom of Expression, Democracy and Peace

  • Deborah Taylor Tate, ITU Special Envoy and Laureate for Child Online Protection; US Commissioner, Co- Chair, Healthy Media Commission, Federal Communications Commission (Ret.)
  • Ruxandra Obreja, Chairperson, Digital Radio Mondiale Consortium
  • Racheal Nakitare, President, IWART
  • Lanni Smith, Head of Development – Asia, Radio France International
  • Nigel Baker, Director, Thomson Foundation
  • Radharani Mitra, Creative Director, BBC Media Action
16:30-16:45  Launch: ITU “Measuring the Information Society 2012 Report”
  • Eun-ju Kim, Regional Director, ITU Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
  • Taeseon Yoo, Director of International Organization Division, Korea Communication Commission  

10-11 October 2012

Registration Deadline:
20 September 2012

Fellowship Deadline:
20 September 2012

Location: Juniper Room, 63 Convention Centre 60 Yeouido-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul 150-763, Republic of Korea

Organised by: ITU, ABU, KBS

Contact: For detailed information, please contact

Mr. Aurora Rubio
Head, ITU Area Office for South East Asia Email:

Target Audience:
  • Senior officials / Policy makers
  • Regulators
  • Industry
  • International organisation involved in ICT policies, regulations, operations, strategies and development activities promoting digital inclusion of women and girls

Organised by:

Supported by:



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Women With the WAVE: High Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls