2016 December 8 13:45
1 h 20 min
Salle 2 (Iéna)
Access to information


The objective of this session is to improve awareness of the gender gap in access to information, ICT and data policy making and to provide solutions to close it. By convening a diversity of stakeholders in an interactive workshop forum, we envision increased consensus and momentum among workshop participants to advocate to governments and companies for implementation of gender responsive information, data and technology policies that further the rights and interests of women. We strive to build new partnerships through the session, including welcoming new stakeholders to participate in the ongoing work of the Web Foundation on gender and open data programmes, advocating for greater attention to gender issues in ICT and data policies.

In 2015 the Web Foundation’s Women’s Rights Online network launched a global report based on a year­ long household survey research project. The research revealed extreme gender and poverty inequalities in digital inclusion and empowerment across urban poor areas in 10 cities across Africa, Asia and Latin America. The research shows that in poor urban areas in the global South, women are 50% less likely to be online than men. Once online, women are also 30-50% less likely to use the web to access important information related to their rights or to speak out online.

The gender digital divide means that women are not only excluded from accessing important information, but they are also discriminated against in fully participating in public and civic life. Given that the majority of women worldwide are offline and silenced, governments must address growing gender, digital and data divides for women to exercise their rights to information and participation in public, civic life. Several Sustainable Development Goals on women and technology provide an unprecedented opportunity for governments around the world to drive comprehensive policy change to reverse growing digital inequality. Furthermore, governments should ensure that women around the world have equal access, capabilities and opportunity to participate in government processes as equal citizens in an increasingly digital world.

In order to turn the SDG pledges into action, it is important that advocates present policymakers with clear, evidence­-based policy recommendations, and monitor progress of implementation and impact. During this workshop we will present our Women’s Rights Online Scorecard Audit methodology which provides a framework for developing and monitoring policy measures on women’s digital empowerment. We will also explore opportunities to engage with the development of OGP National Action Plans (NAPs) to improve meaningful participation of women. Currently, 18 NAP commitments out of thousands represent women or gender. Furthermore, only 10 out of 70 OGP countries’ NAPs include these commitments. Given this, much work remains for OGP countries and their NAPs to become fully responsive to gender equality and women’s rights.

In this workshop speakers will provide an overview of ‘Why Gender Equality Matters for Open Government and Open Data’, after which participants will break into small groups and participate short discussions in an “Around the World” format with the goal of knowledge sharing and identifying new strategies and opportunities to engage country stakeholders. Discussion topics include:

  • All women count: gender in open data and open government
  • From access to empowerment: how can access to information, particularly govt info and data, lead to real empowerment for women?
  • Women’s Rights Online Report Cards: A framework for monitoring country policy commitments to women’s access to information and participation online

Moderator: Kristen Robinson Web Foundation

Facilitators: Ana Brandusescu Web Foundation, Nnenna Nwakanma Web Foundation, Laura Neuman The Carter Center, Ingrid Brudvig Web Foundation


by Ingrid Brudvig
from World Wide Web Foundation

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Is the web empowering women