Digital Inclusion of Women for Gender Equality


Diversity and Inclusion in Tech; Leveraging ICTs for Equality at the WorkPlace and Economic Empowerment

There are quite different levels of gender inequality throughout the world, however there is gender inequality all over the world. During our interventions at WSIS last year, we established the existence of a gender divide within the digital divide; part of that divide also contributes to less women going for technology related studies and jobs. 

Today the world is moving more and more towards a service economy, where IT plays an increasing role. The IT industry can play a major role in women’s economic empowerment, yet this industry sees a large gender imbalance: women are not equally represented in tech industries, and the few that are face countless challenges to prove themselves as professionals. The work environment can be hostile towards them, which discourages more influx of women and girls in these fields. The digital gender gap in Europe gets wider when it comes to women of colour, migrant communities and digital migrants (people who did not grow up using modern ICTs).

We launched a campaign in March 2015, “#WorkToEquality”, after a brainstorming session with women working in tech industries in Europe. Many unconscious and conscious biases still affect women and hinder them from reaching their full potential. We aim to share of our findings and propose recommendations. 

Some approaches to address this issue in the developing world can be used in the developed world as well, and vice versa. In our session we will look at different experiences of organizations that are working for gender equality, both internally and externally in their organization. With these different visions and programs, we will have a better insight about what can be done to achieve #WorktoEquality. This workshop aims to generate a debate to raise awareness and collect possible suggestions and solutions for addressing the issue. 

Speakers / panellists
  • Iffat Gill- Founder/CEO ChunriChoupaal Pakistan/Netherlands 
  • Hanna Luden- De Raadgevers Compagnie, Netherlands  (Joining Remotely)
  • Riffat Arif ChunriChoupaal/Zephaniah Free Education Pakistan 
  • Mine Ogura- ebay Netherlands
  • Catherine Mesot- Catalyst 
  • Miriam Tocino- Community member, Netherlands 
  • Cheryl Miller- Verizon United States 
  • Monique Morrow - Cisco Switzerland 
Session's link to WSIS Action Lines
  • C1. The role of public governance authorities and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development
  • C4. Capacity building
  • C6. Enabling environment
  • C8. Cultural diversity and identity, linguistic diversity and local content
Session's link to the Sustainable Development Process

Our organization aims to bring more women and girls into tech fields through capacity building in related skills and entrepreneurship. We are hoping to build a series of ChunriChoupaal centers in the developing world, which will act as resource centers as well as safe spaces that provides enabling environment for women and girls to learn and work. We think that digital inclusion of women is at the heart of their economic empowerment. We are addressing the issue of poverty alleviation and development through building the capacity of women leaders to start their own tech centers in their local communities.

Session 189
  • Monday 25 May,
  • Room L1, ITU Montbrillant
  • Thematic Workshop

WSIS Forum 2015 | Innovating Together: Enabling ICTs for Sustainable Development
25–29 May 2015, International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland