WISAT Executive Director Sophia Huyer and Senior Associate Nancy Hafkin were among 75 global leaders from some 20 countries on women and information technologies (ICTs) for international development at a two-day forum organized by UN Women and the United States Department of State Office of Global Women’s Issues in Washington, D.C. in January 2013.
US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Melanne Verveer gave the opening address stating that “technology is one of the highest potential ways to address development challenges. It is the great equalizer for women and we must improve access to ICT and close the Internet gender gap.”
At the forum Intel Corporation unveiled its “Women and the Web” report, a study on the Internet gender gap in the developing world. The report found that only 21% or 600 million women in the world are currently online. The report set a goal of doubling the number of women online to 1.2 billion in the next three years
The forum explored opportunities for increased collaboration to expand women’s and girls’ access to and opportunities in information and communication technologies. WISAT representatives worked particularly in the breakout groups to identify actions related to priority areas such as Data, Research and Education. Other areas covered included ICT Careers, Political Participation, Digital Literacy, Entrepreneurship and Content Production.