Digital gender equality discussed at United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

March 26, 2018

As Topic Chair of the digital inclusion theme for Women 20 (W20) Argentina 2018, the GSMA convened a range of side events during the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62), held from 12 to 23 March at the Headquarters of the United Nations, in New York. During the activities, the GSMA and its strategic partners discussed successful policies and practices of digital ecosystem companies to promote gender equality and empowerment of women.

On 15 March a high-level roundtable was held on women in technology, organised by the GSMA in partnership with ITU, UN Women and ITC, with the support of missions from Germany, Argentina and the European Union. One of the key speakers was Susana Balbo, W20 Chair, who said: “The ideas and public policies behind technology transform our reality. Bridging the gap between men and women in the digital world by achieving true inclusion and development in every country will be at the heart of the W20 recommendations to the G20 – and mobile technologies offer an excellent opportunity to reverse the current inequality”.

The roundtable discussed the importance of bridging the mobile gender gap in the technology sector to benefit not only women, but also men, companies and society in general. Digital ecosystem companies taking part included SAP, IBM, Lyft, KPMG, EY, ESRI, and Synchronoss. Entities from the international community also participated, including Inter-American Development Bank, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

During the week of discussion on gender equality and empowerment of women, Paula Ferrari, Marketing Director Latin America, GSMA, took part in the panel on the W20 agenda, organised by Americas Society/Council of the Americas, alongside Susana Balbo, Paula Marra (member of the Steering Committee of the Group of Producing Countries from the Southern Cone), Stephanie Oueda Cruz (Lead Investment Officer, IDB) and EY partner Andrea Rey. “We need to develop digital skills and empower women so they can take full advantage of the digital economy,” Ferrari said.

The GSMA also organised side events at CSW62 on 20 March: “Digital and Financial Inclusion to Improve the Livelihood of Women”, with Nigerian Bank of Industry and the International Chamber of Commerce; and the discussion “Leveraging the Power of ICTs for Rural Women and Girls”, with ITU, FAO, ITC and the mission of the Republic of Mali.

As Topic Chair of digital inclusion for W20, the GSMA is leading the debate in the run-up to the 2018 G20 Argentina Summit, to be held in Buenos Aires from 30 November to 1 December 2018. This work will involve creating forums for dialogue with international organisations and experts to help draft the W20 recommendations and influence decision-making groups in the G20 to carry out policies towards gender equality. Achieving gender equality through digital inclusion is one of the four strategic objectives of the W20, alongside labour inclusion, financial inclusion and rural development.

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