The World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC–98) held in March
1998 in Valletta, Malta adopted
Resolution 7 – Gender and Telecommunication Policy in Developing
Countries. This Resolution set out to ensure that the “benefits of
telecommunications and the emerging information society are made available to
all women and men in developing countries on a fair and equitable basis”.
To facilitate these priorities, it recommended the establishment of a Task
Force on Gender Issues as well as a commitment from ITU-D to develop gender
sensitive policies and programmes. Further, Resolution 7 requested that the
Development Sector take a leadership role in facilitating the collection and
analysis of sex disaggregated data and the development of gender sensitive
At the Plenipotentiary Conference in Minneapolis, United States of America,
the Members adopted Resolution 70 – Inclusion of Gender Perspective in the Work of ITU.
This Resolution recognized that society stood to benefit from the “equal
participation of women and men in policy and decision making and equal access to
communications services for both women and men”. In addition, it endorsed the
need to ensure “a gender perspective” in policies and programmes.
During 1998 the Task Force on Gender Issues (TFGI) was established. The TFGI
was comprised of Member States, Sector Members, United Nations bodies,
international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs),
individual experts and staff from ITU-D. The Group immediately embarked on one
of its many tasks: that of sensitizing the telecommunications community about
the need for gender sensitive programming.
At the 2002 World Telecommunications Development Conference held in Istanbul,
Turkey (WTDC-02), the Members built on the momentum and accomplishments
initiated in 1998 and adopted
Resolution 44 – Mainstreaming Gender in ITU-D Programmes. This
Resolution recognized that the “gender dimension in telecommunications” is
critical to the attainment of the goal of universal access and posited that its
neglect would be counterproductive. Further, Resolution 44 resolved to initiate
the process of gender mainstreaming within the programmes established under the
Istanbul Action Plan. The TFGI was also converted to the
Working Group on Gender Issues
The Plenipotentiary Conference in Marrakech, Morocco, which took place in
2002, further solidified the position of the WTDC-02 with
Resolution 70 rev –
Gender Mainstreaming in ITU.
Through the strong support of the Norwegian Administration, ITU-D's director
Mr. Hamadoun Touré was able to implement these Resolutions with the creation of
a unit dealing with gender issues and the hiring of a gender specialist.