Committed to connecting the world

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

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ITU's vision is to become a model organization for gender equality and to leverage the power of ICTs to empower both women and men. ​​​​​​​​​​ITU Resolution 70 (Rev. Dubai, 2018) highlights the role of ICTs to advance gender equality and women's empowerment in many ways, notably 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. It encourages Member States and Sector Members to review their policies related to the information society to ensure the inclusion of a gender perspective in all activities.​​​​​​​

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 2019, he commits to launching a public outreach campaign to raise awa reness and promote equal access to ICT infrastructure,as well as increasing the number of countries collecting and disseminating global/regional/national gender- and age-disaggregated data on access to, and use of, ICTs and digital skills; and to reinforce our efforts to help countries to have the necessary capacity to collect the required data.        

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

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                                       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.

ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission Work on Gender

targets2025.jpg ​                      ​The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development was established by ITU and UNESCO in 2010 to address issues related to gender and ICTs through the work of its groups and by setting gender-oriented Global Broadband Targets. With the adoption of a new UN Development Agenda 2030 in 2015, the digital inclusion theme remains a priority for the​ Commission. The Working Group on the Digital Gender Divide was formed in 2016 and addressing the barriers women face in access and use of the Internet. In 2018, the Commission also launched a new framework of Targets 2025 in support of "Connecting the Other Half" and agreed that by 2025, gender equality should be achieved across all targets. 

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.

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. ​