KICTANet attended and made contributions in a high level panel convened by International Telecommunication Union and UN Women on 8th March 2023 as the world commemorated International Women’s Day. The theme was “DigitALL Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”. In her opening remarks, Zebib Kavuma, Deputy Regional Director, UN Women East and Southern Africa, noted that the topic was timely for the Continent in light of the current gender digital divide which is worsened by poverty.
In her keynote address, Christine Sund, Senior Advisor ITU Regional Office for Africa observed that there is a significant skills gap between men and women for instance that only 63% of women use the internet as opposed to 70% of men.This keeps women disadvantaged in an increasingly digitized world where science and technology are the drivers of the global economy. ITU reiterated its commitment to narrow this gender digital divide and called on more research to measure and improve women’s livelihoods using ICTs. he also called on the use of AI and big data to measure information society from a gender lense.
Prof. Chao Mbogho from KamiLimu, a loose social enterprise that supplements education for students in tech-related courses noted that 1 in 3 women have experienced online gender based violence and more than 70% of women have experienced cyber violence. She added that women rarely report online gender based violence due to fear and lack of knowledge on where to report.
KICTANet shared its work in policy advocacy and capacity building to tackle online gender based violence. First, KICTANet has developed an e-learning module on Online Gender Based Violence which is translated into six languages namely Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Sinhala and Kiswahili. The e-learning module is an open-source resource that can be used by women-led organizations to understand online gender based violence and how to protect themselves.
Secondly, KICTANet has been involved in extensive engagements with Women Senators, Members of Parliament and Members of various Country Assemblies in drafting a four-year Strategic Plan for improving women’s livelihoods in their constituencies and counties
Angela Minayo is the Women Digital Rights Programs Officer at KICTANet. She is passionate about inclusion of women and minority groups in internet governance discussions.