Committed to connecting the world

SDG

Mainstreaming a gender perspective in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through ICTs

​Gender Equality and Mainstreaming  

ITU's seeks to become a model organization for gender equality and to use the ICTs to empower both women and men. We know how important the role of ICTs is to advance gender equality and empower women in many ways. One way is by encouraging young women and girls to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for their social and economic empowerment, and by highlighting the value that women bring to the tech sector.​

Data Gathering and Tracking & Gender Dashboard

ITU regularly collects and disseminates ICT indicators related to individuals accessing and using ICTs. These indicators can be disaggregated by gender, age, education, labor force status, and occupation. ITU monitors and tracks three gender-related indicators that are included in the SDG Indicators Monitoring Framework: (1) “proportion of individuals who own a mobile telephone, by sex", (2) “proportion of individuals using the Internet, by sex", and (3) “proportion of individuals with ICT skills, by sex".

ITU's Gender Dashboard provides a visual overview of gender in the ICT arena, in ITU meetings, and in ITU's human resources. Gender representation in statutory committees is also reported.

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The EQUALS Global Partnership

EQUALS, the Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age, is working to ensure that women are given access, equipped with skills, and develop the leadership potential of girls and women to work in the ICT industry. The Partnership launched in 2016 with five co-founders: GSMA, ITC, ITU, UNU, and UN Women.

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The EQUALS in Tech Awards

Organized by the EQUALS Global Partnership, the EQUALS in Tech Awards celebrates initiatives that are helping women and girls cross the gender digital divide. The programme honors projects and initiatives around the world committed to ensuring that women and girls are empowered by and given access to ICTs, are equipped with skills, and develop the leadership potential of girls and women to work in the ICT industry.

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Girls in ICT Day

The Girls in ICT Day is celebrated around the world on the 4th Thursday in April each year. Girls in ICT Day aims to attract more girls and women to ICT studies and careers, as this is crucial to achieve gender balance in the tech sector.

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African Girls Can Code Initiative

ITU and UN Women, in collaboration with the African Union Commission, have launched the African Girls Can Code Initiative (AGCCI). The programme that aims to train and empower girls and young women aged 17 to 20 years old across Africa to become computer programmers, creators and designers who will act as role models and create an online community for sharing coding experiences.

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Network of Women for WRC-19

The 'Network of Women for WRC' (NOW) is a mentorship programme that encourages gender balance in decision-making bodies, panels, statutory committees, and study groups. Its goal is to build capacity and encourage greater participation of women delegates, including in roles such as chairs and vice-chairs.

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Women in Standardization Expert Group

Wise is an initiative that is part of ITU's commitment to promoting gender equality for delegates attending its meetings and conferences.

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The Broadband Commission Work on Gender

ITU and UNESCO established The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development in 2010 to address issues related to gender and ICTs. The Working Group on the Digital Gender Divide was formed in 2016 to address the barriers women face in access to and use of the Internet.

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Houlin Zhao - International Gender Champion

ITU's Secretary-General Houlin Zhao is a founding member of the International Gender Champions. In addition to the IGC Panel Parity Pledge not to sit on single-sex panels, he has committed to: 

  • re​inforce efforts to help countries to have the necessary capacity to collect and disseminate/share global/regional/national gender- and age-dissagregated data on access and use of ICTs and digital skills;
  • help countries to raise awareness and promote the active participation of girls and young women in ICT related carreers and other digital skills to fulfil the demand of future jobs on an equal basis.

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Participation and Representation of Women

ITU has also taken a number of measures to reinforce women's participation in ITU meetings and conferences. ITU has increased efforts towards gender-balanced representation and participation. Conference webcasts are analysed to determine speaking time of women and men through machine learning, in partnership with University of Southern California's Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (USC/SAIL). Results are reported on the gender dashboard.

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UN-SWAP & UN-SWAP 2.0

The UN System-wide Action Plan (UN-SWAP) on gender equality and the empowerment of women is the accountability framework to systematically revitalize, capture, monitor and measure performance on mainstreaming gender perspectives into the work of the UN system. ITU reports progress annually.

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Safe & Professional Environment  

The Code of Conduct to Prevent Harassment, including Sexual Harassment, at UN System Events is the most recent deliverable of the CEB Task Force to address sexual harassment.

The organizations of the United Nations system are committed to enabling events at which everyone can participate in an inclusive, respectful and safe environment, so that everyone feels comfortable and can deliver their best work.

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Girls in ICT Day

Girls in ICT Day
International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative of the ITU to empower and encourage girls and young women to consider studies and careers in ICTs. It is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of every April (as established by the ITU membership) to give girls​​ and young women around the world the opportunity to experience ICTs and become inspired to consider a future in technology. Find out more on the dedicated Girls in ICT Portal. ​ 

 

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Network of Women for WRC-19

The Network of Women for the World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (NOW4WRC19) initiative was launched​ during the World Radiocommunication Seminar 2016 (WRS-16) held in Geneva, Switzerland. The purpose of the initiative is to start building capacity early on in the World Radiocommunication Conference process in order to encourage a larger participation of women as delegates, chairs, vice-chairs, etc., at WRC-19 to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, from 28 October to 22 November 2019. The initiative aims to improve gender balance among delegates, prepare women delegates for key roles in WRC-19, and grow the capacity and contribution of the ITU women's community.

ITU's SG Houlin Zhao an International Gender Champion

Houlin Zhao

ITU's own Secretary-General Houlin Zhao is a founding member of the International Gender Champions (IGC) and commits to the Panel Parity Pledge which is to not sit on single-sex panels. As part of his personal commitments for 2021, he commits to re​inforce efforts to help countries to have the necessary capacity to collect and disseminate/share global/regional/national gender- and age-dissagregated data on access and use of ICTs and digital skills; and to help countries to raise awareness and promote the active participation of girls and young women in ICT related carreers and other digital skills to fulfil the demand of future jobs on an equal basis​​​​.        

The EQUALS Global Partnership

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                                           The EQUALS Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age is a multi-stakeholder initiative created to promote awareness, build political commitments, leverage knowledge-sharing, and combine efforts and resources for the greatest possible impact to achieve digital gender equality at both the global and national levels. The Partnership focuses on: access (achieving equal access to digital technologies), skills (empowering women and girls to become ICT creators), leadership (promoting women as ICT leaders and entrepreneurs) and research (building strong data and evidence on the gender digital divide).​

The EQUALS in Tech Awards

EqualsInTechAwards
                                       The EQUALS in Tech Awards is the flagship event of the EQUALS Global Partnership. The annual awards recognize initiatives around the world that are reimagining the digital future by helping girls and women get equal access, skills, and opportunities online and in the tech industry, and advancing data collection on the gender digital divide. Five editions have been held​ since 2014, receiving over 1500 nominations from 80+ countries around the world. ​Winners receive a paid trip to the awarding ceremony, where they can mingle with ​like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, advocates and leaders. They also become part of the Advisory Panel for the following year's awards.

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ITU's Work on Increasing Women's Participation in UN Events

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Following ITU's commitment to promoting women's participation in UN events, ITU was part of the 2017 publication​​ Shaping the International Agenda: Raising Women's Voices in Intergovernmental Forums​, and has created a Gender Dashboard ​providing geb-disagreggated data on women participation among ITU staff, in ITU meetings and in the ICT sector. As part of an ongoing project, ITU has also partnered with the University of Southern California on a pilot project to analyze female participation at UN conferences using machine learning. Lastly, as part of ITU Telecom Worldthe ITU's annual global event for governments, corporates and tech SMEs, ITU actively encourages gender-balanced panelists and participation, and has partnered with EQUALS for ITU Telecom World 2019 to feature a special programme and content for women tech entrepreneurs.