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 equita?ble 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 indicators.
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 (WGGI)
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.