ITU unveils plan to bridge digital gender divide

ITU unveils plan to bridge digital gender divide

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and global development company Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF), launched a project to bridge the digital gender skills gap in Burundi, Ethiopia and Haiti.

In a statement, the ITU noted the gender digital divide in developed nations is “narrowing”, but has “widened” in developing nations and least developed countries (LDCs).
LDCs since 2013.

Across Africa, the proportion of women using the internet is 12 per cent lower than men. In lesser developed African countries, there is a 31 per cent gap between the genders.

"More than ever before, digital technology is a key driver of women's economic opportunities," said ITU secretary-general Houlin Zhao.

"This partnership between ITU and EIF will result in vital policy support to ensure sustainable expansion of ICTs where it is most needed and will benefit women as they access and use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to participate fully in their economies."

The project will cooperate with governments and decision makers to ensure economic policies are gender-responsive; work with partners and members of the local ecosystem to prepare working age women in the digital world; and collaborate with private sectors to open opportunities for women.

Ratnakar Adhikari, EIF executive director, said: “Building digital skills for women in LDCs can help women take advantage of growing opportunities – for business expansion, increased market connectedness and enhanced employability. This is why I am so pleased that EIF is embarking on this effort together with ITU and the governments in Burundi, Ethiopia and Haiti as a part of its Empower Women, Power Trade initiative, which supports innovative work with women across the LDCs”.

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