WSIS Forum 2019 with TEQtogether

World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2019

I was delighted to visit this year’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum in Geneva. The WSIS Forum is a global United Nations (UN) multi-stakeholder platform facilitating the implementation of the WSIS Action Lines for advancing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is co-organized by ITU, UNESCO, UNDP and UNCTAD, in close collaboration with all WSIS Action Line co-/facilitators and other UN organizations. It represents the world’s largest annual gathering of the ‘ICT for Development’ community. It provides an opportunity for information exchange, knowledge creation and sharing of best practices, while identifying emerging trends and fostering partnerships, taking into account the evolving Information and Knowledge Societies.

TEQTogether Workshop

I was part of a panel with Tim Unwin and Bushra Hassan due to our engagement with TEQtogether and other connected research. We presented and discussed our efforts to change men’s attitudes and behaviours to women & technology. The reality is, that many Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are going into the wrong direction and SDG10 aiming at Reduction of inequalities, is one of them. Therefore, it is clear that our current actions are failing on a massive scale. Men’s attitudes and behaviours are at the root of discrimination against women and we need to point our actions towards this reality. This is why we joined TEQtogether, which is part of the EQUALS movement and lead by Tim Unwin and Liz Quaglia.

From the left to the right: Paul, Bushra and Tim

We covered the following:

  • An overview of the work of TEQtogether
    • informing men about how their actions impact digital gender inequality (see Resources and Other Initiatives pages);
    • Identifying actions that men can take to enhance gender equality in the tech workplace (see Guidance Notes)
    • Recommending actions that men can take to reduce digital violence against women
    • Encouraging reverse mentoring through which women mentor men at all levels in tech organisations.
  • I gave an introduction to the Guidance Notes I created within our partnership. They are focusing on running a computer programming workshop.
  • An overview of work on the use of mobiles for sexual harassment by Bushra Hassan (International Islamic University, Islamabad).

After this short introduction we included the audience to collaboratively develop a strategy of what needs to be done to change men’s attitudes and behaviours to women & technology. The final WSIS report can be found here, download the Mindmap here and a more detailed report can be found at the UNESCO Chair in ICT4D blog.

EQUALS

There was a separate session of EQUALS which highlighted their engagement. EQUALS is a committed partnership of corporate leaders, governments, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, academic institutions, NGOs and community groups around the world dedicated to promoting gender balance in the technology sector by championing equality of access, skills development and career opportunities for women and men alike.

The panel underlined the necessity of EQUALS and TEQtogether by the fact that it is still 10% less likely for a woman to own a phone on this planet and 23% less likely to then also have access to the Internet. No phone and no access to the Internet results in a lack of basic Information. Therefore, this results in no chance to take knowledge based decisions, lesser political and economic power and being incapable of properly raising your voice. An uniformed human being cannot be a free person.

EQUALS offers a successful webinar series: Business and Leadership for Women in the Technology Sector and nominations are already open for their 2019 EQUALS in Tech Award.

Other great WSIS Sessions

Exciting sessions included Cyber Ethics, Education and Security: Serving Humanity with Values. Where the panel tried to illustrate their practical implementation of ethics. GlobEthics was part of the session. The relationship between security and freedom was discussed where most societies try to find a balance. The panel was concerned by the fact that the world is currently moving in the direction to give up their freedom to trade it for more security. The panel concluded that individual responsibility is also a necessity and the question was raised if everyone should delete WhatsApp due to its heavy privacy violation. Luckily I’m already WhatsApp free for years and solely use Signal.

Human human rights in connection with ICTs were discussed in the session Technology 4 Human Rights – The opportunities presented and methods already in evidence for the role of advanced technology, including blockchain, for promoting human rights.

Wonderful to see were also the mBot kids workshops by Techlabs and other exhibitions.

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WSIS Forum 2019 with TEQtogether
was published on 16.04.2019 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under Europe
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TEQtogether teams up with ICT4D.at

TEQtogether is committed to changing men’s attitudes and behaviours towards women and technology.

Digital Technologies can bring great benefits to individuals and communities. However, they also have a darker side, increasing inequalities and being widely used for abuse and harassment. This is especially true at the interface between women and technology. Women are not only often marginalised in the tech sector, but they are also frequently violated through technology. TEQtogether fights to change men’s attitudes and behaviours towards gender equality and women’s rights in the technology sector.

We are proud to partner up with TEQtogether. ICT4D.at will fight with them for an equal world and women rights in the technology sector. We will contribute with our experience and expertise from the ICT field, create awareness for this essential issue and carry our shared vision in every project we implement. Paul is an official member of the team lead by Elizabeth Quaglia and Tim Unwin.

As a start, we contributed in the creation of a Guidance Note: Convening a computer programming workshop. Women and girls need to be able to receive appropriate and relevant training in computer programming at all levels, or they will miss out on numerous employment opportunities across the technology sector. You can find our contribution and all of the other TEQTogether’s Guidance notes here.

Six things to do if you are convening a computer programming workshop

  1. As far as possible ensure an equal balance between men and women as invited trainers and speakers.
  2. If it is intended to be a mixed gender workshop, seek to ensure an equal balance between women and men as participants.
  3. Ensure equal access for women and men to all shared material and equipment, before, during and after the workshop.
  4. Ensure that all sub-groups within the workshop have mixed genders within them and every member has equal rights to speak up and participate.
  5. Ensure that there are guidelines on expected behaviour that specifically address sexual harassment.
  6. Be pro-active if you see inappropriate behaviour.

Six things to avoid if you are convening a computer programming workshop

  1. Permitting or condoning inappropriate sexual behaviour by participants, trainers, speakers, or sponsors during the workshop.
  2. Only inviting men to be speakers or trainers.
  3. Only choosing men to participate in the workshop if it is intended to be open to all genders.
  4. Only granting male participants access to shared materials and equipment during the workshop.
  5. Separating men and women into two groups with unequal access to resources during the workshop.
  6. Doing nothing if you see inappropriate behaviour.

You can download the PDF Version from here.


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TEQtogether teams up with ICT4D.at
was published on 25.02.2019 by Paul Spiesberger. It files under global
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MobileActive08: Kutoma Wakunuma

This is the second of the interviews we shot the MobileActive08 conference in Johannesburg last month (organized by MobileActive.org and sangonet). In this video Dr Kutoma Wakunuma from Sheffield Hallam University (UK) talks about the social and economic impacts of new technologies in developing countries. She is specifically interested in gender aspects and investigates how mobile phones and the Internet can empower women in countries like Zambia. In the interview she discusses results from a study that she conducted in Zambia four years ago, regarding differences of mobile phone use between men and women. Her conclusion is that there is a need for more research focusing on the downsides (like social conflicts) of new technologies in developing countries.





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MobileActive08: Kutoma Wakunuma
was published on 07.11.2008 by Martin Tomitsch. It files under sub saharan africa
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