We believe ICTs should be accessible to all, regardless of gender, age, ability and location – they improve our lives, facilitate access to information, simplify service delivery and enable social and economic participation. Digital inclusion then is one of ITU’s strategic goals – and we work to ensure all people have opportunity to be part of digital society.
Bold, measurable, focused programmes are shrinking the digital gender gap
While the Internet gender divide has narrowed in recent years, bold, measurable and highly focused ITU programmes are ensuring that this progress is maintained and accelerated.
- In its 10th edition (2021), International Girls in ICT Day, an annual event, again encouraged girls and young women to take up ICT careers and studies, building engagement and awareness – and providing a crucial platform to advance girls in their pursuit of STEM careers.
- Helping to level the tech playing-field for girls and women, ITU coding workshops – the African Girls Can Code Initiative and the Americas Girls Can Code Initiative – have now taught over 9 000 girls to code.
- EQUALS: The Global Partnership to Bridge the Gender Digital Divide focuses on women and girls’ access, skills, leadership and research, and has trained and/or mentored over 52 000 women and girls – and has conducted over 145 research projects. Also under the auspices of EQUALS:
- Tech as a driver of Women’s Economic Opportunity launched in 2020, enhances the digital ecosystem and helps build digital skills for women in LDCs.
- ITU, with the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST), launched the Women in Cyber Mentorship Programme to empower women in cybersecurity in the Arab and Africa regions.
- The 2021 EQUALS in Tech Awards drew over 120 nominations from 34 countries.
- Across all sectors of the Organization, ITU’s Network of Women (NoW) encourages and tracks gender-balanced representation and is building networks for female delegates to share their experience, promote the participation of women – and prepare for leadership roles for global events such as WRC-23 or WTDC.
In each of these programmes ITU is driving progress on three gender-related Sustainable Development Goals that fall under its ownership: the proportion of individuals who (1) own a mobile phone; (2) use the Internet; and (3) have ICT skills.