ICTs and Gender Mainstreaming

The WSIS Process affirms the importance of promoting and maintaining gender equality and women empowerment, guaranteeing the inclusion of women in the emerging global ICT society, and emphasizes the need to fully integrate gender equality perspectives in WSIS related strategies and facilitate their implementation to ensure that the Information Society enables women’s empowerment and full participation based on equality in all spheres of society and in all decision-making processes.

Gender mainstreaming is a cross-cutting issue across all WSIS action lines, from strategies and planning through to implementation, to ensure the action lines take account of continuing gender issues, redress discrimination and contribute to ending violence and harassment.

50/50 gender balance participation

The WSIS Forum launched a 50/50 gender balance challenge in the wake of a call to realise equal participation at the WSIS Forum. WSIS Stakeholders are invited to mainstream a gender equality perspective and use ICTs to accelerate progress towards gender equality.

This collaborative effort is also addressing the gender gap in ICTs that aligns with Sustainable Development Goal 5 “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. The cross-cutting commitments on gender equality are further echoed across all WSIS Action Lines.

Repository of Women in Technology

At the request of and in collaboration with WSIS Stakeholders a repository of Women in Tech has been launched. The goal is to identify and connect women leaders and practitioners in all sectors of the ICT industry from all regions and engage them in events, forums (e.g. WSIS Forum) and activities such as various workshops, training courses, networking events, aimed at fostering a dialogue on the use of ICTs as a means for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  • Identify women speakers
  • Mentorship sessions for women and girls in STEM, for young graduates.
  • Networking events
  • Interview series
  • Documentation of best practices

Launch event

A special session was held to commemorate the launch of the repository on the 4th August 2021 from 14:30 to 15:45 (CEST).


  • Mr. Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union
  • H.E. Ms. Minette Libom Li Likeng, Minister, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Cameroon
  • H.E. Ms. Paola Vega Castillo, Minister, Ministry of Science, Technology and telecommunications, Costa Rica
  • H.E. Dr. Nele Leosk, Ambassador-at-Large for Digital Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Estonia
  • Dr. Mercedes Aramendia, President of the Board, Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones (URSEC), Uruguay
  • Ms. Paula Cobb, Head of Global Marketing, Healthcare Informatics, Philips; Member, Global Coalition on Aging
  • Mr. Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan, 2021 Global Chair, IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee (HAC); President, Brahmam Innovations
  • Ms. Vidhya Y, Co-Founder and Trustee, Vision Empower
  • Mr. Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist, Salesforce
  • Moderators: Ms Mei Lin Fung, Chair and Co-founder, People-Centered Internet; Ms Gitanjali Sah, Strategy and Policy Coordinator International Telecommunication Union

Recording of the Launch Session » Submission Form »

Partnership opportunities are open for WSIS Forum ICT and Gender Mainstreaming activities. More information on the partnership opportunities is available here. Please contact us at wsis-info@itu.int.