Gender equality goes mainstream: GEM-TECH Awards are next week!

30546706842_0024d26557_z-1Nossas Cidades is a Brazilian organization that promotes civic engagement through technological and activism tools. In May 2016, they built the Mapa do Acolhimento (which translates to Safe Haven Map), an innovative project aiming to bring together women in response to sexual violence.

In Albania, the Women’s Network in Decision Making has trained 220 women from across the political spectrum, media and civil society on how to tap into the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to be more effective in business and advocacy.

These organizations and many others are finalists for the 2016 Gender Equality Mainstreaming in Technology (GEM-TECH) Awards, ITU and UN Women’s jointly organized award for organizational and individual achievements in advancing meaningful engagement with ICTs and the role of women as decision-makers and producers in the technology sector.

GEM-TECH winners to be announced next week!

ITU and UN Women will announce the winners of the 2016 GEM-Tech Award on 15 November, in Bangkok, Thailand, at Telecom World 2016, ITU’s annual event for the world’s leading ICT leaders.

At the same Telecom World event, we will hold the first physical meeting of the EQUALs partnership where we will collaborate with a range of industry players and civil society organizations to deepen our commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 5, ‘achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls’.

The first meeting of EQUALS will work towards specific commitments including a global roadmap to gender equality, with targets and action plans to attain gender equality in the tech sector by 2030.

EQUALS will also unveil a new Gender Equality in the Digital Age interactive map and data visualization tool which will, for the first time, begin to chart all the global projects working towards the equal participation of women in technology.

EQUALS: A movement for digital gender equality

The establishment of EQUALS underscores ITU and UN Women’s strong commitment to gender equality and mainstreaming, which we believe is a must-have strategic imperative directly linked to the future sustainability of the tech sector.

Our hope is for the EQUALs partnership to become the overarching framework for all gender digital-related initiatives, an unstoppable movement to create digital gender equality. We are committed to working together, combining the actions of all partners and industry players towards a concerted and aligned effort so that we can have measurable impact. We are determined, too, that our work will be evidence-based, addressing real and pressing needs in the tech sector.

At the third annual GEM-TECH Awards ceremony, ITU and UN Women will honor three outstanding organizations. It will also recognize individuals who have committed themselves and their work to achieving gender equality in ICTs.

Gender equality activities at Telecom World will also include training sessions for women’s digital entrepreneurship. Co-hosted by ITU,, ITC, CCDKM, and Growth Hacking Asia these training sessions, which will take place on 16 November, will give practical information to women entrepreneurs to create, plan, and launch their products online, becoming equal participants in the digital economy.

The WSC’s Academic discussion is another event that will take place on 17 November and will explore the added value of gender-balanced participation in the world of standardization, identifying ways to advance women’s empowerment in technical and standards careers, and building partnerships between ITU WISE and similar groups in other standards developing organizations.

See you in Bangkok and beyond, as we work together to close the digital gender divide.

Doreen Bogdan-Martin

doreen-bogdanDoreen Bogdan-Martin (@DoreenBogdan) has been the Chief of the Strategic Planning and Membership Department since  2008. She was previously the Head of the ITU/BDT Regulatory and Market Environment Division and was responsible for the programmes on Regulatory Reform and Economics and Finance.

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