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ITU Regional Workshop on ICTs for Womens Empowerment in the Arab Region Kuwait, 5-6 October 2011 The role of Information Communication Technologies in.

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Presentation on theme: "ITU Regional Workshop on ICTs for Womens Empowerment in the Arab Region Kuwait, 5-6 October 2011 The role of Information Communication Technologies in."— Presentation transcript:

1 ITU Regional Workshop on ICTs for Womens Empowerment in the Arab Region Kuwait, 5-6 October 2011 The role of Information Communication Technologies in Empowering Arab Women By Hanane Boujemi

2 ICTs revolution Since the early 90s, a steady increase of ICTs use is witnessed in the Arab world. Mobile telephony is taking the lead, followed by the Internet UAE tops the Arab market, followed by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrian

3 Where does the Arab world stands? The Global Technology report of confirms that many Arab countries managed to improve their Network Readiness Index (NRI) which assesses the following pricipals:

4 Favorable overall environment for innovation and ICTs including market conditions, regulatory framework and infrastructure The leadership of the government in setting and implementing a national ICTs vision with the collaboration of the private sector and individuals. Usage/impact principal which relies upon having national actors (government, private sector and individuals) who lead interest towards ICTs usage in their daily activities which can be a main driver to use it more effectively.

5 Arab region scope The Arab region should define the priorities to meet their needs vis-à-vis ICTs

6 ITU : Building Capacity The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is leading many programs to build capacity in the Arab countries to establish ICT indicators. "Connect Arab States" for instance, is an initiative aiming to achieve the following 5 objectives: Establishing ICT indicators and capacity building for measuring them Development of an Arab regulatory framework/guidelines for ICTs Arab centre for digital documentation (Memory of the Arab world) Connection of Arab internet networks (National access points) Translation and arabization of ICTs terminology For more info :

7 Gender Perspective Arab countries ICTs strategies lack gender perspective which hinders the full integration of Arab women in the digital revolution

8 Obstacles Arab women are facing many obstacles integrating in ICTs: Illiteracy is a major problem in the Arab countries; approximately 65% of adults are illiterate of which two thirds are women. Poverty and low self esteem and lack of self reliance. Submissiveness to social norms and traditions. Knowledge gap and lack of exposure Unawareness about their civil rights

9 Challenges Not having a strategy of how to overcome the obstacles hindering Arab women will affect bridging the digital gender gap in the Arab world. Lack of analytical research defining Arab Women ICTs use Lack of statistics related to Arab women ICTs penetration little attention is given to the role of ICTs in sustainable development and how it can effectively change the perception of Arab women and their capabilities

10 ITU initiatives Connect a School, Connect a Community aims at promoting broadband connectivity for schools in developing countries by producing a toolkit of best practices and policy advice, and a series of training materials, application and tools to help reach the target of connecting every school.

11 ITU initaitives Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign, ITU has teamed up with Telecentre Foundation on April 2011 to help run the Women Digital Literacy Campaign, a global initiative which helps empower disadvantaged women to improve their lives by accessing information, choices and new opportunities through using new technologies.

12 ITU Initiatives ITU financed a feasibility study on the use of ICTs to eradicate illiteracy of Arab women in 2010 ITU shared the feasibility study with UNESCO and ALECSO. The 3 institutions have agreed to establish a partnership aiming at developing jointly free and open source ICT Arabic literacy training materials for women

13 The impact of ICT use on women empowerment in the Arab region ICTs can empower women of the Arab region through increasing their chances to: Network to define new business opportunities and partners and improved market access especially for craftswomen in rural and urban areas Connect to other women in their community, or at the global level to exchange ideas and perspectives and also expertise in various fields

14 Access to information to improve tackling daily life issues related to them and their families improving their knowledge and awareness in topics related to health, domestic violence, children upbringing, civil rights, etc Benefit from education opportunities online improving their skills that will open the door for new employment or private enterprise opportunities Have access to services to facilitate their household chores which makes them an active partner in the family institution

15 MDGs & Arab women empowerment Empowering women through ICTs can be adequately linked to the MillenniumDevelopment Goals (MDGs) which are key objectives to tackle the worlds main development challenges ICTs have a great potential to facilitate achieving several of those goals, however that potential is not yet fully utilized in the Arab region. It could be applicable in this region to;

16 Develop the capacity of women in rural areas Educate and for distance learning Reduce poverty and provide economic activities Improve womens health

17 Arab Women and technology Success stories Argan Oil Cooperatives in Morocco Loan Information via SMS in Palestine Peace Building by Women via SMS in Iraq

18 Reflection Involving women and girls actively in the decision- making processes of building the Information Society was recognized in various international and regional policy frameworks. However the Arab region lacks a gender specific policy framework which raises concerns regarding Arab women empowerment status. Thank you

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