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[16days_discussion] Are you attending 58th Session on the Commission on the Status of Women? Share with us!

Jac sm Kee jac at
Tue Mar 11 10:22:10 EDT 2014

Hash: SHA1

Hi everyone,

Would like to invite you to a session on ICT and women's empowerment
on Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium, 12 March, 11:30-12:45.

Pasting more information below.

Thanks and best,

Side-event in the frames of the Commission on the Status of Women 58th

ICT and the Internet as Powerful Means in Advancing the Rights and
Empowerment of Women and Girls: Possibilities and Challenges
Dag Hammarskjöld Library Auditorium 12 March 11:30-12:45

* H.E. Mr. Urmas Paet, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Estonia
* H.E. Ms. Helen Clark, Administrator, United Nations Development
(Chair of the Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender)
* H.E. Ms. B. Otgonjargal, State Secretary, Ministry of Population
Development and
Social Protection of Mongolia
* H.E Mr. Charles T. Ntwaagae, Permanent Representative of Botswana to
the United
* H.E. Ms. Lakshmi Puri, Assistant Secretary-General of the United
Nations, Deputy
Executive Director of United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the
Empowerment of Women
* Ms. Madeleine Earp, Research Analyst, Freedom on the Net, Freedom House
Moderated by: Ms. Jac sm Kee, Manager of the Women's Rights Programme,
Association for Progressive Communications

For RSVP and further information, please contact Ms Pille Kesler,
Mission of Estonia to the United Nations: Pille.Kesler at; (1) 646
379 3213

Concept Note
ICT and the Internet as Powerful Means in Advancing the Rights and
Empowerment of Women and Girls: Possibilities and Challenges

Freedom of opinion and expression, one of the central topics of the
event, whether it be online or offline, is a cornerstone of every
democratic society and a fundamental right of every person. Access to
internet and freedom online can significantly contribute to promoting
and furthering also other human rights. Online access encompasses the
right to participate in decision-making processes and can be a vital
tool for women’s empowerment. From early on, the opportunities for
women in ICT have been recognized for example in the World Summit on
Information Society (WSIS) in the 2003 Geneva Declaration of
Principles and Plan of Action, and various other conferences and
In practice however, women and girls do not have equitable access to
the Internet - according to the ITU estimates (2013), some 200 million
fewer women are online, compared with men. In addition, women
exercising their freedom of expression online face serious challenges
and threats all over the world. There is a clear gender gap when it
comes to women and girls accessing the Internet and other new
technologies. In this light, the key question is how can enhancing
access to and accessibility of the Internet lead to the empowerment of
women and girls and the reduction on gender inequalities across the board.

There are already many good examples from around the world on how
women have successfully used social media and online news platforms to
various ends: rallying support for reforms in the legal systems of the
states, gaining access to markets to expand economic opportunities,
engaging constituencies to promote women’s participation and
monitoring incidents to enhance safety. To harvest the full potential
of these initiatives equal access to the Internet is essential.

In this context, the event will touch upon three interrelated aspects:
* The relation between access to ICTs and the Internet and the
empowerment women
and girls
* The promotion of overall human rights for women and girls via the
Internet and
related platforms
* The opportunities, threats and challenges that the new technologies
bring to women
and girls

Women`s and girls` access to the ICT as well as freedom online along
with overall human rights promotion are crucial for long-term
sustainable development. Therefore, the topic is particularly relevant
in the light of the ongoing discussions on post-2015 development agenda.
The event will among others also contribute to the outcome paper on
recommendations for Freedom Online, prepared by multistakeholder
working group for the high level conference of Freedom Online
Coalition taking place in Tallinn on 28-29 April, 2014.

- ----
- -- 
Jac sm Kee
Women's Rights Programme Manager
Association for Progressive Communications | |
Skype: jhybeturle | Twitter: jhybe
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