WISAT joins Broadband Commission Working Group

WISAT Senior Associate Nancy Hafkin has been named to the recently created Working Group on Broadband and Gender of the United Nations Broadband Commission. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, UNDP Senior Advisor on Governance and Commission member (pictured) addressed the initial meeting of the Working Group in New York in February 2013.The Broadband Commission for Digital Development was organized in 2010 by the United Nations Secretary General, UNDP, the International Telecommunication Union and UNESCO.

The Working Group was launched in late 2012 after award-winning actor and ITU Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICTs Geena Davis challenged the Broadband Commission to address issues related to women and ICTs.

The Commission as a whole is charged with finding practical ways in which countries can provide broadband networks for their people as platforms for progress, promoting social, economic and environmental development, and helping accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.  (See http://www.broadbandcommission.org/). While 119 countries have defined national broadband strategies, only 15 percent of those reference or target gender specifically and almost all of these are developing countries. One task of the Working Group will be to suggest how gender references could be included in broadband strategies. Another task of the group is to develop gender indicators and metrics related to broadband. Special attention will be paid to the issue of women and mobiles.

Dr. Hafkin will join the working group at its first in-person meeting in Mexico City 16-17 March 2013.