Our working definition of gender mainstreaming
Gender mainstreaming, in the contexts of information and telecommunication
technologies (ICTs) and development planning, is the process of both assessing
the effects and implications of ICT projects and policies on
women and men, as well as formulating and implementing strategies that are
spatially and temporally specific. Such strategies aim to facilitate access to,
and use of, ICTs in order to promote development and reduce poverty. Like ICT’s,
the process of gender mainstreaming is a tool and not an end in itself.
Women, Men, Gender
The categories of "women", "men" and "gender" are all necessary for gender
mainstreaming and development planning. In certain sectors projects targeted
solely to women or men continue to play an important role in improving well
being and facilitating development. Thus, gender mainstreaming activities do not
preclude targeted initiatives focused on either women or men.
However, we are careful to not conflate the categories "women"
and "gender". In development planning, a focus on “women” as a category enables
the formulation and deployment of programmes and projects that are specifically
targeted to them, e.g., providing training to women.
Gender sensitive development strategies targeted either to women or men, or to
both women and men, are informed by the material realities of the group in
question. In the context of ICTs, gender sensitive programming aims to bridge
the gendered digital divide by situating women and men’s lack of access to, and
use of, ICTs within their everyday lived realities. Such strategies go beyond
questions of male prejudice and preconceptions to the development of projects
that identify and address the concrete barriers that women and men face.
Further, gender sensitive development strategies acknowledge that the gender
digital divide partially reflects and can intensify gendered inequalities within
households, communities, labour markets and the larger economy.
Capacity Building for e-Business: APEC Women’s e-Biz Training, 16-21 July
2007, Seoul, Korea
The WeBiz Training co-organized by ITU, the Women's e-Biz Training, the Asia
Pacific Women's Information Network Center (APWINC) and UN APCICT was held from
16 to 21 July 2007 in Seoul Korea. ITU also organized breakout sessions on
Empowering Home workers through ICTs, which produced, among others, country
reports and recommendations. Approximately 40 delegates (women entrepreneurs,
policy makers and regulators) from Asia Pacific countries participated in this
training whose objective was to support the build up of a women e-Business
network among women entrepreneurs and government policy makers. More information
on this can be found at
Capacity Building for e-Business: APEC Women’s e-Biz Training, 3-8 July 2006, Seoul, Korea
The APEC Women’s e-Biz Training 2006 was successfully held on 3-8 July 2006 in Seoul, Republic of Korea with more
than 60 delegates (entrepreneurs, ICT service providers, academe, and
policy makers) from 20 countries participating. ITU provided full
fellowships to Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Mongolia, Samoa and
This workshop is a joint collaboration among ITU,
UNESCAP, ADBI and APWINC. The design of the workshop is a result of
consultations among these four co-organizers, facilitated by APWINC. As
such, the training workshop considered the entrepreneurial, gender,
socio-economic and ICT (access, security, e-applications, etc) aspects
The workshop produced a set of recommendations described in the attached document.
Capacity Building for e-Business: APEC Women’s e-Biz Training, 24-30 July 2005, Seoul, Korea
BDT’s Asia Pacific Regional Office and the Special Initiative on Gender
Issues collaborated to support the APEC Women's e-Biz Training which was
held on 24-30 July 2005 in Seoul, Korea. ITU supported the participation of
representatives from the Department of Information & Media, Ministry of
Information & Communications in Bhutan, the Directorate General of Posts and
Telecommunications, Department of Communication and Information, Directorate
of Bilateral Affairs, Directorate of International Affairs in Indonesia, the
Ministry of Communications, Transport Posts and Construction, Department of
Posts and Telecommunications in Laos, the Information and Communications
Technology Authority in Mongolia, and the Ministry of Information and
Communication in Nepal. In addition, the Senior Gender Adviser presented a
paper on “ICTs, Entrepreneurship and Women’s Well-being”.
The training, which was attended by 40 women from APEC member countries,
was hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, Energy and Industry, APEC and
organized by the Asian Pacific Women’s Information Network Center. The goal
of the Initiative APEC Women’s Participation in the Digital Economy, of
which this training is an element, is to promote Internet-based commercial
opportunities for women entrepreneurs in APEC region.
Emergency Telecommunications: Engendering Prevention and Response
It is often the case that
in disaster reduction activities women are marginalised, despite
the reality that in most communities they perform the roles of key
communicators and care givers. Noting that reducing disaster risk
involves effective preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery and
is partly dependent on access to, and appropriate use of, emergency
telecommunications by vulnerable local communities as well as effective
coordination at the national and international levels,
argues that a gender sensitive approach to effective and coherent
disaster reduction accepts that those community members who are key
communicators and care gives during normal weather conditions and peace
time are also key actors before, during and after disasters.
Engendering Prevention and Response is available in the 'Handbook on Emergency
Telecommunications' which is available for purchase,
Towards gender-sensitive policy making
Development and economic policy
planning are more effective if they are informed by reliable and timely data.
The ITU aims to increase available information on ICTs through the collection
and analysis of sex-disaggregated data and the development of gender sensitive
indicators. We recently embarked on a project, in partnership with Orbicom, that
aims compile and analyse quantitative and qualitative information from national
and international sources. The results will be used to construct a comprehensive
database on a country-by-country and time-series basis. Relevant information
from both developed and developing countries will be included, thus enabling
cross-country comparisons. This sex-disaggregated statistics and
gender-sensitive indicators project will be the foundation for a definitive
database of sex disaggregated statistics internationally, the results of which
will be made available at the World Summit on the Information Society, Tunis.
Gender Equality in the Telecommunication Sector questionnaire has been
developed to enable the systematic documentation of institutional successes,
needs and challenges to the achievement of gender equality in the telecom
We will analyse the answers with the objectives of:
Establishing a database of sex disaggregated statistics on
employment in the telecom sector; increasing awareness of the importance
of gender equality in and to the telecom sector;
Providing up-to-date information on the positions of women and men
within organizations involved in ICTs;
Developing guidelines and polices to address stated challenges;
Creating training programmes as necessary and appropriate.
Capacity building for Gender Equality
Capacity Building for Gender Mainstreaming
Czech Republic supports training to bridge
the gendered digital divide -- The Czech Republic collaborated with the ITU’s Special Initiative on Gender
Issues and the Centre for Excellence for English-speaking Africa, and the
Advanced Level Telecommunications Training Institute, Kenya to support the
training of 28 students and 12 teachers from the Uthiru Girls High School in
Nairobi during August. Students received hands-on training in the use of
basic computer applications and the Internet.
At the end of the first phase of the Czech-ITU collaboration in January, the
School purchased 20 second-hand computers, converted one of its classrooms
into a Computer Laboratory, hired a full time Computer Teacher, paid for by
the parents without Government support, as is the case with other teachers,
and adjusted its timetable to ensure that each of the 500 students has a
double computer lesson of 90 minutes per week.
Phases I and II of this bridging the gendered digital divide project trained
70 girls and 30 teachers, donated 3 computers and an LCD Projector, and
networked the computer lab which enables the school to have internet access.
A Focus on Women and Girls: The Netherlands signs MoU with ITU
The Directorate General of Telecommunications and Posts of the Kingdom of
the Netherlands and the International Telecommunications Union have signed a
memorandum of agreement to further shared objectives of bridging the digital
divide in an effective, equitable and beneficial way for developing
countries. In particular, concrete projects will be developed by the Special
Initiative on Gender Issues to improve computer literacy of young women with
the goal of increasing their employability. Trainings are scheduled to begin
in October 2005 in East Africa.