10.05.2010 -

UNESCO holds session on Gender and ICT at WSIS Forum 2010

The UNESCO interactive session on Gender and ICT is taking place today at the WSIS Forum 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland. Organized in the framework of UNESCO's commitment to promote women's empowerment, the session will measure the progress made in gender equality since 2005.

UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, made gender equality one of the principal priorities of her mandate, which also reflects the Organization's commitment to gender issues outlined in its Medium-Term Strategy for 2008-2013. UNESCO is strongly engaged in pursuing this commitment through substantive programmes and concrete actions in all its fields of competence.


2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, which adopted a landmark Platform for Action for the attainment of gender equality. The Strategic objective J.1 of the Platform calls upon all relevant stakeholders to "increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication". It also says that "women should be empowered by enhancing their skills, knowledge and access to information technology" and that "inequality in women's access to and participation in all communication systems" should be combated.


The UNESCO session at WSIS Forum is further highlighting the key role of ICT and media in the promotion of gender equality. It will be dedicated to measuring the progress made in the WSIS implementation on gender equality issues since 2005. More particularly the session will focus on the following topics:

<li>ensuring inclusiveness and respect for human rights through increased participation of women in the knowledge societies;

<li>involving women in decision-making processes and in shaping all spheres of the knowledge societies at international, regional and national levels;

<li>overcoming the gender divide;

<li>creating opportunities for women in the knowledge societies through the development of ICT;

<li>ensuring access of women from developing countries to ICT.

The discussions will also consider strategies for the upcoming five years in order to reach the WSIS goals by 2015.

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