Closing the Digital Gender Gap

The final side event of the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women hosted a panel discussion on closing the digital gender gap. Ms. Riazi began the presentations by sharing her personal story about pursuing a career in STEM. She highlighted the issue of girls’ hesitations to join the field of technology, despite being avid users of it. Later, she cited multiple statistics on the value of having women in the workforce, particularly in technology. According to her, achieving an end to digital divide between men and women could add up to $12 trillion in economic growth.

Next, Mr. Garcia emphasized that better steps have to be taken to obtain clear data on Internet users and digital literacy. Effective data can lead to stronger public policies. Following, Mr. Musharakh shared what his country, the United Arab Emirates, has done to close the digital gender gap. Fifty-seven percent of women in UAE universities pursue STEM. They are encouraged to not only be users of technology, but also become content creators, leaders, and entrepreneurs. Although UAE has been successful, Mr. Musharakh admitted that there is still much more to be done globally.

Ms. Lindsey introduced her Connected Women initiative, which will increase the proportion of women in the customer base by 2020. She also stated that women are willing to use up to 10% of their income on mobile ownership because it is a tool of empowerment. Finally, Ms. Ball wrapped up presentations by pointing out that mothers with access to technology would benefit their children and family.

Meeting: Technology Empowering Women: Closing the Digital Gender Gap to Achieve Agenda 2030

Date/Location: Thursday, 24 March 2016; Ex-Press Bar; UN Headquarters; NYC

Speakers: Gary Fowlie, Head of ITU Liaison Office to the UN (moderator); Atefeh Riazi, Assistant Secretary-General and Chief Information Technology Officer, UN Office of Information and Communications; Juan Carlos Mendoza Garcia, Permanent Mission of Costa Rica to the UN; Jamal Al Musharakh, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the UN; Dominica Lindsey, Senior Manager of Research Strategy & Evaluations GSMA Connected Living; Andrea Ball, Executive Director of American Mothers

Written By: WIT Representative Julianne Jeon

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick

Photo Credit: Centro de Investigacion Para La Accion Feminina

Bringing Statistics into the Digital Age

The Statistical Commission of the Economic and Social Council hosted a meeting and had several items for discussion and decision. After the chair gave opening remarks, the floor was open to the representatives. The first topic for discussion was the transformative agenda for official statistics.

The representative of the United Kingdom stated that the UK supports the work of the higher-level groups and supports the global action plan for the agenda. He also explained that we need to find efficient ways in which we can produce statistics, and because it is a global agenda, we need to think about sequencing and think about other activities when implementing such initiatives.

The representative of China said that the transformative agenda is very important, and that China has been promoting standardization and development of technologies for many years. China has also been exploring big data, cloud computing, and other modern technologies to conduct surveys and analyze data.

The representative of Jordan noted that last year, Jordan used a completely electronic census for the first time in 11 years. The results were produced in record time, as it only took two months, and the government was able to use the data collected and provide maps of the population distribution.

Another topic for discussion during the meeting was big data for official statistics. The representative of Korea mentioned that Korea has a deep appreciation for global working groups, with activities like global surveys. He said that privacy protection is one of the challenges the NATO Standardization Office (NSO) should be facing with big data, and that it is necessary to have an international agreement on the use of personal data, which should be used only for statistical purposes. After the topics were discussed, the chair gave closing remarks.

Meeting: Economic and Social Council 3rd meeting

Date/Location: Wednesday March 9, 2016, 10:00 –13:00; Conference Room 4

Speakers: representative of United Kingdom; representative of China; representative of Jordan; representative of Australia; representative of Kuwait; representative of Korea

Written By: WIT Representative Kangho (Paul) Jung

Edited By: WIT Representative Alex Margolick