Tag Archives: UN Women

Intel Releases Report About Internet Access for Women, Girls in Developing World

Access to the Internet liberates individuals and entire countries. Unfortunately of those who have access to the Internet in a variety of platforms (not just via mobile phones) women and girls lack Net use significantly. Intel, UN Women and the US State Department are looking to change that. A joint report, “Women and the Web” calls for a doubling of women who have access to the Internet from 600 million to 1.2 billion by 2016.

Today, only 4% of women in low-income countries have access to the Internet, 13% in lower middle income countries and 34% in middle income countries. Women in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Haiti and Iraq have the least access to the Net of all countries. Conversely, women show greatest Net use in the West Bank/Palestine, the Seychelles, Maldives and Antigua and Barbuda.

Some of the reasons women lack access to the Internet are fairly common sense: cost, location, cultural norms, timidity about the medium, and a general lack of awareness about the benefits of the Internet.

Women and the Web estimates that if more women are afforded access to the Internet there could be a potential increase of $13 billion to $18 billion to annual GDP across 144 developing countries.

“With the powerful capabilities the Internet enables — to connect, to learn, to engage, to increase productivity, and to find opportunities — women’s lack of access is giving rise to a second digital divide, one where women and girls risk being left further and further behind.” said Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State.”My hope is that this report will catalyze action to close the Internet gender gap. This will require knowledge, leadership, determination and collaboration among governments, public institutions, corporations, and civil society to tackle the wide range of gender-specific barriers to Internet access.”

According to the report women who have access to the Net use mobile banking and health programs more often. Additionally they gain a greater sense of self-esteem, connect with people in other communities and garner gender-specific information. Additionally women who use the Net can use the medium for business and making money, creativity, and greater information gathering.

Read more about the report at Intel.com.

Photo Caption: Sudanese women and girls march in El Fasher, North Darfur, to celebrate International Women’s Day, in many places the day’s 100th anniversary. The 2011 theme: “Equal Access to Education, Training, Science and Technology”.  UN Photo/Olivier Chassot

How Women Are Faring During Malian Conflict

UN Under-Secretary General and UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet visited Mali last week to underscore the need to protect women and girls from gender-based violence in the midst of the fighting in Mali between rebels who have taken over the north and the Malian government and its allies.

During war women are typically the perpetual victims of sexual crimes and other forms of gender violence. In remarks during Bachelet’s visit with internally displaced women at the Women’s House. Bamako, Mali. 9 January 2013 she said, “International law categorically prohibits rape and other forms of sexual violence in conflict. There cannot be amnesty for these crimes. And there must be justice for anyone who has been a victim of these crimes: Commanders are responsible for stopping it, and if they do not, they are criminally liable.”

During Bachelet’s visit to Mali some women came forward to tell their stories including a woman who recounted the assault she suffered in occupied Mali. Due to the increased incidence of gender violence UN Women have set out to:

  • support the deployment of units to treat gender-based violence and the establishment of a national pool of psychologists to support women in both occupied and non-occupied areas.
  • support a broad-based and inclusive political dialogue and advocate for women’s participation to be an integral part of the transition.
  • launch a training program for women on mediation and conflict management, attended by parliamentarians and women leaders. UN Women is committed to making sure that the voices of women in Mali are heard and acted upon.

UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet visits Mali

After Bachelet’s visit to Mali, she traveled to Nigeria to deliver remarks and recommendations to ECOWAS (Economic Security of West African States). There Bachelet commended ECOWAS for being a “a driving force for gender
equality and women’s empowerment in West Africa.” Bachelet also urged ECOWAS to use its recognition in the region and programs to advance women in greater equality roles.

Read more at http://www.unwomen.org

Photo Credits: UN Women/DFA