GPD has submitted a response to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)’s Council Working Group on Internet-Related Public Policy Issues consultation on bridging the digital gender divide:
In the consultation response, we identify a number of barriers which prevent or limit women’s access and use of the internet, as well as digital literacy more broadly, and make a number of recommendations as to how they can be addressed. In particular, we focus on six key barriers: (i) cost/affordability; (ii) a lack of technical/digital literacy/skills; (iii) poor infrastructure, quality or coverage; (iv) harassment; (v) a lack of relevant content/lack of time; and (iv) a low level of women’s participation in internet-related policymaking and the technology sector.
We also note that the digital gender divide is both a symptom and a cause of the underrepresentation of women in internet-related policymaking and the technology sector. We therefore set out a number of specific steps that existing policymakers should take to help ensure that internet-related policies tackle, rather than ignore or exacerbate, the digital gender divide.
Finally, with respect to the role of governments, we consider that in addition to the specific barriers identified, there are three broader issues which need to be addressed, and where governments have a specific role: (i) tackling gender inequality more broadly, (ii) collecting better and gender-disaggregated data, and (iii) ensuring that ICT-related policies are developed through open, inclusive and transparent processes.”
GPD will also be attending the physical open consultation meeting in Geneva on 22 January.