DCSIMG

Women and the Web and The Internet Gender Gap

Institute for International Education (IIE) -- Opening Plenary, Launch of Intel's "Women and the Web Report," and Panel Discussion on "The Internet Gender Gap"



The International Working Forum on Women, Information and Communication Technologies, and Development Co-hosted by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and UN Women

Speakers: Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Ann Mei Chang (Department of State, Office of Global Women’s Issues), Jennifer Breslin (UN Women), Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett (UN Women), Maura O’Neill (U.S Agency for International Development), Kathy Calvin (UN Foundation), David Edelsteing (Grameen Foundation), Jeni Klugman (World Bank), Shelly Esque (Intel Corporation), Renee Wittemyer (Intel Corporation), Lawrence Yanovitch (GSMA America), Minerva Novero-Belec, (United Nations Development Program, UNDP) Gary Fowlie (Office of International Telecommunication Union to the United Nations).

MS. CHANG: (In progress.) I’m thrilled to welcome you all here today from around the world. I think we’re here from five continents. I will have much to say later, but without further ado, I wanted to introduce my boss and my hero, the first Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues, appointed by Secretary Clinton, Melanne Verveer. (Applause.)

AMBASSADOR VERVEER: Well, good morning, everybody. I can’t think of a better place to be this morning. The energy and excitement and commitment manifested in this room is not just heartwarming, I think it’s a sign of all the good that is going to come out of this event. I want to add my thanks to IIE for enabling us to come together in this special place.

And I want to say a few personal words about Ann Mei Chang, who had come to our office as a fellow after many years at Google, and literally didn’t have a job description when she first arrived. I said, “Just go and think of the possibilities of that nexus between women, technology, development, and all of the things that you all know so well.” And I can’t say enough about the leadership that she has provided. I don’t know if you know this, but typical of her, she is heading off to Kenya for about three months to work with our Embassy there in that laboratory in the developing world. Speaking of the nexus of technology and development, it’s certainly happening in Kenya. So we wish you well, Ann Mei, and we will look forward to having you back here telling us all what to do.

As you all know so well, this would not have been possible without so many in this room. And I also want to add a special thanks to UN Women, which has provided strong leadership in this area. I remember very early on after Michelle Bachelet was named the new head of UN Women, she was doing a panel on women and technology. I think that sent a very strong signal about how critically important these issues are to women’s empowerment. And I think you will agree that there has been no more tireless advocate on these issues than Secretary Clinton, who has really pushed us as far as we can go in both creating public/private partnerships as this is, all of us coming together; multilateral organizations are here, private sector representatives are here, (and we’re all looking forward to Intel’s launch of its extraordinary new study); government is here; civil society is here, and I think this is really, as she so often says, the way we need to work together going forward. Government doesn’t have all the answers, private sector doesn’t have all the answers, but together we bring our competencies, our resources, and we can really achieve far more than we could working alone.

Certainly in this area of technology, we know increasingly that it is one of the highest potential ways to address some of the still tough development challenges we confront. Not to embrace this area is to really be pushed backwards as we advance into this 21st century. In many ways, this is the great equalizer. Should we fail to close the gaps that are already occurring, we will fail in so many other ways as well.

As Ann Mei said, you represent not just participants from the United States here today, but you’re here from five continents bringing a wealth of experience. Out of today, I hope will come that kind of new collaboration, the creation of new networks, strategies, and commitments to propel this work forward in the many days ahead.

I just want to mention some broad topics – a few of them – that hopefully will be the subject of much of your discussion because I think in many ways these areas say a lot about the potential of ICT and also a lot about the imperative as to why we need to work that much harder.

First of all, in terms of possibilities of women in ICT, we need to work more on the access issue. Shelly Esque and her colleagues at Intel will shortly tell us about what they have learned from this remarkable new data — this new study — that will be released today on access and the internet. We already know, from a study on mobile technology, that there is a growing gender gap in both of these areas and more, I’m sure. I think not to address the potential for moving forward, because of access to these critical ICT tools, would be to shortchange progress and the prospect for a better world.

This is why a couple of years ago, Secretary Clinton launched mWomen, which was an initiative based on what came out of another study. I have every expectation that with this Intel study, we will continue to keep the urgency of this topic before us and others who aren’t in this room.

The project emanating from the mWomen study was a recognition that 300 million fewer women had access to mobile technology than men. And GSMA, which was pivotal to this study, as was the Cherie Blair Foundation, came together with USAID and the State Department to look at ways we are working together– the private sector doing its piece, USAID doing the kind of development work it does, the State Department engaging diplomatically, all coming together to figure out what can be done to, in the next – in three years – to begin to half that 300 million. And we are on our way, from all of the measurements that have been put in place, to do just that.

The second area, which is so closely related to access, is what this represents for development. And that’s what, in many ways, is so exciting about today, women, development, and ICT. I learned a lot when we were preparing for the mWomen launch and that is the extraordinarily important role that that tool—mobile technology, a simple cell phone—can play in terms of development.

Women–and I have seen this firsthand–who are entrepreneurs at that lowest level of economic activity, are using this simple technology, even illiterate women, to learn, for example, what the weather’s going to be, which will highly influence their crop work on a given day. Or it will tell them where the market is, so they’re not walking five miles in vain only to find out there was no market. They are using it as a tool for literacy teaching, literacy learning, using it for vital health information. I know there are people here very active in the health field and what ICT represents – the difference between life and death often is that kind of vital information that might not otherwise be available, but for what that simple cell phone. It is also a tool to protect women from violence, an alert system.

Imagine what we think of microcredit. I can remember not that many years ago it was an idea; it had some small impact. It has turned out to be transformative. Imagine if through this technology the poor of the world, who are still mostly unbanked, become banked, and you can safely, if you’re poor, make financial transactions keep your savings safe, move money from an urban job to the village where your family is, wherever it is, the prospect of this money now being available in ways that can have an extraordinary impact. I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface of the possibilities. And that’s just mobile technology.

I know all of these things fit together today, but the Internet will loom even larger than italready has. And it takes your breath away to think about the role social media has played in literally changing the face of countries–what’s happened in terms of self-determination. So we are talking about something today that is so big that I don’t think we fully grasp it, no matter where we sit. It is going to be up to all of us and so many more to really blaze this trail a lot further down the line to even greater possibilities.

Lastly, I think the prospects for economic opportunities and ICT are just mindboggling. When Edie was up here talking about women’s economic empowerment– and we’ve done a lot of work at the State Department in terms of growing women’s entrepreneurship and looking at hurdles that women confront–as vital as that entrepreneurship is to growing GDP and jobs all over the world, access to technology grows the possibilities. There’s a whole array of jobs that would transform lives if they were accessible in ways that women would benefit from the new opportunities, even including digital microwork. There are some extraordinary examples today of people who hardly comprehend what it is you all know so well, and yet are earning a livelihood that they could not have imagined, have imagined in terms of digital microwork and other kinds of work.

We at State have initiated several programs. One is TechWomen and one is TechGirls. And these emanated from people like yourselves. I went to Silicon Valley several years ago, early in my new job at the time, and I sat with a group of the leaders in your business and I discussed the possibilities for women globally and to a person–and these were names you often read about in the business page–what did they all want to do? They said please tell us how we can transfer what we know to help others in the developing world.

The light bulbs went off, and I thought wouldn’t it be great if we could bring some women who were at the beginning stages of growing technology – growing the technology field or businesses in their countries to work with these extraordinary people in Silicon Valley. And out of that came “TechWomen,” the first group, were about 25 women from the Middle East, who spent close to a month in the United States, learning how they can grow their expertise and skills and apply their new knowledge. Then months later we launched, “TechGirls,” and you never met a more enthusiastic group of people than the very young women, who were now fully aware they were on the cusp of something that they couldn’t yet touch but they could taste, and now it was becoming real in their lives. These commitments go forward, but I think they are just a small example of what is possible when we collaborate.

So I hope that I will hear what comes out of this effort over the next many hours, to which you’ve all committed yourselves, and that the new networks, the collaborations, the strategies will be so robust and lead to such new ways of making a difference, to transformative developments that as we all look back to today we will say, “I was present at the creation.” Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

MS. BRESLIN: Good morning, everyone. I’m Jennifer Breslin from UN Women and it’s a pleasure to see everyone here today and to finally meet many with whom we’ve been having conversations over the last few months, and I look forward to the next two days of work. Also a big thank you to IIE for all their tremendous support in making this come to life and a possibility.

So, it’s my pleasure to introduce this morning Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett, who is the director of the programming division for UN Women, prior to which she was in the Executive Director’s office and led the transition of UN Women, so was there at the birth of our organization and helped shape it. So, welcome Gulden, and thank you everyone. (Applause.)

MS. TURKOZ-COSSLETT: Good morning, and thank you very much for coming. It’s – as Ambassador Verveer said, I do also feel that I’m at the beginning of something and it’s a very exciting energy. As soon as I walked in I felt it, and I think so did many of you. So UN Women looks forward to this endeavor with you and also thanks Ambassador Verveer, her leadership as always, and we’re very pleased to partner with you and your team, and with all of you in this room today.

So it’s a pleasure to welcome everyone to this forum on Women and ICTs and development and we’re very happy to have such an impressive group of participants gathered to address these issues today.

I would like to briefly highlight why UN Women sees advancing gender equality through ICTs not only as an opportunity but as a necessity. The degree of attention, the extent of investments, and the progress around women in ICTs is definitely an underdeveloped resource. As Ambassador Verveer said, it’s untapped, and there’s just so much we can get out of it, especially given the enormous potential of technology and its increasing role in shaping society. We see ICTs as instrumental to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The creation of this coalition is a real welcome development. Your commitment, ideas, and actions will deepen our collective work in this area and make ICTs a key strategy for women’s empowerment. When looking at the entry points, and Ambassador Verveer mentioned them so I’m not going to go into the details, we can highlight many, many examples where their application has led to improvements in the quality of lives of women. Whether it’s through improved livelihoods and economic empowerment through access in technologies as a productive resource, tool for accessing services, or improving education and learning, we see ICT uses in advancing women’s political participation, which many of you know is one of the top priorities of our executive director, Michelle Bachelet.

We’ve seen how through the use of ICTs women have more political awareness, they have more access to news, information, increased engagement with government and political movements, and it helps them as a tool, as politicians, to more effectively campaign and engage with their constituencies.

In the area of ending violence against women, to bring in just an example from UN Women’s work, one of the grantees we’re supporting in Guatemala has been using an app which allows girls to report on incidences of violence or harassment on their way to school through their mobile phones. So there’s so many uses that we can just go on and on and how it’s really helping women.

But what’s also very exciting to explore is the promise of ICTs in supporting broad pathways for women’s empowerment that actually offer transformative potential across multiple spheres. These include exposure to new ideas, connections to knowledge previously unavailable, women’s sense of connection to their wider communities, and their ability to organize, changing narratives, perceptions, stereotypes through engagements, and acknowledgement of the reality of these women’s lives in their local context.

For example, the work we’ve done in building digital literacy in Latin America, the women involved have cited new skills and knowledge they obtained helped them increase their sense of confidence, their independence to become driving forces in making improvements within their own communities. One woman said, “ICTs are a tool to fight discrimination against women in a holistic way.” And while we can make a very positive case, so too must we highlight the risks of not pursuing the intersection of gender and ICTs.

As dialogue, engagement, channels of influence, and delivery of services move ever more online, women face the potential of further marginalization and exclusion. Moreover, they are not currently present in governance of ICTs. And we are compounding the structural constraints women face if we don’t do something about this.

In looking forward, we need to more systematically and holistically harness ICTs towards the transformative empowerment of women. The coalition’s objectives of identifying, building on norms, policies, evidence, gaps, and looking forward to where we want to go through a results-driven approach will help guide such considerations and corresponding commitments. The report being launched today will contribute enormously to this process, and we’re very much looking forward to the launch in the next couple of minutes.

I would like to wish you, on behalf of UN Women, a very productive and creative meeting. I know it will be very creative. I can offer UN Women’s assurance that we’re committed to the objectives of this forum through our own policy and program work at country level, and through partnerships with gender advocates on the ground, the public and private sectors, and the wider United Nations system. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

MS. BRESLIN: Thank you. And with that, I’m going to turn this over to our opening panel, which I’m thrilled to hear from, some of the leaders in the thinking on women in ICT in this space. Maura O’Neill is the Chief Innovation Officer – did I get that right? – at USAID, and leading some of the most exciting work happening at USAID, and she’ll be moderating the panel. So, Maura.

MS. O’NEILL: Thanks, (inaudible). I’m just going to make two or three minutes of opening remarks and then we’re going to have a great conversation that (inaudible). Oh, okay. So I’m just going to say two or three minutes of things and then we’re going to open it up to this. But I think that it wouldn’t – would be appropriate to take just a minute because there’s going to be a huge transition in the next month of one of the world leaders on women and championing women and girls in ICT and that is Secretary Clinton, and by extension, Ambassador Verveer. They have both spent their entire lives devoted tirelessly to this issue, and I fundamentally believe that we wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t through the bold vision and courage of those two women. So if we could just take a minute and recognize them. (Applause.)

Never, never could we say enough about you, Melanne, or your boss. It just is so extraordinary. When I sat down there I tweeted out a line that said, “What if we built the interstate highways and we actually didn’t give women the access to cars to drive on it?” And I think that’s what we’re actually dealing with today. And nothing more fundamental than that with respect to mobile access or the internet. So I think that we need to understand what’s at stake here. I know everybody in this room does, but we’ve got to multiply our numbers by thousands and thousands.

I won’t talk about access because the Ambassador did. We are enormously proud to have partnered with GSMA and their leadership on behalf of the mobile industry, and the Cherie Blair foundation around relentlessly trying to break this gender gap on mobile home ownership. And for those of you who don’t know, we have a fantastic design challenge now out. It’s closed, so no longer can the geeks in you or that you know participate, but look forward to in a month at the mobile Congress finding out who won, and that is a new user interface for women – particularly illiterate women – on a handset. So we got some fantastic entries, and I’m privileged to be one of the judges, so we’re excited about taking a look. So stay tuned for an amazing announcement in a little bit and another announcement along that.

But I do just want to touch on one thing because I think we that we can’t underestimate – I spent the opening remarks talking about role models, and I think we can’t underestimate the power of role models. What we know is in the research on STEM and on ICT, that women and girls look to say, “Are there people like us that are there that I can model and I can think about?” So we have an amazing set here in Shelly Esque and Ambassador Verveer and our own speaker from UN Women and our panel and a few good men that we think are extraordinary partners in this.

But let me just talk about three real quick because I bet you that at least two out of the three and certainly one out of the three you probably never heard of, and I think they’re the kind of hope for us. So there’s a 25 year old women who’s the CEO of the Afghan Citadel Software Company; her name is Roya Mahboob. She’s emerged as a leader in ICT and computer science in Afghanistan. She’s one of the only female CEOs, and she’s focusing on growing her company on creating jobs for ICT graduates in one of the places in the world for which we still have a long ways to go with respect to opportunities for women.

Those of you who were struck as an stunned as I was and everybody around the world when Malala in Pakistan stood up for the rights of women – for girls to have access to education, it was so incredible for her to become a Time’s Person of the Year Runner-up and really begin to do that momentum. I was in Hollywood about a month ago and I was talking to a friend of mine that’s one of the top entertainment lawyers; his wife is from Afghanistan and he is an African American from the U.S., and they just thought – and their daughter was born about two weeks after she was shot, long before they knew actually whether she would live, and they decided to name their daughter after her and to commit their life to girls’ education. And so I think it’s really incredible the impact that one person can have in doing that. I have kids so I apologize for tearing up.

Anyway, the last one is a women who I had the opportunity to get to know about a month ago in – at the White House. We had a data jam for development and I’m really sick and tired – it was fine when I was 22 and they said there wasn’t any women who could be in positions of influence and power. At 56, I increasingly get unbelievably frustrated and sometimes quite furious about it. And so – just so in case anybody doesn’t know that there are plenty of women for leadership positions in the world and in the pipeline, you should meet Jessica Colosso who is a TED Fellow, a Top-40 Women Under-40 from Nairobi – she will blow your mind in terms of how charismatic she is. She is a tech geek in the best sense of the word, and her passion, particularly for mobile, is getting more women into the field. And I think you probably know her, Ann Mei, and we’ll have an opportunity to get to know her more.

So as we kick off this panel, we have a female Afghan CEO, we have a Time Person of the Year Runner-up from Pakistan, and we have a Top-40 Under-40 as an inspiring entrepreneur in Nairobi. That’s the kind of power that there is to change the world. So with that, I’d like to sit down and engage our panel in an interesting conversation because in their own right, each and every one of the people I have the opportunity to be on this panel today with, are courageous leaders as well. (Applause.)

So I’d actually like you all to turn on your microphones because the deal we made was that we would make this as interactive as possible. So you should feel free to interrupt, disagree, add – did I not turn on mine? Oh, okay. (Laughter.)

PARTICIPANT: (Off mike.)

MS. O’NEILL: Oh, I see. You just observed. Okay. Glad some tech person’s paying attention. (Laughter.) Here, all right, well, if yours is off and you want to jump in just push the red light.

So to my immediate right, I have David Edelstein from Grameen Foundation, Kathy Calvin who had a real leadership role in the UN Foundation and has now just been announced to be the head of it. So we’re excited about that. And Jeni Klugman from the World Bank.

So let me just jump in with Kathy. So you’ve heard a lot about the emerging field of women in ICT; UN Foundation has been a real leader in this. What do you see as some of both of promising developments in the things that keep you up at night in this area that you still are deeply worried about making a change in?

MS. CALVIN: Great. And thank you, Maura, what – I mean, Chief Innovation Officer, government – how great is that? (Laughter.) I just took my whole team of senior leaders over to have an hour and half tutorial with Maura on how do you bring innovation to an institution. I was sort of thinking about the UN, but even the UN Foundation. We all need to learn to think about entrepreneurship and innovation, and I just salute you for helping open those doors for everybody. It’s exciting; and thank you Gulden and Melanne for kicking us off today with two women who’ve really shown leadership not only for women but for all people, but using women and girls as the vehicle.

But one of my colleagues calls what we are about to talk about “Probatunities” – problems that are really opportunities. And that’s sort of how I think of this field. And I also hearken back to a guy named Marc Andreessen – who was the founder of Netscape, one of the early internet pioneers – who said, as we were sort of creating AOL, where I worked at the time, “You know Kathy, at some point people are going to stop talking about the technology and just talking about what we’re trying to get done.” And I think that’s one of the probatunities here, is – it’s – and he said, “People won’t say, ‘Wow, that was a good piece of toast. What was your source of electricity for it?’” It’s really about the outcome.

And so we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the outcome of health and how did we break the problem of getting women to health and thought instead about how to get health to women. And that led us down the path of creating the mHealth Alliance, which is a group of people from the industry, private sector, NGOs, academics and others. It’s run by Dr. Patty Mechael, who many of you know. And the goal is simply to change the enabling environment, whether it’s a matter of public will, political will, whether it’s prioritizing health and women, whether it’s setting the goals for everybody in ensuring that we have a clear priority on three As: affordable, adequate, and accessible health. And when you put those together, you have nowhere to go but using the tool that’s in so many people’s hands already and then ensuring that those people who don’t have it have it. So access is critical.

MS. O’NEILL: So Kathy, what – so access is critical. So how do we get there?

MS. CALVIN: Yeah.

MS. O’NEILL: So if that’s the problem, what’s potentially part of the solution.

MS. CALVIN: So I think what we’ve all been doing in the past, and one reason we kind of came to the alliance is everybody here was trying pilots. And I think that’s the way we all start, and they have to happen. We now need to find those common learnings and figure out what it takes to scale them. And I think one of the lessons is you’ve got to get the governments in the countries where we can make a difference to change rules about regulations and standards. Because cost, even in a place like Ghana, where it’s so great to see MOTECH bringing a tool to women who are pregnant to remind them of their things, but even at nine cents for the nine months of their pregnancy, it’s too expensive for a donor to make that available. So we have to do something that changes the economics.

MS. O’NEILL: Changes the game in some way.

MS. CALVIN: Yes. Right.

MS. O’NEILL: That’s great.

David, you have focused a lot on mobile phones and obviously see it as an especially effective enabler of addressing social problems. Can you give us some examples that you have seen on specific barriers to effective use of mobile phones by women and some of the things – the bright lights that you’re excited about?

MR. EDELSTEIN: Sure. Thank you. And I’ll speak to – MOTECH in Ghana is a great example – and a price barrier is one of access, literacy, being able to use a phone, being able to have that access. And what we’ve seen very pragmatically is that by having some form of peer, a mentor, the role model that you spoke to, Maura, having those people engaged in the interactions with women goes a long way. And we’ve seen – to overcome the literacy, numeracy problems, we’ve seen that having voice-generated messages and even having listening groups, because not only do you have to be able to use the phone, but you need to be able to use it in terms of functionality, and by getting women together to listen to messages –

MS. CALVIN: Yeah. That’s what I thought was interesting. I was just in Bangladesh. We are very excited about a program that we conceived and brought to scale called MAMA mobile for maternal action. And we actually won the Fast Company Innovation Award. And I was in a home of some woman who was five months pregnant and who was – and she was actually paying for this, it was two cents a week. And to your point, David, she said that she actually – she can choose to get a text message or she can choose to get a recorded voice message. And she was one of 67 percent of the population who actually choose to get the integrated voice message.

MR. EDELSTEIN: So we give that option. Ninety-eight percent in Ghana chose the voice message. And another barrier in terms of having the women listen to the message is actually addressing the man in the family from the outset. And we focus on maternal and newborn care, and found that the men in the families weren’t giving access to the women – the phones to the women. So what we did was we started targeting from the outset the maternal care, focusing on the man and the woman and having the posters and the general announcements we had about the service being targeted to both. So – and this is a theme throughout our work and work –

MS. O’NEILL: We also found mother-in-laws and healthcare workers were part of the gatekeepers for that as well. So that’s great.

Jeni, can you pass me my phone so that I fulfill my responsibility to Ann Mei to actually end this thing on time? So I get asked again to be a moderator someday.

So Jeni, the World Bank has just done amazing work in ICT and also increasingly in gender. What are some of the examples? We talked about access. I know that’s something that you spend a lot of time thinking about and the World Bank is worried about. Tell us something about the World Bank and access to ICT and gender.

MS. KLUGMAN: Thanks very much. And it’s great to be here, and the intersections between gender and ICT, which I think is an important frontier. And I’m very cognizant that almost everyone in the room is much more familiar with these issues probably than I am, so I’m learning a lot already.

On the access side, the Bank has been doing some important world. But what I actually wanted to highlight are some interesting examples in terms of accountability and voice. As you know, the World Bank does a lot of work with governments, with ministries of finance, for example. And one of the areas where transparency and accountability is very important is with respect to budgets. So just to through another, if you like, front into the conversation, I wanted to mention the example from Brazil and Rio Grande do Sul, where citizens were invited to participate in a crowd-sourcing kind of policy development exercise around health. And so it’s linked again to this health thing. And within 30 days, they had something like 1,300 proposals from citizens, more than 120,000 votes were cast. And so this is kind of exciting in itself, but the other interesting dimension is that they also collected data on who was participating. And more than half of those participating were women and also reaching often hard to reach groups. So I think this is quite a nice example of, if you like, engagement and policy processes, in particular around health here.

There’s another nice example from the Dominican Republic, Jarabacoa, where they used a text outreach campaign to increase participation in budgeting again, which was specifically targeted at women. So I think that’s quite a nice front, if you like, to complement what we’re thinking about in terms of service delivery and entrepreneurship in terms of kind of transparency and accountability of government.

But I think one important point to raise – and I think it might be something for the conversations and the breakouts this afternoon – is to what extent these opportunities to participate via messaging and so on, if you like, substitute for kind of deeper ongoing engagement because it can be somewhat controversial. Is sending a text the same as being able to participate in the meeting or have ongoing engagement? So I think it’s quite interesting to think about to what extent we see these as, if you like, complements or substitutes for kind of deeper ways of (inaudible).

MS. O’NEILL: I think that’s very interesting, because when I was in Bangladesh talking to this women and I asked her what – one, I asked her what messages she found most valuable. She said drink a glass of warm milk at night before I go to bed and save money. So I felt that was interesting. But I asked her what does the service not do that you wish. And she said, I wish I could access a healthcare worker thorough it. So it’s your issue of – and (inaudible) when we called it clicks to bricks, that mobile is extremely valuable and ICT is extremely valuable, but it doesn’t entirely substitute for a service component that can support it, which I think is what you’re talking about, Jeni.

Let me see if any of the panelists have some more insight into what Kathy raised, which is we’ve all had pilot-it is in development. And at the end of the day, we’re only going to make a difference, we’re only going to do the Green Revolution or rehydration therapy or frankly, even mobile phones if we bring this to scale. So what thoughts and perspectives do any of you have on how it is that we figure out how to get to scale sooner rather than later?

Jeni, did you want to –

MS. KLUGMAN: Well, I think an important part of the kind of, if you like, the evolution exercise is having rigorous impact evaluations in place. There are loads of pilots, but oftentimes we hear about them from people who have implemented the pilots, and maybe –

MS. O’NEILL: And it was all good, right?

MS. KLUGMAN: It was all good. (Laughter.) (Inaudible.) We don’t hear about the problems. We don’t hear about possible issues around kind of scale and (inaudible) and so on. So I think that impact evaluations are expensive, but I think in order to get a really good handle of who’s benefiting, what are the constraints, the qualitative data, kind of talking to people as well as having the hard numbers, that’s incredibly persuasive with respect to governments and also with respect to staff who are working in these development agencies. So I think World Bank staff, AID staff and others want to do good things, and so if you can provide them with going beyond, if you like, anecdotal evidence, the kind of rigorous studies which actually show we did X, we did Y, and it had these benefits over this period of time has enormous potential.

MS. O’NEILL: So what I hear you saying is before you scale, let’s figure out actually the evidence of what works first. Because that’s the first building block.

Kathy.

MS. CALVIN: Well, I think one of the good things about the MAMA initiative is that it’s in three different countries, and we’re going to have some learning between them. So that’s exciting, because I think that often doesn’t happen. The pilots get stuck and that shared learning doesn’t happen.

And I think the other thing about the use of mobile and as the internet itself changes is that the analytics I think are going to get more sophisticated. I mean we got into this because we saw WHO workers righting on a piece of paper that they’d run out of a vaccine or condoms or something and three months later that piece of paper got somewhere. And then we discovered, oh, if they had phones in their pockets, they could just send this.

But if you take that mobile analytics further and people are reporting on things that are happening, sexual violence on the way to school, good service or bad service and actual compliance with taking drugs, I think we’re just going to see a huge new change. That may, in fact, drive more, because we need to have those data. So I’m wondering if we’re going to come back to data as a driver for the next phase.

MS. O’NEILL: I think so. And we have started a whole mobile data initiative, because the issue is we had asked ourselves on our own contracts who owns the data that our contractors are developing, and can we put it in an open data format so that everybody could have access and use it so everybody could benefit on where that stockouts are. And so we found that we had language in our contracts, but we actually hadn’t instructed people about where to put it, what machine readable form the data ought to be in. So I think that you’re raising a really important point is, if we’re going to scale we have to know what works and we have to have analytics in a way that you can get the wisdom of the crowd.

So David, what’s your experience? Obviously, Grameen became famous because they were able to scale a novel idea. What have – what insights do you have about what we should and should not do as we think about scaling?

MR. EDELSTEIN: These last 10 years we’ve been focused on how do you take solutions to scale. And four points. First is engaging scaling partners from the outset. That could be, in the case of MOTECH in Ghana, working with the Ghana health service. In Uganda, with our agriculture work, it’s working with the agricultural extension service there, having someone who can take the service to scale. That only works if there’s sustainability built in from the outset.

We talked a little bit about how to make things – services sustainable. We found that the biggest potential, especially for reaching the poor, is through creative cross-subsidization. So in our agricultural work, for example, we have community-level agricultural extension agents, effectively – we call them community knowledge workers – who collect information. That information is paid for by the World Food Program, by a coffee purchase, or by others. That cross-subsidizes the dissemination of information. And those trusted intermediaries are women serving other women farmers, which plays a crucial role.

Third is achieving the behavioral change that Jeni mentioned. We did, about five years ago, working with Google, we did just simple health information dissemination through text. And we found that what it did – we did a randomized control trial to look at the impact. We found that the impact was just reinforcing existing behaviors and that having someone who can be – to contextualize the information makes a big difference in actually bringing about behavioral change.

And the fourth is data and using real-time data to manage programs. Too often, impact assessments and just management decisions are made after the fact. And instead of what’s been called bowling in dark by Melinda Gates, seeing the results of your work several years later, by having real-time data coming out of the work, which is enabled by mobiles, you can make real-time decisions and achieve better outcomes from the effort.

MS. O’NEILL: Boy, I hadn’t heard that term, bowling in the dark. That’s fantastic. I’m going to – I’ll give her credit, but I’m going to adopt that. (Laughter.) So yeah, I think a lot about this, engaging scaling partners from the beginning. Because I’m actually an entrepreneur by background, and I told my students at UC Berkley that my next business was going to be a 12 step program for recovering entrepreneurs and I was going to be the charter member. Nobody believes me.

So I think about this a lot. And I think how does Silicon Valley do it? It’s that the people who are early stage entrepreneurs like me are different than the people who take things to scale. And there’s no more example of that than the pharma industry, where it’s Pfizer spends three or four billion dollars a year on R&D and, frankly, doesn’t get a lot of new drugs. They buy Lipitor, and it becomes their $20 billion product. And so we have a lot of early stage entrepreneurs or early stage NGOs, and we have the big players, the CARES, the World Visions, et cetera. But we haven’t found a business model. And I think that you’ve given one really important insight, is that those big players ought to be in at the very beginning, even if they aren’t the ones thinking up the idea or testing the idea, because they’re going to be able to say – to help them think about scale and maybe think about a transition that makes sense.

MR. EDELSTEIN: And it’s a sense of ownership from the outset that keeps them engaged.

MS. O’NEILL: Yeah. I think that’s a terrific idea.

MS. CALVIN: Yeah. We call that in at the takeoff, in at the landing. And it’s really – it’s the key to partnerships in my view.

The Secretary General created this initiative called “Every Woman, Every Child” two years ago, and it has an innovation working group. And part of the goal is just this, which is they’re big players in that, we haven’t connected on the innovation piece and so they’re trying to bring that into everybody who’s playing on that, whether it’s a pharma or all the other big NGOs that are in the game in order to change women’s and children’s health so that that’s now on the agenda. So I think that’s another big piece. It’s often secondary to the agenda.

MS. O’NEILL: So I’m going to go out to the audience for one or two questions, quickly, before we end. But one of the things I want to pivot to for just a second is one that Ambassador Verveer talked about. When I came into this job, I was – had spent most of my life committed, personally and professionally, to giving women all the opportunities that they could, and I’ve just now become obsessed with girls. I’ve actually switched. It’s not that I’ve given up on women, but really it’s all about girls all the time. (Laughter.)

And so let’s just talk about girls for a second, because I think I’ve also come to understand that they are the most threatening culturally, financially, politically, in a country – that kind of change. And it’s why they hold on to that group, whether it’s a family, whether it’s a government. And so what do we need to do specifically to really unleash the power and opportunity for girls around world in ICT? Anybody?

MS. CALVIN: Go ahead, Jeni, and I’ll jump in.

MS. KLUGMAN: I just wanted to kind of endorse the focus on girls and particularly adolescent girls, because that seems to be a critical period, if you like, where often kind of life-changing decisions are being made or are made for these girls. We’ve been partnering with the Nike Foundation on something called the Adolescent Girls Initiative accompanied by rigorous impact evaluations on a range of quite difficult circumstances around the world like Afghanistan, South Sudan, and so on, and focusing very much on school-to-work transitions and enabling those transitions. And in some of those cases, there have been ICT kind of aspects involved, but a lot of it I think actually was much more kind of face-to-face and bringing people together in terms of networking and so on. So I’ll need to go back and check and see how we’re using that.

I guess the other obvious part, obviously, is around schooling. There are some nice examples from Pakistan and from elsewhere of the use of ICT in schooling and also follow-up, for example, reminding girls to kind of to study, to do their homework, and so on. There was an evaluation of that work found that it very significantly improved exam scores, for example. So I think kind of the school link would be very important as well.

MS. CALVIN: And I’ll just add we’re big champions of girls from everything from our Girl Up Campaign to all the work we do at the UN. I think – the thing that I always think about with girls is that it’s not just one solution, whether it’s education or health or a voice or educate – it’s all – and to me, the technology here is the empowering thing. And where I was going to take this originally was that girls are actually – whether it’s girls and boys, that we watch it in our own country, the next generation just owns this empowering ability. And I think that’s the thing we have to play into is how do you make sure that they have the technology, because if they have it, they will use it. But girls are absolutely the key.

MR. EDELSTEIN: And it’s the access. and what’s encouraging to me – and we’ve looked at lot at savings and how to encourage savings over mobiles and found that often women aren’t able to access savings through their phones, are intimidated by the phones. They go to their kids, oftentimes their girls. And the work we’ve done in India, some extensive work there looking at doing ethnographic research, we’ve found that it is the kids and especially the girls who are – the mothers go to the girls to help them figure out how to use the phones, and there’s that intuitive ability to be using it. So provided that the access is there, we’ve seen that the kids, especially girls, make a big difference.

MS. O’NEILL: The one thing I would add is that the need for bigger aspirations and to allow adolescent girls to dream, that’s what we find often is the biggest barriers that girls live in a family and a culture in a country that doesn’t believe – doesn’t give them the opportunity to think big. And so I think that we have yet to tap into the social media, the storytelling, the visual. I know Intel has done it with a movie that’s going to premier on girls’ education. But I think that we’ve all got to look at ways that we can think about these broader mindsets that are there.

So we have exactly five minutes, and so if we could just get a couple questions. Henrietta, and then right here. We’ll just do about three questions and then we’ll have comments by the audience. If you can talk loud.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) hear from the Intel report and all that came out very clearly from our mobile gender gap studies, that in particularly in South Asia there’s a lot of work to be done. So I wondered whether you could just quickly sort of comment on how you particularly, across the institutions, work with men to actually allow women and girls increased access to tech and utilizing that as a transformative power. Thank you.

MS. O’NEILL: Great. Okay, we’ll take one more question here, I think. Yeah. And if you could – that was Henrietta Kolb from the Cherie Blair Foundation. If you could tell us your name and institution, that would be great.

QUESTION: Anaris Hinton (ph). I’ve been involved with the TechWomen Program and Technovation and other programs in the valley. A question to all of you: So the Bill Gates Foundation, especially Melinda Gates, has come up with a superbly brave stand that says no controversy in terms of contraception for girls and women, and so that’s huge. But I just want to know what your agencies can do with the use of ICT to actually get that stand to these girls, because it makes a huge difference to a woman if she has six kids versus one, right?

MS. O’NEILL: Okay. Let’s just take one more right here. Actually, I guess we’ll do some gender equality, so how about Reza. Yeah.

QUESTION: Reza Jafari, CEO of E-Development International and member of the Broadband Commission. I would like to see what the reaction of the panel is in the creation of the ecosystems, because as we all know, if we don’t have the ecosystem built in such a way that is multidimensional, multilateral, multidirectional, then we will not be able to get the messages across to the audiences like we are trying to achieve.

MS. O’NEILL: Okay. So in closing, take one or more of those questions, and you each have about 30 seconds or a minute at the most. (Laughter.) So, Jeni.

MS. KLUGMAN: Okay. Let me just pick up on the – I think the reproductive health and fertility question is very important. On the bank side, we’re focusing on the high-fertility countries, so we’ve identified, I think, 52 high-fertility countries where access to family planning, among others, is a priority in terms of bank strategies. But I think the other kind of side of the story, which is the good news, has been the kind of historically unprecedented rapidity of the decline in fertility around the world over the last, what, two, three decades or so. It’s more or less halved, I think, over time. And that’s not to say there’s still not big gaps or big kind of urban-rural gaps or some countries still where the fertility rate is closer to six or seven, but I think it is an area where there has been enormous progress. And clearly, ICTs can play an important role in this area as well.

MS. CALVIN: I just want to reiterate on that one, and the biggest number of deaths from – in maternal death is girls, and so these do have to come together, and that’s a big issue for the mHealth Alliance.

I also want to say that as we look at the post 2015 framework, there’s a lot of interest in the enabling environment and how do we ensure it’s not just the goals but all the things that have to change to create it. So I think we need to bring this into that conversation.

MR. EDELSTEIN: And let me address the first question then. Three quick examples of how we include men. I gave the one from Ghana where we, in a very public way, target men and women in mobile midwife care.

Second is in Indonesia where we have – are working with a local social entrepreneur network of now 15,000 women, almost entirely women, about 90 percent women, micro entrepreneurs who use their phones as an income-generating tool. And we found that if the women do it without their men’s knowledge, their husbands’ knowledge, the husbands will sometimes just turn off the service overnight, even if they’re earning good income. And so what we’ve done is developed a process whereby we have the men agree explicitly from the outset that the women will have this business.

And the third example is with our community knowledge worker, the ag work I mentioned. And once again, this is pulling away from the women’s responsibilities, which are staggering, from childcare, firewood, water, taking care of kids. We once again involve the men from the outset and have them explicitly give the blessing, so to speak, which is a little frustrating, but they need to do that from a cultural perspective for the women to be actively engaged in these processes and in the businesses to earn income for their families and provide the means for their families to be healthy, which is another part of why the women are – they spend the money on the right things, as we all know.

And one last point that we haven’t really talked about here but I hope does come up in discussions over the next day and a half, and that is this really important role of human networks and how the connectivity can happen between women to women, the peers, where we’ll soon be launching together with Qualcomm a mobile mentoring tool that allows women to connect to each other to address some of these challenges they’re facing in Indonesia. And I think there’s a lot of potential for that peer-to-peer connection to make a big difference.

MS. O’NEILL: So in closing, I’d like to thank Chris Burns (ph) – raise your hand – who does amazing work for USAID and women and development, Ann Mei for being the godmother of this day. And we’d like – we’d encourage everybody to continue this conversation on Twitter and other places, so we encourage you to tweet out today. There’s the hashtag right there. And please, I hope you found this last half an hour as interesting as I did, and I think that we ran only two minutes over, so pretty good. (Laughter.) But please join me in thanking the panel. (Applause.)

MS. CHANG: Thank you so much, Maura, David, Kathy, and Jeni. That was really interesting and inspiring. I’m thrilled now to turn the floor over to Intel for the launch of their Women and the Web report. This is a report that I’ve been eagerly awaiting and anticipating for a long time. Ever since the mWomen came out by the GSMA and the Cherie Blair Foundation three years ago, I’ve been itching for a report like this that really looks at the gender gap for internet in addition to mobile phones.

So with no further ado, I’m going to turn it over to Shelly Esque VP of Corporate – sorry, I don’t remember – Corporate Affairs at Intel. And I – sorry, I’m going to load your presentation as you start.

MS. ESQUE: That’s great. Thanks, Amy. Well, good morning. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here today with all of you experts in this field. And as we’ve heard from so many of the speakers, we feel like we’re at the birth of something and we’re happy to deliver something to you today. So on your chair is our new report, and we definitely want to thank UN Women and the State Department for allowing us to use this forum to add this data to the conversation, because as we all know, we need a foundation of good information in order to truly make progress and to solve these problems together.

So we’ve heard already today about the power of the internet, the power of women and girls having access to information, and how it empowers their lives, access to economic opportunity, access to education and health. I don’t think there’s any dispute about that. We’ve also had the notion as people who work in this area that there was this huge and growing gap. And what we tried to do through this report was to finally analyze that gap and bring forth information in an easy-to-use format so that we all can start with the same basis of knowledge.

So we’re very proud that we were able to consult with the State Department Office of Global Women’s Issues, UN Women, and World Pulse, a global network for women, to create this report. And we also want to recognize the research team who’s here from Dalberg and GlobeScan who did, of course, much of the heavy lift to put this together.

Through this report, we really want to try to create a deeper understanding of women’s access to and use of the internet as well as look at the barriers. As we’ve heard here today, there’s many barriers and constraints that women are facing, and we see this as an important step to bring about true change. Of course, the report is just the beginning. As we talked about the metaphor of birth, we really want to be a part of the conversation as we move through today to talk about actions and how do we close this gap together. And as the Ambassador shared with us, I think we all in this room believe it’s the public-private partnerships, it’s the bringing together of all the entities who have interests, and you can think about sustainable models that will really bring this to fruition. So we’re very excited to start it today with you.

The study was based on interviews with 2,200 women in developing countries as well as an examination of existing databases, of which there are many. And many of you in this room were a part of the interviews, and we really appreciate your insights. We want to walk through the findings real briefly to just try to set the stage. As I mentioned, the report is on your chair and of course available on the web.

So I’d like to introduce Renee Wittemyer, who is the lead researcher from Intel who put this report together and drove the effort. She was also just named – I’ll just embarrass her for a minute – one of Nine Most Influential Women in Technology from ChipChick. But also Beyonce was on the list, so Renee, Beyonce. (Laughter.) So we’re real excited Renee is here from Intel to share the findings with you today.

Renee.

MS. WITTEMYER: Thank you, Shelly, for that wonderful introduction. (Laughter.) So as Shelly said, we have been motivated by the fact that the internet has this transformative power and everyone in this room understands the implications that can have for girls and women. And so we’ve seen anecdotally the fact that there is this divide, there’s been data on this, but a lot of it we’ve seen has been old. And so we were very motivated to get fresh data, to get a fresh look at this, and really quantify, as someone on the panel earlier, to have that quantified evidence that we can bring to the table and bring to the conversation.

And so just to set the context, I wanted to give you a sense of the global internet access picture. And so globally there’s 2.4 billion internet users around the world, but developing countries in particular lag behind. And to give you a sense of comparison, if you look at a country like India, it has 11 percent internet penetration, a country like Uganda has 13 percent penetration. Relative to that, places like the United States has 78 percent penetration and Iceland has 97 percent internet penetration, so that there is this unevenness in distribution.

And in particular, we were interested in understanding women’s access to the internet and their use of it. And what we found through our research is that 23 percent fewer women are online in developing countries than men, and this represents 200 million fewer women than men who are online today. And so to put that in context, there’s 1.4 billion internet users in the developing countries, and 800 million of those are men and 600 million are women. So there is this significant gender gap. And that soars to a gender gap of almost 45 percent in places like Sub-Saharan Africa or 33 percent in South Asia, almost 30 percent in Central Asia and Europe. So it is quite significant around the world.

Now, if internet usage increases at the same rate for both men and women as today, in the course of three years, that gender gap will increase from 200 million women today who are not online to 350 million women in the course of three years. And so this is a critical time period for action. And – so we’re very excited for the course of the next two days to really engage with experts as yourself and leaders who are at the intersection of technology and women, to really think about how can we catalyze action.

So the report looked at a set of factors that influenced internet access, and in particular, a set of challenges that women face, as well as the types of outcomes that are beneficial, that could occur when women do have access. So for example, in the factors influencing internet access, we looked at that at both an individual level for the woman herself, as well as a macro level, so the broader environment, ecosystem-type factors. And in terms of the individual woman herself, awareness was a critical factor: the ability to understand what’s on the internet, what is it useful for, and how can it benefit your life. Our report showed that approximately a quarter of the women that we surveyed in four countries – in Egypt, Mexico, Uganda, and India – thought that they were just simply weren’t interested in the internet. They didn’t see what the benefits could be to them.

Another factor that influences access is ability. So, how do I use the internet? How do I use technologies to gain some of these benefits? And 40 percent of the women that we surveyed who were not online indicated a lack of familiarity as a barrier. And then at the environment, some of these gender-based barriers, cultural norms that are ingrained. What our survey found was that one in five women in India and in Egypt felt that the Internet was quote-unquote “inappropriate” for them, and if they used it, their families would not approve. So these gender-based barriers are quite real.

And then at a macro level, in terms of some of those challenges, there’s two critical factors that influence women’s access to the internet: affordability and availability. They’re across the board. And many of our women that we surveyed indicated that it simply wasn’t affordable. They could not – they didn’t have the capital to spend on the internet. Things like policies at a macro level as well were very critical, things in terms of integrating gender-based issues.

In terms of beneficial outcomes, we found that at an individual level, things like self-esteem and expression were key benefits. So women felt – women that we surveyed in those countries felt that the internet made them more self-confident, gave them a greater voice, and an ability to express themselves beyond just their communities. It also gave them opportunities in terms of economic opportunities, job opportunities, opportunities for further education, and it also gave them a sense of a network, a powerful network as groups like World Post (ph) are very intimately involved in this idea that there are women around the world who share your challenges and you can discuss some of your issues with them.

At an ecosystem level, economic development is a very clear benefit from women’s access to the internet, and our study found that if we doubled the number of women online in the course of three years, this could have GDP benefits ranging between $13 billion and $18 billion annually across 144 countries. So it’s profound, the amount that that has at a macro level.

And then things like gender equality as well. We – everyone in this room knows that repeatedly, investing in a woman has these broader benefits for her family, her community, and society. And so that is what we found as well. Interestingly, in regions where the internet has been available longer, we found that women’s benefits in terms of ability to search for a job, ability to expand networks, and earn additional income, were greater.

So the report outlines these factors influencing internet access, the types of benefits that occur, but it also calls for action. And the call to action is really to come together collectively to double the number of women online within three years. And what we found was, over the course of three years, if there was no concerted action, 450 million women are set to come online through organic growth. But if we did collectively come together through a global effort to address the internet gender gap, we could actually double the number of women online of today. So that would increase the women online of 20 percent of women in developing countries online to 40 percent in three years.

In order to do that, we would need to make the internet more accessible, more affordable, more convenient, secure, and engaging for women. And it would require collaboration and leadership among all sectors, ranging from policy makers, civil society, governments, private sector, development agencies, coming together, as Melanne said right from the start of this two-day session. It’s a perfect time to think through some of these ideas of making this happen. And it also requires this commitment to action. The report outlines a whole set of recommendations, ranging from making platforms more affordable to investing in girls’ education.

So in terms of some of the recommendations, I wanted to just kind of outline some of the things. And actually it’s interesting that the report was being developed as some of the work stream topics for this two-day session were being developed; many of them are overlapping. So in terms of awareness, one of those challenges, really developing relevant content, make – addressing the access issue around content, making content free, addressing ability issues, investing in digital literacy and information literacy, addressing some of those ingrained cultural norms in the environment, so some of those underlying inequalities underlying the barriers, and then also addressing some of the safety issues. Our respondents talked about the fact that accessing the internet in these shared access points is just not safe or considered inappropriate, addressing some of those types of things as well.

And then at a macro level, really thinking about working with governments in developing national broadband plans that address gender concerns, addressing some of those market constraints at a policy level around affordability. And then from a data perspective, this is just the beginning, really thinking about how can we get more gender disaggregated data on this topic through a course of partnerships, public/private partnerships, and collaboration among all of you in this room. And so that will really – with this concerted effort, that would really lead to getting that 40 percent of women online in developing countries, and really getting them to benefit and from the transformative power of the internet.

And so I just want to thank, again, the State Department and UN Women for the amazing input that they gave when we consulted with them on this report. Both Ann Mei and Jennifer (ph) have been phenomenal contributors, from a thought-leader perspective, as well as Dahlberg (ph) and GlobeScan for their wonderful work as the research team.

So you can download the report on our website. You have a copy, and you can also follow us on Twitter at @Intelinvolved. Thank you. (Applause.)

MS. ESQUE: In a minute, we’re going to invite a distinguished group of panelists to come and have a discussion about the implications for moving forward together. But we want to just open it up if there are a couple quick questions about the report itself. Yes, way in the back.

QUESTION: (Off mike.)

MS. ESQUE: Maybe we can get the mike back there.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) question on mobile access. What are you finding? What’s the data here? I’m assuming that you can hear me fine because I have a loud voice. So talk about mobile data, or mobile – internet access via mobile devices, any data that you are finding or that you found, in particular, given that’s the primary means of access to the internet for the majority of people, and particularly women, in the world.

MS. WITTEMYER: So we were looking across platforms. So we look at mobile, we looked at computers, and we looked at devices such as tablets. So we weren’t, in this particular study, device-specific. However, what was interesting was that we found that women who have been using the internet across multiple platforms derived increased benefits than women using single platforms. And so I think the mobile phone clearly is opening up many, many different opportunities. But what was interesting about this report was it showed the interaction among platforms.

Go ahead.

MS. ESQUE: I think – where is the mike? I don’t know. Oh, right here. So there was – right here. Yeah.

QUESTION: Thank you. I’m very happy with this report. I’m leading a network looking into general research in ICT for empowerment in Africa and the Middle East, and so this is close to our heart. I wonder whether you’re aware of the work of Martin Hilbert, who hasn’t been focusing so much on the internet use, but use of women in developing countries of ICTs.

And he has found that when you keep education and income equal, women actually do use ICT more than men do. So I would have kind of expected in your recommendations that you would have taken that on board, because that would already – if you would take care of those two factors and maybe think why (inaudible) and ICT, but gender and culture and gender and economy, then you will already have a natural flow of women using ICT and the internet, because there are already – there is already the tendency for them to do that more. Do you understand what I’m saying?

MS. WITTEMYER: Absolutely. And I think that’s one thing that we definitely try to point out in the report, is that there’s this dramatic disparity between economies, and where women have access to the internet in the more developed world, at the higher incomes, they are huge users of the internet, of social media, of accessing information for economic reasons and education. So we definitely acknowledge that. But I think what we were trying to do here is really look at what other barriers are facing them. The economic conditions obviously are a huge entry point.

QUESTION: Well, I said women tend to use it more than men in those regions –

MS. ESQUE: Right.

QUESTION: — Latin America, and Africa. When you equalize income and education, and we all know the situation of, for instance, mothers earning less in the global economy and all that. So I think you have to – if you really want to make an impact, you have to think beyond the sector of gender and ICT, you have to go gender, culture, ICT –

MS. ESQUE: Absolutely.

QUESTION: — gender, economy, ICT.

MS. ESQUE: Yeah. Absolutely. Okay, to the right.

QUESTION: (Off mike.) We work in about sixteen countries and one of the programs that we have is called Smart Woman, which we have found that when we did mobile learning to specific demographics, specific demographics – so your point about the relevance is – in our world, when we’re selling a mobile technology piece, we assume they have access because they’re getting on a phone. We assume they can afford because either they pay for it or they get it in some way. So the other issue which is the next generation is the relevance, because if I’m a demographically correct woman and I’m a certain age and a certain income level, the only thing I care about is the information that’s relevant to me, not to the same one.

And I always use the example of Angry Birds. Angry Birds is Angry Birds on any other mobile platform. So what we encourage is that if you’re going to do mobile learning, you do like what mama does – you focus on a specific demographic. What we do with Smart Woman, you focus on a specific issue, and that is where you get effectiveness. You have to assume everything else is – there it is. And the one last thing I’ll say in terms of the ICT: The reason a lot of women use mobile is because they don’t have time to use anything else. So they may use it across platform, but they’re using mobile simply the way we use it, out of convenience. So thank you for this, but I think, again, it’s – really has to be relevant is key.

MS. ESQUE: Absolutely. And relevance is a huge part of where we need to talk further, is how do we make it relevant is all these diverse markets.

Okay, we’ll take one more question, and then we want to invite our panel up.

Can the mike make it to the –

QUESTION: Hello? Oh, thanks. I also wanted to call attention to the – I’m Sophia Huyer with Women in Global Science and Technology. I’d like to say hello, and thanks for inviting me, and I’m really – we’re really pleased to be here. I’d like to also call attention to the quality and the type of ICT access and use, and the differences – gender differences. For example, what about smart phones? And are women able to use smart phones, and are they able to use them really effectively and in a sophisticated manner? I think there’s emerging data in some countries that women use the more simple phones and men use the smart phones, and men use them for a much broader range of uses, not just networking and communication. And I think we need to keep that in mind. As well, we’ve just been engaging in a data – comparative data analysis project, and we found in Korea, for example, that women do use smart phones more than men, but that’s because men use computers more than women, and women don’t have access to the computers. And so I think we need to be really aware of the differences in the opportunities and capabilities of the ICT that women use and have access to. Thanks.

MS. ESQUE: Thank you. Absolutely.

Okay. Now, we will invite our panelists to come up to the front. Okay. As we learned earlier, we’ll have three mikes on at all time, and we’ll learn.

So obviously, our first panelist needs no introduction. We already heard she’s Ann Mei’s hero. She’s my hero. Everyone in this room is thrilled that she’s here with us today. And we probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her fantastic leadership. So Ambassador Verveer, thank you again for all you do, and thank you for joining the panel.

Lawrence is next. Lawrence is with GSMA. Let me get my notes here. Lawrence Yanovitch is the President of the GSMA Foundation. The foundation and the GSMA Development Fund work together to promote and implement partnerships between the mobile communications industry, the international development community, to deliver life-changing services to those living under $2 a day. Thank you for joining us.

Next to Lawrence is Minerva Novero-Belec, is a policy specialist for ICTB and in e-governance at the United Nations Development Program, UNDP. She manages a portfolio that includes focal point support for UNDP administrator in her role as a member of the Broadband Commission and chair of the commission’s working group on women and ICTs. Thank you, Minerva, and welcome.

Next to Minerva, Gary Fowlie. He’s been the head of the liaison office of the International Telecommunication Union to the United Nations since 2009. ITU is the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology.

And then to his right, we have Gulden, who we heard from earlier. Thank you for your wonderful remarks.

So we’ll move right into the panel, and we will ask a few a questions and then open up to the audience. I know you have a lot of questions also.

Ambassador Verveer, and you spoke about this a little bit earlier, about the tremendous opportunity, and the power and the potential of this intersection of women and ICT. Can you talk a little bit about the role of governments around the globe? As you travel and work with them, what are you seeing? What do they need to do, and how can we, together, move faster?

AMBASSADOR VERVEER: Well, thanks very much, Shelly, and to Intel for the contribution that this represents. I think of the metaphor of giving birth; we now have to nurture this child and make sure it can become as well known and have opportunities to make a difference in what studies represent. Studies can sit on shelves, so to speak, or they can be discussed. They may not have all the answers, but they can lead us to better places to think about these issues.

So thank you for this, and I hope it won’t end with today, but really be the beginning of this study. I know Lawrence is going to talk about the mobile technology study, how – what we can really do with these pieces to advance all of our goals, wherever we sit.

When I looked at some of the summary of the study and read that in Africa, men have twice as much – twice as many men have access to the internet than women, and I was thinking about the magnitude of that, where women are already disadvantaged in many ways. And I think the question about education and the nexus that here we are talking about development, how all of these things really fit together, because education is so crucial to the access, the utilization, what it represents. So I think we need to be thinking in government also, in our development agencies, what Maura and others here in the room who are representing development agencies, how all of this fits together. So I think that’s certainly one way.

The whole issue of data, which is what this study in many ways represents, I think, is crucial. And I too will use that Melinda Gates phrase about “without data, we are essentially bowling in the dark.” And none of us wants to do that. But when you think about the 2.4 billion people who have access to the internet, we really don’t know how many of those are women. We have inadequate data. We have made, at the State Department, a real effort to support data gathering in all of the ways that that is done around our world, because it is so important to affecting the outcomes and where we want to go.

One of the ways we have done this is through the OECD, which is one of the premier data collection agencies. UN Women is one. The World Bank is one. There are so many others, and certainly the private sector plays a major role. But I think we, through government, need to be much more cognizant of the need to support data gathering and to see the role that it needs to play. With respect to OECD, there are new efforts being made as a result of a number of governments coming together and launching this through OECD, which is with reference to women’s employability and entrepreneurship. Now, the whole role of the internet plays a role in that as well. So I think government and data at any number of levels, and I think within countries, the data collection piece is critically important to impact policies.

Secondly, the role of government in helping to ameliorate some of the deeply entrenched cultural practices. You’ve heard reference to that from the presentation on the study. Henriette raised a question about it. We all read about the case recently where, in India, a woman was fined because she was using her cell phone without the permission of a male guardian. Imagine taking that to some kind of extended course.

So I think the role of government, and governments in doing development work, the kind of programs we all support, in showing that positive face of how the internet can help make a difference in – when it’s in the hands of women, and how that benefits them, it benefits their families, it benefits their society, but that positive face to try to change some of these cultural norms.

Thirdly, and we’ve heard about this, rightly so because it’s a big issue, the affordability issue. And here, government has a particularly significant role, particularly in countries, through regulations, through market interventions, market forces, to ensure open competition. We know what it’s done in our country. We know what it’s done in many places. But I think this is a whole area, and one of the things is we’ve entered into this whole world of ICT, women, development, and so many related pieces through the State Department, is what role our diplomatic work should play in working with governments on this whole – in this whole area of regulation, market liberalization, and the outcomes for affordability, and the self-interest of the country, obviously.

And then, I think there are so many things that one could say, but one last point I would really emphasize is the need for governments to see the internet as a place where they can provide vital information, because women in particular, they don’t have a lot of time to waste. They need access to information that’s vital to their lives. If you can go on the internet and find out about jobs, that we heard that was one of the ways that women utilize the internet, governments have so much information that is critical to what people need to know for their lives, to help them. Think of what the Small Business Association (SBA) does in terms of women’s economic empowerment in this country in starting and growing small businesses. All over the world, I hear women with access to the internet tell me how great our SBA website is. That’s the power of the internet to really provide women in this case with very vital information.

Years ago, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is the finance minister in Nigeria, she was the managing director at the World Bank, told me that in a previous incarnation in Nigeria, for the first time ever – and this would have an impact on corruption and other kinds of areas that are deeply troubling – they began to put out information, the government did, about how much money goes from the central government to the states and to the localities, because everybody’s saying we don’t see any of this money; where’s this money? It must all be in the capital. And she said when they put it on pieces of paper, they didn’t have enough money even to produce vast quantities. And people were trying to duplicate it any way they could. Imagine information like this, provided by governments, on the internet.

So I think, I mean, one can – we’re scratching the surface here, but there’s so much that government needs to do to be part of the solution. And I think, just to reiterate what today represents, government sitting down at the table with the other actors in the other sectors that this convening represents is also on the top of the list.

MS. ESQUE: Thank you, Ambassador. Thank you very much.

So, Lawrence, we’re going to look to you because you’ve done such tremendous work in the mobile field –

MR. YANOVITCH: Thank you.

MS. ESQUE: — the report that you issued three years ago, I believe. And just tell us about the lessons learned, what progress has been made, and give us advice from your perspective on how to move forward.

MR. YANOVITCH: Well, sure. I think I’d first like to open by suggesting that, based on data, we think that worldwide, the first access that women are going to have to mobile phones in the developing world will be through – to the internet will be through mobile phones. So we have data from Zimbabwe and Nigeria that suggest that over 50 percent of web traffic is coming through mobile phones. And so a strategic entry point is how do we accelerate women’s access and then create some sort of synergy with this campaign with our own?

So just to give you some – sort of the architecture and the origins, the antecedents to this mWomen Initiative, let me start off with the big data. You’ve heard a lot of data about how many mobile subscriptions there are globally, and we’ve really honed in on that since I’ve been at the GSMA. And now we are coming down to an estimate of 3.2 billion mobile phone subscribers globally, and that four out of five of those new subscriptions are coming from the developing world.

Now despite this really rapid growth in the developing world, in 2009 we did indeed conduct this study, and I want to acknowledge Brookes Partridge here, who – from Vital Wave, and also Henriette Kolb from the Cherie Blair Foundation, who were really some of the original thinkers who got behind Cherie Blair. And I want to say, you want to get action, you want to get commitment, you start off with the powerful intellect who’s got energy like Cherie Blair behind you, who then, of course, helped to engage with Melanne and ultimately Secretary Clinton to launch our global campaign.

And so in 2010, we did launch this campaign. And what I’m seeing, as we kind of define what was the essence of the thinking, I think it’s Trina DasGupta, who was one of the principal strategists behind this. She basically observed that globally, there’s very little consumer research on women’s wants and needs at the base of the pyramid, which was startling. So we talked about the value of impact evaluation, but what about also consumer research on the front end to figure out what women want and need. And then, how do you design a product offering accordingly? And so what – I mean, I love the premise, and we did the research, and it was exciting to see the results. And I’ll speak about them for a second, but I do also want to acknowledge our donors. I’ll say USAID, who was at the forefront; Maura O’Neill – I don’t know if she’s still here – and Chris Burns. I mean, without them, we would have never gotten anywhere, and Visa Foundation too.

So today we have 34 mobile phone companies who’ve signed up around the world to be engaged. And I will not underemphasize how important it was to have the credibility and what I would call the venture capital orientation of the State Department early on to get behind this campaign and endorse it, even though it was really still based a lot on data and hypotheses and you hadn’t yet seen the impact.

So I was astonished when we started to look at the data to see that the program that was doing the best was in Iraq. And I was so astonished I decided I was going to go to Iraq, and go to northern Iraq, which is a little safer than southern Iraq. And the reason why we’ve had such a great success story there – actually, I had the opportunity to meet with First Lady Talabani, Mrs. Talabani, who is this incredibly humble woman, a great intellectual, and really taught me a lot about the women’s movement in northern Iraq; it actually dates to the turn of the century. And the women there are given a status that you might not see elsewhere in the region, and that makes sense that they would be the source of this inspiration.

And so what Asiacell did is they put women in leading – leadership positions to design a program. And what did they do? They researched women’s wants and needs. They spent a lot of time doing that, and getting to know exactly how to structure a product offering. And what were the results? In one year, a 40 percent increase in female subscriptions. That translated into 1.2 million women.

So what’s the anatomy of the solution set? What were the barriers? We’ve heard a lot about these barriers. Let’s look to Iraq to see if they can provide us some insight. So the first – we’ve heard about how there’s sometimes resistance from male house – members of a household against women having access to these technologies. So what did Asiacell do? They crafted this exquisite public relations campaign and commercial that spoke more to the hearts of the men about what women are contributing to the daily lives of Iraqi society and family. And they had this imagery of the waving of the hands of women, since they’re often veiled, and how that – what they’re doing in their daily lives. It really does render emotions. And then they make a reference to mobile technology as a way to secure their women, as a way to give them hope and give them a future.

Second, strangely, and it was odd for me to learn about this, but there is an endemic pattern of harassment of women through mobile phones. And it’s probably because perhaps men don’t have other outlets. And so – and one of the things that was really disturbing is that the women told me that they would be held accountable for their harassment calls, that they were somehow eliciting this behavior. And so – we don’t even have this, I think, in the U.S., because I tried it once, but they created a bye-bye feature – they call it a bye-bye feature in English – which meant that women could block harassment calls, and – which is a great idea.

The third is that, back to the question of pricing and cost, women had different usage patterns than men. So they tended to talk a little longer, but less frequently. And they also were more loyal customers than men. So what did they do with the pricing? They gave a discount for calls under – over three minutes and they also gave a discount if you stayed with – inside the network.

The fourth area is that – and which really dovetails with our conversations today is we – there was a great thirst for information and knowledge through your mobile phones. So they created a subsidiary that was really just focused on content, and they created a whole initiative around getting content that was very specific to women. And finally, as I said at the beginning, they made a deep commitment to women’s leadership in the organization. Not just at the head of the mWomen program, but you have branch offices where women are in senior leadership positions. And they told me directly how much support they got from management, and that’s what really made the difference.

So to round up, when we start talking about the internet, what have they done on that score, HSO is going to introduce 3G services and they anticipate giving 400,000 women access to broadband by the end of 2013. So I also had an opportunity to talk to the U.S. Embassy and others about how you could accelerate the access to the internet, and there is a huge barrier because there’s the infrastructure, the will on the ground, but without policy reform, governments are not moving fast enough. And that, I think, dovetails with what Melanne was saying.

MS. ESQUE: Thank you, Lawrence. Again, underscoring the need for the relevant content, the access, the seat at the table in decision-making, these are all just key things that the report talks about too.

Minerva, can you talk to us a little bit? The UN Broadband Commission recently announced a new working group on gender and ICT that UNDP will be chairing. So share with us what that work is and what will be expected to be the result.

MS. NOVERO-BELEC: First of all, congratulations for the development of this report. It’s a very welcome and very useful tool for us in the efforts to advance women’s empowerment for sustainable human development. And it’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for the invitation to UNDP.

On the question about the broadband commission, I think everybody’s quite aware of what it is, but just to recap quickly, it’s – and I think the question is about how we can bring awareness and action to close the gender gaps. I think the establishment of the broadband commission for digital development is in itself a significant act that raises awareness on a global scale. It is a commission composed of high-level representatives from the UN agencies, from governments, from the private sector, from NGOs, from civil society, from industry and so on and so forth, (inaudible) as well. And they do much, these leaders, in these sectors and fields, they do much as an individual in those fields a lot.

But on the platform of the broadband commission, they now have this bond to work together collectively towards a common goal, and the common goal being broadband networks providing or helping countries to have broadband networks for a specific purpose, which is to have broadband networks as platforms for progress. So it’s not just about technology for the broadband commission, especially for UNDP, and I think that is very clear to everybody in this room, and on (inaudible) for progress to – for social, economic, and environmental development and specifically to help meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. And that’s very, very close. It’s about three years away.

Since its launch in 2010, I think it has effectively enhanced the understanding among stakeholders why they need to work together, and also among the public that propels policy decisions on why broadband is important. And we have much to thank ITU, actually, which is headed by Gary here, and UNESCO for launching the commission in 2010 with the support of the UNSG, the Secretary General, and it is chaired by His Excellency Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Mr. Carlos Slim of Mexico.

So the commission has set four targets: Make broadband policy universal, make broadband affordable, connect homes to broadband, and increase internet penetration, meaning have everybody online. So in working towards these targets, the commission enhances the profile not just of individual members and what you can do, but also what together – not just the members here but the sectors that they represent can do together. They have – they hold – not they, but we. I support Ms. Clark, so I tend to think of “they.” The commission meets regularly, and these meetings are designed to be high-profile, and high-profile not just for the members and for the stakeholders that are present, but for the kinds of issues that the broadband commission addresses.

And it also addresses these issues through reports. So it has released significant reports, I think it’s widely quoted, since 2010. And most recently, also – or not – since 2010, it has established working groups that are also tasked to focus on specific issues related to broadband networks and ICT in general. On its sixth meeting in New York in 2012, the commission was challenged by the actions of Ms. Geena Davis to address the issues of women with regards to access to ICTs and empowerment and so on and so forth. And so the commission responded to the challenge by creating the task force working group on women and ICTs, and it ask Ms. Helen Clark to chair the working group, and Ms. Clark obviously accepted.

And so what is the working group going to do? And I think that’s one of the reasons why I was asked to come here, to tell you what it is. And I have to open this because it’s quite a list of objectives, pretty ambitious. So the ground objectives of the working group is to promote, obviously, digital inclusion for women, empowering women through digital literacy, training, and skills-building, promote the development of gender-sensitive applications – for instance, monitoring of violence against women – in partnership with the private sector, and bolster public service delivery, which take into account the specific needs of women, make technology training and jobs more suitable to young girls, basically make ICTs cool, and foster the protection of girls and women when they go online and contribute to the post-2015 agenda. I mean, I could cite the detailed objectives of the working group, but you can find them online as well.

So I only have about two minutes, so I will cut my intervention short and go to the perspective of UNDP when it comes to ICTs and gender. The pronouncements and the statements that have been made since the beginning of this event resonate very much in UNDP. It’s about empowerment of women. It’s about addressing the gaps between not just the haves, the have-nots, the north and the south, but even among women in the country.

Some women have access to ICTs and some do not. We think of ICTs as tools to address a lot of challenges, but the diffusion of ICTs in itself also could be cause for greater disparity. We are familiar with the digital divide. For UNDP, this is not just about divide and access to technology. It means a lot more. It means the divide in access to information, the divide in access to knowledge, the divide in access to opportunities for livelihood, income, and so on. And it’s also about the divide in opportunities to engage with each other, to mobilize, to connect, and the opportunity to engage with their governments.

So this issue is not just about broadband and technology. For UNDP, this is very much a governance issue, and governance is very much a development issue. So since 1992 – I don’t know if everybody is familiar with this – we have worked with a lot in this room, many of you at World Bank, USAID in some cases, may be familiar with our work on the ground in over 165 countries, and we have about 220 projects going on in any given year.

So UNDP focuses on three things when it comes to ICTs and gender empowerment. We focus on providing delivery of services to those most in need, and then we focus on engaging and making ICTs available to everybody, to women especially, who marginalize in the poor, to enable them to have an opportunity to engage with one another, to have a voice, and to participate in the public sphere and to participate in processes where decisions are being made, decisions that affect them, that affect their lives, that affect their livelihoods. And so we have, as I said, a lot of case studies that we can point to, and I think one of the things that UNDP can do more in this regard is to work more openly with you and more closely with you in highlighting these efforts, and maybe we can build on those efforts together.

But one of the things that UNDP would like to propose is this: As I said earlier, Ms. Helen Clark, actually, wherever she can, emphasizes that it’s not about technology, and it’s about the transformative potentials of ICTs, all the networks included, and it’s about what it can do to change people’s lives. And we are very conscious of the challenges that are faced by the poor countries on the ground, and we are very aware that we would not want to add on more challenges to them in the face of very heavy investments in infrastructure and so on and so forth.

So we try to be very innovative and we focus on the way that we can use ICTs strategically to address development challenges, and the administrator’s message is always: If it has no impact at all on the lives of those most in need, then we have not achieved anything. And from what I hear from this forum this morning, I think everybody in this room is the converted, and we are all advocates and stakeholders in this. And one of the things that I would like to propose as well is to inform policymakers to get on board in the discussions now happening in the global and national level to help frame the post-2015 development agenda.

MS. ESQUE: Thank you, Minerva. And Gary, you’ve had great experience in bringing the issues of broadband to the agenda and to the topic of discussion. Give us some advice from your perspective on these multi-stakeholder partnerships. What works and how do we move faster together?

MR. FOWLIE: Right. I think you just said the key. It’s multi-stakeholder partnership. Also, thank you very much for this opportunity. Thank you to Ann and to Jennifer for making this happen.

Yes, ITU’s perspective – you’ve heard about the broadband commission. The idea behind the broadband commission, as you just heard, was to raise the importance of national broadband plans and making sure that all countries have a national broadband plan. Because if you don’t, how are you going to, at the end of the day, take advantage of the potential, which I think is mobile broadband delivery, in terms of making sure that everybody has access to this life-changing technology?

But I think what’s needed is, always in these cases, political will and – both political will and practical tactics and opportunities. And because of ICTs, those two are coming together. It’s much, much more possible for groups, civil society groups to have a direct impact on ICT technology – or ICT policy. So we need to look for a push from the bottom and – push up from the bottom and push down from the top. So from ITU’s perspective, I’m going to talk just about what we’ve done at that top level. The broadband commission is one example. Another key important strategy of ITUs is to ensure that there is regulatory reform, that the regulators out there understand that if you have an open, transparent bidding process that you can have some – you will entice the private sector to come in and develop. And when you issue those licenses, you can put on provisos to connect schools, to connect health centers, and hopefully connect girls.

I’m always a little reluctant to talk about gender because I’m a man with no sisters, I’m the son of a man who had six brothers, and I have three sons. (Laughter.) So we don’t run thick on –

PARTICIPANT: But you needed a wife, huh?

MR. FOWLIE: — XX chromosomes. But XY – so on behalf of all the X and Y chromosomes, I think we heard something very important in the Intel study. We have 2.4 users now, but we have – 2.4 billion users now, but there are 4.5 billion users – potential users – who do not have access, X and Y chromosomes. Now of course, there’s a 23 percent of that disadvantage against women, so we have to remember that, of course, but I think we need to ensure that globally, we look at the multi-stakeholder reality of the partnership, but also the multi-stakeholder reality of the – I’m from ITU, and after the WCIT process, I’m not supposed to use the “internet” word too often. But it is a multi-stakeholder reality. We all have a role to play. ITU plays a role at the spectrum and standards level, i.e. we all know that. So we need to make sure people understand how it’s done. We need to open it up, how it works, and make sure we open it up to access.

ITU has also instituted something called Girls in ICT Day. Ninety countries have been doing these. It’s the third Thursday – third Tuesday – fourth Tuesday – fourth Thursday – (laughter) – so this is why I’m talking the high level. So I’m not going to be able to talk about a lot of the practical bottom-up work we’re doing. So I’d like to do a shout-out to Susan Schorr – raise your hand, Susan – who is the director of our special initiatives program and will be very much involved with this.

So, what can you do? First of all, I want everybody here to write down a website, www.myworld2015.org. And the broadband commission was created to support the Millennium Development Goals. That’s coming to an end, 2015, for better or worse. The UN system is looking at what’s going to happen post-2015, and these goals that they’re trying to set are not going to focus just specifically on the developing world, but to focus on the whole world. Unfortunately, the potential of ICT for development is something we all understand, but development policy people sometimes aren’t quite as bright as we are. They treat it with benign neglect at best, and in many cases, they’re just ignorant of the potential.

So why give you that website? It’s because right now, the system, support – UN system with support of the World Wide Web Foundation and others, is trying to do a global survey on what you think the six most important things are. So go on this, pick out which six you think are important. The first one you see, fortunately, comes up as ICTs, telecommunications, and so that’s an easy one. Put it on your Facebook, send – tweet it and send it to your – the girls’ networks. Let’s get that in there. Because unless political leaders see how important it is, most of them, many of them, don’t have that sense of ownership on this area that we all have. And we all understand, so that’s – I’d ask you to do that, and I think that would be a good step forward.

Also, I think we need to look at the nexus, again, between health and education. Education is key here. The potential for mobile broadband education is immense. But getting those practical hands in the mobiles that do that is really a challenge. So we’ve talked about something like mobiles for midwives in the developing world, where – who’s the one there? Often, the mobile – the midwife. I know there’s work going on, but there – again, we need to scale it, we need to bring it together, we need to bring the ministers of information and health together to ensure that they’re online to make this happen. I think it has a lot of potential.

And the reason – one of the main reasons we need to do that: ITU participated with WHO in a health accountability commission, and we discovered that more than 30 percent of the developing world does not have accurate birth or death records, so they don’t even know how many girls, really, they have. So that would be one way to tackle this. Let’s get to the frontline health workers, let’s partner with the International Midwife Federation. This is something I’m just throwing out there. Because I think the old adage is true: You educate a woman, you educate a family. And if you educate a family, you’ve educated a girl. And if you educate a girl, I think you educate a social network.

MS. NOVERO-BELEC: Okay. Well, I’ll be brief, as the last panelist. Just first, congratulations to Intel and the colleagues that produced the report. It’s a great report, and I look forward to reading it in more detail and sharing it with all our colleagues at UN Women.

We completely endorse the goal of doubling the number of women online or increasing the number of women in three years. And I think, what can we do to support that collectively and also as UN Women? I think we can really do a lot in engaging the gender community around the ICT issues. The gender advocates that we work with in so many countries improve their ability to influence the dialogue and how women can benefit from the ICT. This is something that we can all do, but UN Women has started and has been doing it for a number of years, working with national machineries of women.

And we also have the great opportunity of the Commission on the Status of Women coming up in – end of February or early March, and it focuses on ending violence against women. And one of the things that we’re going to look at is how we can link ICTs and ending violence against women. And I believe there are a number of panels and initiatives going on in that area. But it is such an amazing tool, and I think Ambassador Verveer and others talked about how we could use it to improve information around rights and access to services in this area. And also, the negative impact on ICT should not be forgotten as online platforms can facilitate violence against women and trafficking as well. So we need to be mindful on both those points.

So, yeah, the second point that I would make is putting women and their needs at the center of ICT decision making. We heard from the report. We’ve seen that while more than 109 governments have adopted national plans to expand broadband access, these plans are often developed without thinking about women’s needs, without thinking about girls’ needs. So we can also influence these kind of sectoral plans in the countries.

And also gender sensitization of ICT policymakers and regulators. I think some of you spoke to that. And we’re very excited and we’re thinking with Intel to – and discussing the development of an initiative to do exactly this by holding gender sensitization sessions for ICT regulators at their annual meetings.

Another area that I think a couple of the panelists touched upon is content, development of women-focused and women-produced relevant local content. Public and private sector support can really be given to this, but also governments, governments as drivers of local content for the quality of information on knowledge provided around key services for women. So e-government, e-governance is also another area that we can work on.

I won’t go into the broadband. I think my colleagues have mentioned it. It’s excellent, and just really great that we’re also looking at the post-2015 development framework as a real opportunity to push and encourage women and girls to benefit from ICTs.

So I’ll stop there, and thank you.

MS. ESQUE: Thank you. Obviously, we have all – a number of great ideas to explore here, and that’s really the beauty of the next hours that you have together, is to take some of these wonderful sparks and explore them together and see how we can truly move forward.

I’m going to look and – Ann Mei, do we have time for questions or no?

We do not. Okay, well, please join me in thanking our panelists. And sorry we ran out of time, but thank you all for your wonderful remarks. (Applause.) And thank you.

# # #

The International Working Forum on Women, Information and Communication Technologies, and Development

Co-hosted by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and UN Women

Opening Plenary, Launch of Intel’s “Women and the Web Report,” and Panel Discussion on “The Internet Gender Gap”

January 10, 2013

Institute for International Education (IIE)
Washington, D.C.

Speakers: Melanne Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Ann Mei Chang (Department of State, Office of Global Women’s Issues), Jennifer Breslin (UN Women), Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett (UN Women), Maura O’Neill (U.S Agency for International Development), Kathy Calvin (UN Foundation), David Edelsteing (Grameen Foundation), Jeni Klugman (World Bank), Shelly Esque (Intel Corporation), Renee Wittemyer (Intel Corporation), Lawrence Yanovitch (GSMA America), Minerva Novero-Belec, (United Nations Development Program, UNDP) Gary Fowlie (Office of International Telecommunication Union to the United Nations).

MS. CHANG: (In progress.) I’m thrilled to welcome you all here today from around the world. I think we’re here from five continents. I will have much to say later, but without further ado, I wanted to introduce my boss and my hero, the first Ambassador-At-Large for Global Women’s Issues, appointed by Secretary Clinton, Melanne Verveer. (Applause.)

AMBASSADOR VERVEER: Well, good morning, everybody. I can’t think of a better place to be this morning. The energy and excitement and commitment manifested in this room is not just heartwarming, I think it’s a sign of all the good that is going to come out of this event. I want to add my thanks to IIE for enabling us to come together in this special place.

And I want to say a few personal words about Ann Mei Chang, who had come to our office as a fellow after many years at Google, and literally didn’t have a job description when she first arrived. I said, “Just go and think of the possibilities of that nexus between women, technology, development, and all of the things that you all know so well.” And I can’t say enough about the leadership that she has provided. I don’t know if you know this, but typical of her, she is heading off to Kenya for about three months to work with our Embassy there in that laboratory in the developing world. Speaking of the nexus of technology and development, it’s certainly happening in Kenya. So we wish you well, Ann Mei, and we will look forward to having you back here telling us all what to do.

As you all know so well, this would not have been possible without so many in this room. And I also want to add a special thanks to UN Women, which has provided strong leadership in this area. I remember very early on after Michelle Bachelet was named the new head of UN Women, she was doing a panel on women and technology. I think that sent a very strong signal about how critically important these issues are to women’s empowerment. And I think you will agree that there has been no more tireless advocate on these issues than Secretary Clinton, who has really pushed us as far as we can go in both creating public/private partnerships as this is, all of us coming together; multilateral organizations are here, private sector representatives are here, (and we’re all looking forward to Intel’s launch of its extraordinary new study); government is here; civil society is here, and I think this is really, as she so often says, the way we need to work together going forward. Government doesn’t have all the answers, private sector doesn’t have all the answers, but together we bring our competencies, our resources, and we can really achieve far more than we could working alone.

Certainly in this area of technology, we know increasingly that it is one of the highest potential ways to address some of the still tough development challenges we confront. Not to embrace this area is to really be pushed backwards as we advance into this 21st century. In many ways, this is the great equalizer. Should we fail to close the gaps that are already occurring, we will fail in so many other ways as well.

As Ann Mei said, you represent not just participants from the United States here today, but you’re here from five continents bringing a wealth of experience. Out of today, I hope will come that kind of new collaboration, the creation of new networks, strategies, and commitments to propel this work forward in the many days ahead.

I just want to mention some broad topics – a few of them – that hopefully will be the subject of much of your discussion because I think in many ways these areas say a lot about the potential of ICT and also a lot about the imperative as to why we need to work that much harder.

First of all, in terms of possibilities of women in ICT, we need to work more on the access issue. Shelly Esque and her colleagues at Intel will shortly tell us about what they have learned from this remarkable new data — this new study — that will be released today on access and the internet. We already know, from a study on mobile technology, that there is a growing gender gap in both of these areas and more, I’m sure. I think not to address the potential for moving forward, because of access to these critical ICT tools, would be to shortchange progress and the prospect for a better world.

This is why a couple of years ago, Secretary Clinton launched mWomen, which was an initiative based on what came out of another study. I have every expectation that with this Intel study, we will continue to keep the urgency of this topic before us and others who aren’t in this room.

The project emanating from the mWomen study was a recognition that 300 million fewer women had access to mobile technology than men. And GSMA, which was pivotal to this study, as was the Cherie Blair Foundation, came together with USAID and the State Department to look at ways we are working together– the private sector doing its piece, USAID doing the kind of development work it does, the State Department engaging diplomatically, all coming together to figure out what can be done to, in the next – in three years – to begin to half that 300 million. And we are on our way, from all of the measurements that have been put in place, to do just that.

The second area, which is so closely related to access, is what this represents for development. And that’s what, in many ways, is so exciting about today, women, development, and ICT. I learned a lot when we were preparing for the mWomen launch and that is the extraordinarily important role that that tool—mobile technology, a simple cell phone—can play in terms of development.

Women–and I have seen this firsthand–who are entrepreneurs at that lowest level of economic activity, are using this simple technology, even illiterate women, to learn, for example, what the weather’s going to be, which will highly influence their crop work on a given day. Or it will tell them where the market is, so they’re not walking five miles in vain only to find out there was no market. They are using it as a tool for literacy teaching, literacy learning, using it for vital health information. I know there are people here very active in the health field and what ICT represents – the difference between life and death often is that kind of vital information that might not otherwise be available, but for what that simple cell phone. It is also a tool to protect women from violence, an alert system.

Imagine what we think of microcredit. I can remember not that many years ago it was an idea; it had some small impact. It has turned out to be transformative. Imagine if through this technology the poor of the world, who are still mostly unbanked, become banked, and you can safely, if you’re poor, make financial transactions keep your savings safe, move money from an urban job to the village where your family is, wherever it is, the prospect of this money now being available in ways that can have an extraordinary impact. I don’t think we’ve even scratched the surface of the possibilities. And that’s just mobile technology.

I know all of these things fit together today, but the Internet will loom even larger than italready has. And it takes your breath away to think about the role social media has played in literally changing the face of countries–what’s happened in terms of self-determination. So we are talking about something today that is so big that I don’t think we fully grasp it, no matter where we sit. It is going to be up to all of us and so many more to really blaze this trail a lot further down the line to even greater possibilities.

Lastly, I think the prospects for economic opportunities and ICT are just mindboggling. When Edie was up here talking about women’s economic empowerment– and we’ve done a lot of work at the State Department in terms of growing women’s entrepreneurship and looking at hurdles that women confront–as vital as that entrepreneurship is to growing GDP and jobs all over the world, access to technology grows the possibilities. There’s a whole array of jobs that would transform lives if they were accessible in ways that women would benefit from the new opportunities, even including digital microwork. There are some extraordinary examples today of people who hardly comprehend what it is you all know so well, and yet are earning a livelihood that they could not have imagined, have imagined in terms of digital microwork and other kinds of work.

We at State have initiated several programs. One is TechWomen and one is TechGirls. And these emanated from people like yourselves. I went to Silicon Valley several years ago, early in my new job at the time, and I sat with a group of the leaders in your business and I discussed the possibilities for women globally and to a person–and these were names you often read about in the business page–what did they all want to do? They said please tell us how we can transfer what we know to help others in the developing world.

The light bulbs went off, and I thought wouldn’t it be great if we could bring some women who were at the beginning stages of growing technology – growing the technology field or businesses in their countries to work with these extraordinary people in Silicon Valley. And out of that came “TechWomen,” the first group, were about 25 women from the Middle East, who spent close to a month in the United States, learning how they can grow their expertise and skills and apply their new knowledge. Then months later we launched, “TechGirls,” and you never met a more enthusiastic group of people than the very young women, who were now fully aware they were on the cusp of something that they couldn’t yet touch but they could taste, and now it was becoming real in their lives. These commitments go forward, but I think they are just a small example of what is possible when we collaborate.

So I hope that I will hear what comes out of this effort over the next many hours, to which you’ve all committed yourselves, and that the new networks, the collaborations, the strategies will be so robust and lead to such new ways of making a difference, to transformative developments that as we all look back to today we will say, “I was present at the creation.” Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

MS. BRESLIN: Good morning, everyone. I’m Jennifer Breslin from UN Women and it’s a pleasure to see everyone here today and to finally meet many with whom we’ve been having conversations over the last few months, and I look forward to the next two days of work. Also a big thank you to IIE for all their tremendous support in making this come to life and a possibility.

So, it’s my pleasure to introduce this morning Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett, who is the director of the programming division for UN Women, prior to which she was in the Executive Director’s office and led the transition of UN Women, so was there at the birth of our organization and helped shape it. So, welcome Gulden, and thank you everyone. (Applause.)

MS. TURKOZ-COSSLETT: Good morning, and thank you very much for coming. It’s – as Ambassador Verveer said, I do also feel that I’m at the beginning of something and it’s a very exciting energy. As soon as I walked in I felt it, and I think so did many of you. So UN Women looks forward to this endeavor with you and also thanks Ambassador Verveer, her leadership as always, and we’re very pleased to partner with you and your team, and with all of you in this room today.

So it’s a pleasure to welcome everyone to this forum on Women and ICTs and development and we’re very happy to have such an impressive group of participants gathered to address these issues today.

I would like to briefly highlight why UN Women sees advancing gender equality through ICTs not only as an opportunity but as a necessity. The degree of attention, the extent of investments, and the progress around women in ICTs is definitely an underdeveloped resource. As Ambassador Verveer said, it’s untapped, and there’s just so much we can get out of it, especially given the enormous potential of technology and its increasing role in shaping society. We see ICTs as instrumental to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

The creation of this coalition is a real welcome development. Your commitment, ideas, and actions will deepen our collective work in this area and make ICTs a key strategy for women’s empowerment. When looking at the entry points, and Ambassador Verveer mentioned them so I’m not going to go into the details, we can highlight many, many examples where their application has led to improvements in the quality of lives of women. Whether it’s through improved livelihoods and economic empowerment through access in technologies as a productive resource, tool for accessing services, or improving education and learning, we see ICT uses in advancing women’s political participation, which many of you know is one of the top priorities of our executive director, Michelle Bachelet.

We’ve seen how through the use of ICTs women have more political awareness, they have more access to news, information, increased engagement with government and political movements, and it helps them as a tool, as politicians, to more effectively campaign and engage with their constituencies.

In the area of ending violence against women, to bring in just an example from UN Women’s work, one of the grantees we’re supporting in Guatemala has been using an app which allows girls to report on incidences of violence or harassment on their way to school through their mobile phones. So there’s so many uses that we can just go on and on and how it’s really helping women.

But what’s also very exciting to explore is the promise of ICTs in supporting broad pathways for women’s empowerment that actually offer transformative potential across multiple spheres. These include exposure to new ideas, connections to knowledge previously unavailable, women’s sense of connection to their wider communities, and their ability to organize, changing narratives, perceptions, stereotypes through engagements, and acknowledgement of the reality of these women’s lives in their local context.

For example, the work we’ve done in building digital literacy in Latin America, the women involved have cited new skills and knowledge they obtained helped them increase their sense of confidence, their independence to become driving forces in making improvements within their own communities. One woman said, “ICTs are a tool to fight discrimination against women in a holistic way.” And while we can make a very positive case, so too must we highlight the risks of not pursuing the intersection of gender and ICTs.

As dialogue, engagement, channels of influence, and delivery of services move ever more online, women face the potential of further marginalization and exclusion. Moreover, they are not currently present in governance of ICTs. And we are compounding the structural constraints women face if we don’t do something about this.

In looking forward, we need to more systematically and holistically harness ICTs towards the transformative empowerment of women. The coalition’s objectives of identifying, building on norms, policies, evidence, gaps, and looking forward to where we want to go through a results-driven approach will help guide such considerations and corresponding commitments. The report being launched today will contribute enormously to this process, and we’re very much looking forward to the launch in the next couple of minutes.

I would like to wish you, on behalf of UN Women, a very productive and creative meeting. I know it will be very creative. I can offer UN Women’s assurance that we’re committed to the objectives of this forum through our own policy and program work at country level, and through partnerships with gender advocates on the ground, the public and private sectors, and the wider United Nations system. Thank you very much. (Applause.)

MS. BRESLIN: Thank you. And with that, I’m going to turn this over to our opening panel, which I’m thrilled to hear from, some of the leaders in the thinking on women in ICT in this space. Maura O’Neill is the Chief Innovation Officer – did I get that right? – at USAID, and leading some of the most exciting work happening at USAID, and she’ll be moderating the panel. So, Maura.

MS. O’NEILL: Thanks, (inaudible). I’m just going to make two or three minutes of opening remarks and then we’re going to have a great conversation that (inaudible). Oh, okay. So I’m just going to say two or three minutes of things and then we’re going to open it up to this. But I think that it wouldn’t – would be appropriate to take just a minute because there’s going to be a huge transition in the next month of one of the world leaders on women and championing women and girls in ICT and that is Secretary Clinton, and by extension, Ambassador Verveer. They have both spent their entire lives devoted tirelessly to this issue, and I fundamentally believe that we wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t through the bold vision and courage of those two women. So if we could just take a minute and recognize them. (Applause.)

Never, never could we say enough about you, Melanne, or your boss. It just is so extraordinary. When I sat down there I tweeted out a line that said, “What if we built the interstate highways and we actually didn’t give women the access to cars to drive on it?” And I think that’s what we’re actually dealing with today. And nothing more fundamental than that with respect to mobile access or the internet. So I think that we need to understand what’s at stake here. I know everybody in this room does, but we’ve got to multiply our numbers by thousands and thousands.

I won’t talk about access because the Ambassador did. We are enormously proud to have partnered with GSMA and their leadership on behalf of the mobile industry, and the Cherie Blair foundation around relentlessly trying to break this gender gap on mobile home ownership. And for those of you who don’t know, we have a fantastic design challenge now out. It’s closed, so no longer can the geeks in you or that you know participate, but look forward to in a month at the mobile Congress finding out who won, and that is a new user interface for women – particularly illiterate women – on a handset. So we got some fantastic entries, and I’m privileged to be one of the judges, so we’re excited about taking a look. So stay tuned for an amazing announcement in a little bit and another announcement along that.

But I do just want to touch on one thing because I think we that we can’t underestimate – I spent the opening remarks talking about role models, and I think we can’t underestimate the power of role models. What we know is in the research on STEM and on ICT, that women and girls look to say, “Are there people like us that are there that I can model and I can think about?” So we have an amazing set here in Shelly Esque and Ambassador Verveer and our own speaker from UN Women and our panel and a few good men that we think are extraordinary partners in this.

But let me just talk about three real quick because I bet you that at least two out of the three and certainly one out of the three you probably never heard of, and I think they’re the kind of hope for us. So there’s a 25 year old women who’s the CEO of the Afghan Citadel Software Company; her name is Roya Mahboob. She’s emerged as a leader in ICT and computer science in Afghanistan. She’s one of the only female CEOs, and she’s focusing on growing her company on creating jobs for ICT graduates in one of the places in the world for which we still have a long ways to go with respect to opportunities for women.

Those of you who were struck as an stunned as I was and everybody around the world when Malala in Pakistan stood up for the rights of women – for girls to have access to education, it was so incredible for her to become a Time’s Person of the Year Runner-up and really begin to do that momentum. I was in Hollywood about a month ago and I was talking to a friend of mine that’s one of the top entertainment lawyers; his wife is from Afghanistan and he is an African American from the U.S., and they just thought – and their daughter was born about two weeks after she was shot, long before they knew actually whether she would live, and they decided to name their daughter after her and to commit their life to girls’ education. And so I think it’s really incredible the impact that one person can have in doing that. I have kids so I apologize for tearing up.

Anyway, the last one is a women who I had the opportunity to get to know about a month ago in – at the White House. We had a data jam for development and I’m really sick and tired – it was fine when I was 22 and they said there wasn’t any women who could be in positions of influence and power. At 56, I increasingly get unbelievably frustrated and sometimes quite furious about it. And so – just so in case anybody doesn’t know that there are plenty of women for leadership positions in the world and in the pipeline, you should meet Jessica Colosso who is a TED Fellow, a Top-40 Women Under-40 from Nairobi – she will blow your mind in terms of how charismatic she is. She is a tech geek in the best sense of the word, and her passion, particularly for mobile, is getting more women into the field. And I think you probably know her, Ann Mei, and we’ll have an opportunity to get to know her more.

So as we kick off this panel, we have a female Afghan CEO, we have a Time Person of the Year Runner-up from Pakistan, and we have a Top-40 Under-40 as an inspiring entrepreneur in Nairobi. That’s the kind of power that there is to change the world. So with that, I’d like to sit down and engage our panel in an interesting conversation because in their own right, each and every one of the people I have the opportunity to be on this panel today with, are courageous leaders as well. (Applause.)

So I’d actually like you all to turn on your microphones because the deal we made was that we would make this as interactive as possible. So you should feel free to interrupt, disagree, add – did I not turn on mine? Oh, okay. (Laughter.)

PARTICIPANT: (Off mike.)

MS. O’NEILL: Oh, I see. You just observed. Okay. Glad some tech person’s paying attention. (Laughter.) Here, all right, well, if yours is off and you want to jump in just push the red light.

So to my immediate right, I have David Edelstein from Grameen Foundation, Kathy Calvin who had a real leadership role in the UN Foundation and has now just been announced to be the head of it. So we’re excited about that. And Jeni Klugman from the World Bank.

So let me just jump in with Kathy. So you’ve heard a lot about the emerging field of women in ICT; UN Foundation has been a real leader in this. What do you see as some of both of promising developments in the things that keep you up at night in this area that you still are deeply worried about making a change in?

MS. CALVIN: Great. And thank you, Maura, what – I mean, Chief Innovation Officer, government – how great is that? (Laughter.) I just took my whole team of senior leaders over to have an hour and half tutorial with Maura on how do you bring innovation to an institution. I was sort of thinking about the UN, but even the UN Foundation. We all need to learn to think about entrepreneurship and innovation, and I just salute you for helping open those doors for everybody. It’s exciting; and thank you Gulden and Melanne for kicking us off today with two women who’ve really shown leadership not only for women but for all people, but using women and girls as the vehicle.

But one of my colleagues calls what we are about to talk about “Probatunities” – problems that are really opportunities. And that’s sort of how I think of this field. And I also hearken back to a guy named Marc Andreessen – who was the founder of Netscape, one of the early internet pioneers – who said, as we were sort of creating AOL, where I worked at the time, “You know Kathy, at some point people are going to stop talking about the technology and just talking about what we’re trying to get done.” And I think that’s one of the probatunities here, is – it’s – and he said, “People won’t say, ‘Wow, that was a good piece of toast. What was your source of electricity for it?’” It’s really about the outcome.

And so we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the outcome of health and how did we break the problem of getting women to health and thought instead about how to get health to women. And that led us down the path of creating the mHealth Alliance, which is a group of people from the industry, private sector, NGOs, academics and others. It’s run by Dr. Patty Mechael, who many of you know. And the goal is simply to change the enabling environment, whether it’s a matter of public will, political will, whether it’s prioritizing health and women, whether it’s setting the goals for everybody in ensuring that we have a clear priority on three As: affordable, adequate, and accessible health. And when you put those together, you have nowhere to go but using the tool that’s in so many people’s hands already and then ensuring that those people who don’t have it have it. So access is critical.

MS. O’NEILL: So Kathy, what – so access is critical. So how do we get there?

MS. CALVIN: Yeah.

MS. O’NEILL: So if that’s the problem, what’s potentially part of the solution.

MS. CALVIN: So I think what we’ve all been doing in the past, and one reason we kind of came to the alliance is everybody here was trying pilots. And I think that’s the way we all start, and they have to happen. We now need to find those common learnings and figure out what it takes to scale them. And I think one of the lessons is you’ve got to get the governments in the countries where we can make a difference to change rules about regulations and standards. Because cost, even in a place like Ghana, where it’s so great to see MOTECH bringing a tool to women who are pregnant to remind them of their things, but even at nine cents for the nine months of their pregnancy, it’s too expensive for a donor to make that available. So we have to do something that changes the economics.

MS. O’NEILL: Changes the game in some way.

MS. CALVIN: Yes. Right.

MS. O’NEILL: That’s great.

David, you have focused a lot on mobile phones and obviously see it as an especially effective enabler of addressing social problems. Can you give us some examples that you have seen on specific barriers to effective use of mobile phones by women and some of the things – the bright lights that you’re excited about?

MR. EDELSTEIN: Sure. Thank you. And I’ll speak to – MOTECH in Ghana is a great example – and a price barrier is one of access, literacy, being able to use a phone, being able to have that access. And what we’ve seen very pragmatically is that by having some form of peer, a mentor, the role model that you spoke to, Maura, having those people engaged in the interactions with women goes a long way. And we’ve seen – to overcome the literacy, numeracy problems, we’ve seen that having voice-generated messages and even having listening groups, because not only do you have to be able to use the phone, but you need to be able to use it in terms of functionality, and by getting women together to listen to messages –

MS. CALVIN: Yeah. That’s what I thought was interesting. I was just in Bangladesh. We are very excited about a program that we conceived and brought to scale called MAMA mobile for maternal action. And we actually won the Fast Company Innovation Award. And I was in a home of some woman who was five months pregnant and who was – and she was actually paying for this, it was two cents a week. And to your point, David, she said that she actually – she can choose to get a text message or she can choose to get a recorded voice message. And she was one of 67 percent of the population who actually choose to get the integrated voice message.

MR. EDELSTEIN: So we give that option. Ninety-eight percent in Ghana chose the voice message. And another barrier in terms of having the women listen to the message is actually addressing the man in the family from the outset. And we focus on maternal and newborn care, and found that the men in the families weren’t giving access to the women – the phones to the women. So what we did was we started targeting from the outset the maternal care, focusing on the man and the woman and having the posters and the general announcements we had about the service being targeted to both. So – and this is a theme throughout our work and work –

MS. O’NEILL: We also found mother-in-laws and healthcare workers were part of the gatekeepers for that as well. So that’s great.

Jeni, can you pass me my phone so that I fulfill my responsibility to Ann Mei to actually end this thing on time? So I get asked again to be a moderator someday.

So Jeni, the World Bank has just done amazing work in ICT and also increasingly in gender. What are some of the examples? We talked about access. I know that’s something that you spend a lot of time thinking about and the World Bank is worried about. Tell us something about the World Bank and access to ICT and gender.

MS. KLUGMAN: Thanks very much. And it’s great to be here, and the intersections between gender and ICT, which I think is an important frontier. And I’m very cognizant that almost everyone in the room is much more familiar with these issues probably than I am, so I’m learning a lot already.

On the access side, the Bank has been doing some important world. But what I actually wanted to highlight are some interesting examples in terms of accountability and voice. As you know, the World Bank does a lot of work with governments, with ministries of finance, for example. And one of the areas where transparency and accountability is very important is with respect to budgets. So just to through another, if you like, front into the conversation, I wanted to mention the example from Brazil and Rio Grande do Sul, where citizens were invited to participate in a crowd-sourcing kind of policy development exercise around health. And so it’s linked again to this health thing. And within 30 days, they had something like 1,300 proposals from citizens, more than 120,000 votes were cast. And so this is kind of exciting in itself, but the other interesting dimension is that they also collected data on who was participating. And more than half of those participating were women and also reaching often hard to reach groups. So I think this is quite a nice example of, if you like, engagement and policy processes, in particular around health here.

There’s another nice example from the Dominican Republic, Jarabacoa, where they used a text outreach campaign to increase participation in budgeting again, which was specifically targeted at women. So I think that’s quite a nice front, if you like, to complement what we’re thinking about in terms of service delivery and entrepreneurship in terms of kind of transparency and accountability of government.

But I think one important point to raise – and I think it might be something for the conversations and the breakouts this afternoon – is to what extent these opportunities to participate via messaging and so on, if you like, substitute for kind of deeper ongoing engagement because it can be somewhat controversial. Is sending a text the same as being able to participate in the meeting or have ongoing engagement? So I think it’s quite interesting to think about to what extent we see these as, if you like, complements or substitutes for kind of deeper ways of (inaudible).

MS. O’NEILL: I think that’s very interesting, because when I was in Bangladesh talking to this women and I asked her what – one, I asked her what messages she found most valuable. She said drink a glass of warm milk at night before I go to bed and save money. So I felt that was interesting. But I asked her what does the service not do that you wish. And she said, I wish I could access a healthcare worker thorough it. So it’s your issue of – and (inaudible) when we called it clicks to bricks, that mobile is extremely valuable and ICT is extremely valuable, but it doesn’t entirely substitute for a service component that can support it, which I think is what you’re talking about, Jeni.

Let me see if any of the panelists have some more insight into what Kathy raised, which is we’ve all had pilot-it is in development. And at the end of the day, we’re only going to make a difference, we’re only going to do the Green Revolution or rehydration therapy or frankly, even mobile phones if we bring this to scale. So what thoughts and perspectives do any of you have on how it is that we figure out how to get to scale sooner rather than later?

Jeni, did you want to –

MS. KLUGMAN: Well, I think an important part of the kind of, if you like, the evolution exercise is having rigorous impact evaluations in place. There are loads of pilots, but oftentimes we hear about them from people who have implemented the pilots, and maybe –

MS. O’NEILL: And it was all good, right?

MS. KLUGMAN: It was all good. (Laughter.) (Inaudible.) We don’t hear about the problems. We don’t hear about possible issues around kind of scale and (inaudible) and so on. So I think that impact evaluations are expensive, but I think in order to get a really good handle of who’s benefiting, what are the constraints, the qualitative data, kind of talking to people as well as having the hard numbers, that’s incredibly persuasive with respect to governments and also with respect to staff who are working in these development agencies. So I think World Bank staff, AID staff and others want to do good things, and so if you can provide them with going beyond, if you like, anecdotal evidence, the kind of rigorous studies which actually show we did X, we did Y, and it had these benefits over this period of time has enormous potential.

MS. O’NEILL: So what I hear you saying is before you scale, let’s figure out actually the evidence of what works first. Because that’s the first building block.

Kathy.

MS. CALVIN: Well, I think one of the good things about the MAMA initiative is that it’s in three different countries, and we’re going to have some learning between them. So that’s exciting, because I think that often doesn’t happen. The pilots get stuck and that shared learning doesn’t happen.

And I think the other thing about the use of mobile and as the internet itself changes is that the analytics I think are going to get more sophisticated. I mean we got into this because we saw WHO workers righting on a piece of paper that they’d run out of a vaccine or condoms or something and three months later that piece of paper got somewhere. And then we discovered, oh, if they had phones in their pockets, they could just send this.

But if you take that mobile analytics further and people are reporting on things that are happening, sexual violence on the way to school, good service or bad service and actual compliance with taking drugs, I think we’re just going to see a huge new change. That may, in fact, drive more, because we need to have those data. So I’m wondering if we’re going to come back to data as a driver for the next phase.

MS. O’NEILL: I think so. And we have started a whole mobile data initiative, because the issue is we had asked ourselves on our own contracts who owns the data that our contractors are developing, and can we put it in an open data format so that everybody could have access and use it so everybody could benefit on where that stockouts are. And so we found that we had language in our contracts, but we actually hadn’t instructed people about where to put it, what machine readable form the data ought to be in. So I think that you’re raising a really important point is, if we’re going to scale we have to know what works and we have to have analytics in a way that you can get the wisdom of the crowd.

So David, what’s your experience? Obviously, Grameen became famous because they were able to scale a novel idea. What have – what insights do you have about what we should and should not do as we think about scaling?

MR. EDELSTEIN: These last 10 years we’ve been focused on how do you take solutions to scale. And four points. First is engaging scaling partners from the outset. That could be, in the case of MOTECH in Ghana, working with the Ghana health service. In Uganda, with our agriculture work, it’s working with the agricultural extension service there, having someone who can take the service to scale. That only works if there’s sustainability built in from the outset.

We talked a little bit about how to make things – services sustainable. We found that the biggest potential, especially for reaching the poor, is through creative cross-subsidization. So in our agricultural work, for example, we have community-level agricultural extension agents, effectively – we call them community knowledge workers – who collect information. That information is paid for by the World Food Program, by a coffee purchase, or by others. That cross-subsidizes the dissemination of information. And those trusted intermediaries are women serving other women farmers, which plays a crucial role.

Third is achieving the behavioral change that Jeni mentioned. We did, about five years ago, working with Google, we did just simple health information dissemination through text. And we found that what it did – we did a randomized control trial to look at the impact. We found that the impact was just reinforcing existing behaviors and that having someone who can be – to contextualize the information makes a big difference in actually bringing about behavioral change.

And the fourth is data and using real-time data to manage programs. Too often, impact assessments and just management decisions are made after the fact. And instead of what’s been called bowling in dark by Melinda Gates, seeing the results of your work several years later, by having real-time data coming out of the work, which is enabled by mobiles, you can make real-time decisions and achieve better outcomes from the effort.

MS. O’NEILL: Boy, I hadn’t heard that term, bowling in the dark. That’s fantastic. I’m going to – I’ll give her credit, but I’m going to adopt that. (Laughter.) So yeah, I think a lot about this, engaging scaling partners from the beginning. Because I’m actually an entrepreneur by background, and I told my students at UC Berkley that my next business was going to be a 12 step program for recovering entrepreneurs and I was going to be the charter member. Nobody believes me.

So I think about this a lot. And I think how does Silicon Valley do it? It’s that the people who are early stage entrepreneurs like me are different than the people who take things to scale. And there’s no more example of that than the pharma industry, where it’s Pfizer spends three or four billion dollars a year on R&D and, frankly, doesn’t get a lot of new drugs. They buy Lipitor, and it becomes their $20 billion product. And so we have a lot of early stage entrepreneurs or early stage NGOs, and we have the big players, the CARES, the World Visions, et cetera. But we haven’t found a business model. And I think that you’ve given one really important insight, is that those big players ought to be in at the very beginning, even if they aren’t the ones thinking up the idea or testing the idea, because they’re going to be able to say – to help them think about scale and maybe think about a transition that makes sense.

MR. EDELSTEIN: And it’s a sense of ownership from the outset that keeps them engaged.

MS. O’NEILL: Yeah. I think that’s a terrific idea.

MS. CALVIN: Yeah. We call that in at the takeoff, in at the landing. And it’s really – it’s the key to partnerships in my view.

The Secretary General created this initiative called “Every Woman, Every Child” two years ago, and it has an innovation working group. And part of the goal is just this, which is they’re big players in that, we haven’t connected on the innovation piece and so they’re trying to bring that into everybody who’s playing on that, whether it’s a pharma or all the other big NGOs that are in the game in order to change women’s and children’s health so that that’s now on the agenda. So I think that’s another big piece. It’s often secondary to the agenda.

MS. O’NEILL: So I’m going to go out to the audience for one or two questions, quickly, before we end. But one of the things I want to pivot to for just a second is one that Ambassador Verveer talked about. When I came into this job, I was – had spent most of my life committed, personally and professionally, to giving women all the opportunities that they could, and I’ve just now become obsessed with girls. I’ve actually switched. It’s not that I’ve given up on women, but really it’s all about girls all the time. (Laughter.)

And so let’s just talk about girls for a second, because I think I’ve also come to understand that they are the most threatening culturally, financially, politically, in a country – that kind of change. And it’s why they hold on to that group, whether it’s a family, whether it’s a government. And so what do we need to do specifically to really unleash the power and opportunity for girls around world in ICT? Anybody?

MS. CALVIN: Go ahead, Jeni, and I’ll jump in.

MS. KLUGMAN: I just wanted to kind of endorse the focus on girls and particularly adolescent girls, because that seems to be a critical period, if you like, where often kind of life-changing decisions are being made or are made for these girls. We’ve been partnering with the Nike Foundation on something called the Adolescent Girls Initiative accompanied by rigorous impact evaluations on a range of quite difficult circumstances around the world like Afghanistan, South Sudan, and so on, and focusing very much on school-to-work transitions and enabling those transitions. And in some of those cases, there have been ICT kind of aspects involved, but a lot of it I think actually was much more kind of face-to-face and bringing people together in terms of networking and so on. So I’ll need to go back and check and see how we’re using that.

I guess the other obvious part, obviously, is around schooling. There are some nice examples from Pakistan and from elsewhere of the use of ICT in schooling and also follow-up, for example, reminding girls to kind of to study, to do their homework, and so on. There was an evaluation of that work found that it very significantly improved exam scores, for example. So I think kind of the school link would be very important as well.

MS. CALVIN: And I’ll just add we’re big champions of girls from everything from our Girl Up Campaign to all the work we do at the UN. I think – the thing that I always think about with girls is that it’s not just one solution, whether it’s education or health or a voice or educate – it’s all – and to me, the technology here is the empowering thing. And where I was going to take this originally was that girls are actually – whether it’s girls and boys, that we watch it in our own country, the next generation just owns this empowering ability. And I think that’s the thing we have to play into is how do you make sure that they have the technology, because if they have it, they will use it. But girls are absolutely the key.

MR. EDELSTEIN: And it’s the access. and what’s encouraging to me – and we’ve looked at lot at savings and how to encourage savings over mobiles and found that often women aren’t able to access savings through their phones, are intimidated by the phones. They go to their kids, oftentimes their girls. And the work we’ve done in India, some extensive work there looking at doing ethnographic research, we’ve found that it is the kids and especially the girls who are – the mothers go to the girls to help them figure out how to use the phones, and there’s that intuitive ability to be using it. So provided that the access is there, we’ve seen that the kids, especially girls, make a big difference.

MS. O’NEILL: The one thing I would add is that the need for bigger aspirations and to allow adolescent girls to dream, that’s what we find often is the biggest barriers that girls live in a family and a culture in a country that doesn’t believe – doesn’t give them the opportunity to think big. And so I think that we have yet to tap into the social media, the storytelling, the visual. I know Intel has done it with a movie that’s going to premier on girls’ education. But I think that we’ve all got to look at ways that we can think about these broader mindsets that are there.

So we have exactly five minutes, and so if we could just get a couple questions. Henrietta, and then right here. We’ll just do about three questions and then we’ll have comments by the audience. If you can talk loud.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) hear from the Intel report and all that came out very clearly from our mobile gender gap studies, that in particularly in South Asia there’s a lot of work to be done. So I wondered whether you could just quickly sort of comment on how you particularly, across the institutions, work with men to actually allow women and girls increased access to tech and utilizing that as a transformative power. Thank you.

MS. O’NEILL: Great. Okay, we’ll take one more question here, I think. Yeah. And if you could – that was Henrietta Kolb from the Cherie Blair Foundation. If you could tell us your name and institution, that would be great.

QUESTION: Anaris Hinton (ph). I’ve been involved with the TechWomen Program and Technovation and other programs in the valley. A question to all of you: So the Bill Gates Foundation, especially Melinda Gates, has come up with a superbly brave stand that says no controversy in terms of contraception for girls and women, and so that’s huge. But I just want to know what your agencies can do with the use of ICT to actually get that stand to these girls, because it makes a huge difference to a woman if she has six kids versus one, right?

MS. O’NEILL: Okay. Let’s just take one more right here. Actually, I guess we’ll do some gender equality, so how about Reza. Yeah.

QUESTION: Reza Jafari, CEO of E-Development International and member of the Broadband Commission. I would like to see what the reaction of the panel is in the creation of the ecosystems, because as we all know, if we don’t have the ecosystem built in such a way that is multidimensional, multilateral, multidirectional, then we will not be able to get the messages across to the audiences like we are trying to achieve.

MS. O’NEILL: Okay. So in closing, take one or more of those questions, and you each have about 30 seconds or a minute at the most. (Laughter.) So, Jeni.

MS. KLUGMAN: Okay. Let me just pick up on the – I think the reproductive health and fertility question is very important. On the bank side, we’re focusing on the high-fertility countries, so we’ve identified, I think, 52 high-fertility countries where access to family planning, among others, is a priority in terms of bank strategies. But I think the other kind of side of the story, which is the good news, has been the kind of historically unprecedented rapidity of the decline in fertility around the world over the last, what, two, three decades or so. It’s more or less halved, I think, over time. And that’s not to say there’s still not big gaps or big kind of urban-rural gaps or some countries still where the fertility rate is closer to six or seven, but I think it is an area where there has been enormous progress. And clearly, ICTs can play an important role in this area as well.

MS. CALVIN: I just want to reiterate on that one, and the biggest number of deaths from – in maternal death is girls, and so these do have to come together, and that’s a big issue for the mHealth Alliance.

I also want to say that as we look at the post 2015 framework, there’s a lot of interest in the enabling environment and how do we ensure it’s not just the goals but all the things that have to change to create it. So I think we need to bring this into that conversation.

MR. EDELSTEIN: And let me address the first question then. Three quick examples of how we include men. I gave the one from Ghana where we, in a very public way, target men and women in mobile midwife care.

Second is in Indonesia where we have – are working with a local social entrepreneur network of now 15,000 women, almost entirely women, about 90 percent women, micro entrepreneurs who use their phones as an income-generating tool. And we found that if the women do it without their men’s knowledge, their husbands’ knowledge, the husbands will sometimes just turn off the service overnight, even if they’re earning good income. And so what we’ve done is developed a process whereby we have the men agree explicitly from the outset that the women will have this business.

And the third example is with our community knowledge worker, the ag work I mentioned. And once again, this is pulling away from the women’s responsibilities, which are staggering, from childcare, firewood, water, taking care of kids. We once again involve the men from the outset and have them explicitly give the blessing, so to speak, which is a little frustrating, but they need to do that from a cultural perspective for the women to be actively engaged in these processes and in the businesses to earn income for their families and provide the means for their families to be healthy, which is another part of why the women are – they spend the money on the right things, as we all know.

And one last point that we haven’t really talked about here but I hope does come up in discussions over the next day and a half, and that is this really important role of human networks and how the connectivity can happen between women to women, the peers, where we’ll soon be launching together with Qualcomm a mobile mentoring tool that allows women to connect to each other to address some of these challenges they’re facing in Indonesia. And I think there’s a lot of potential for that peer-to-peer connection to make a big difference.

MS. O’NEILL: So in closing, I’d like to thank Chris Burns (ph) – raise your hand – who does amazing work for USAID and women and development, Ann Mei for being the godmother of this day. And we’d like – we’d encourage everybody to continue this conversation on Twitter and other places, so we encourage you to tweet out today. There’s the hashtag right there. And please, I hope you found this last half an hour as interesting as I did, and I think that we ran only two minutes over, so pretty good. (Laughter.) But please join me in thanking the panel. (Applause.)

MS. CHANG: Thank you so much, Maura, David, Kathy, and Jeni. That was really interesting and inspiring. I’m thrilled now to turn the floor over to Intel for the launch of their Women and the Web report. This is a report that I’ve been eagerly awaiting and anticipating for a long time. Ever since the mWomen came out by the GSMA and the Cherie Blair Foundation three years ago, I’ve been itching for a report like this that really looks at the gender gap for internet in addition to mobile phones.

So with no further ado, I’m going to turn it over to Shelly Esque VP of Corporate – sorry, I don’t remember – Corporate Affairs at Intel. And I – sorry, I’m going to load your presentation as you start.

MS. ESQUE: That’s great. Thanks, Amy. Well, good morning. It’s an honor and a pleasure to be here today with all of you experts in this field. And as we’ve heard from so many of the speakers, we feel like we’re at the birth of something and we’re happy to deliver something to you today. So on your chair is our new report, and we definitely want to thank UN Women and the State Department for allowing us to use this forum to add this data to the conversation, because as we all know, we need a foundation of good information in order to truly make progress and to solve these problems together.

So we’ve heard already today about the power of the internet, the power of women and girls having access to information, and how it empowers their lives, access to economic opportunity, access to education and health. I don’t think there’s any dispute about that. We’ve also had the notion as people who work in this area that there was this huge and growing gap. And what we tried to do through this report was to finally analyze that gap and bring forth information in an easy-to-use format so that we all can start with the same basis of knowledge.

So we’re very proud that we were able to consult with the State Department Office of Global Women’s Issues, UN Women, and World Pulse, a global network for women, to create this report. And we also want to recognize the research team who’s here from Dalberg and GlobeScan who did, of course, much of the heavy lift to put this together.

Through this report, we really want to try to create a deeper understanding of women’s access to and use of the internet as well as look at the barriers. As we’ve heard here today, there’s many barriers and constraints that women are facing, and we see this as an important step to bring about true change. Of course, the report is just the beginning. As we talked about the metaphor of birth, we really want to be a part of the conversation as we move through today to talk about actions and how do we close this gap together. And as the Ambassador shared with us, I think we all in this room believe it’s the public-private partnerships, it’s the bringing together of all the entities who have interests, and you can think about sustainable models that will really bring this to fruition. So we’re very excited to start it today with you.

The study was based on interviews with 2,200 women in developing countries as well as an examination of existing databases, of which there are many. And many of you in this room were a part of the interviews, and we really appreciate your insights. We want to walk through the findings real briefly to just try to set the stage. As I mentioned, the report is on your chair and of course available on the web.

So I’d like to introduce Renee Wittemyer, who is the lead researcher from Intel who put this report together and drove the effort. She was also just named – I’ll just embarrass her for a minute – one of Nine Most Influential Women in Technology from ChipChick. But also Beyonce was on the list, so Renee, Beyonce. (Laughter.) So we’re real excited Renee is here from Intel to share the findings with you today.

Renee.

MS. WITTEMYER: Thank you, Shelly, for that wonderful introduction. (Laughter.) So as Shelly said, we have been motivated by the fact that the internet has this transformative power and everyone in this room understands the implications that can have for girls and women. And so we’ve seen anecdotally the fact that there is this divide, there’s been data on this, but a lot of it we’ve seen has been old. And so we were very motivated to get fresh data, to get a fresh look at this, and really quantify, as someone on the panel earlier, to have that quantified evidence that we can bring to the table and bring to the conversation.

And so just to set the context, I wanted to give you a sense of the global internet access picture. And so globally there’s 2.4 billion internet users around the world, but developing countries in particular lag behind. And to give you a sense of comparison, if you look at a country like India, it has 11 percent internet penetration, a country like Uganda has 13 percent penetration. Relative to that, places like the United States has 78 percent penetration and Iceland has 97 percent internet penetration, so that there is this unevenness in distribution.

And in particular, we were interested in understanding women’s access to the internet and their use of it. And what we found through our research is that 23 percent fewer women are online in developing countries than men, and this represents 200 million fewer women than men who are online today. And so to put that in context, there’s 1.4 billion internet users in the developing countries, and 800 million of those are men and 600 million are women. So there is this significant gender gap. And that soars to a gender gap of almost 45 percent in places like Sub-Saharan Africa or 33 percent in South Asia, almost 30 percent in Central Asia and Europe. So it is quite significant around the world.

Now, if internet usage increases at the same rate for both men and women as today, in the course of three years, that gender gap will increase from 200 million women today who are not online to 350 million women in the course of three years. And so this is a critical time period for action. And – so we’re very excited for the course of the next two days to really engage with experts as yourself and leaders who are at the intersection of technology and women, to really think about how can we catalyze action.

So the report looked at a set of factors that influenced internet access, and in particular, a set of challenges that women face, as well as the types of outcomes that are beneficial, that could occur when women do have access. So for example, in the factors influencing internet access, we looked at that at both an individual level for the woman herself, as well as a macro level, so the broader environment, ecosystem-type factors. And in terms of the individual woman herself, awareness was a critical factor: the ability to understand what’s on the internet, what is it useful for, and how can it benefit your life. Our report showed that approximately a quarter of the women that we surveyed in four countries – in Egypt, Mexico, Uganda, and India – thought that they were just simply weren’t interested in the internet. They didn’t see what the benefits could be to them.

Another factor that influences access is ability. So, how do I use the internet? How do I use technologies to gain some of these benefits? And 40 percent of the women that we surveyed who were not online indicated a lack of familiarity as a barrier. And then at the environment, some of these gender-based barriers, cultural norms that are ingrained. What our survey found was that one in five women in India and in Egypt felt that the Internet was quote-unquote “inappropriate” for them, and if they used it, their families would not approve. So these gender-based barriers are quite real.

And then at a macro level, in terms of some of those challenges, there’s two critical factors that influence women’s access to the internet: affordability and availability. They’re across the board. And many of our women that we surveyed indicated that it simply wasn’t affordable. They could not – they didn’t have the capital to spend on the internet. Things like policies at a macro level as well were very critical, things in terms of integrating gender-based issues.

In terms of beneficial outcomes, we found that at an individual level, things like self-esteem and expression were key benefits. So women felt – women that we surveyed in those countries felt that the internet made them more self-confident, gave them a greater voice, and an ability to express themselves beyond just their communities. It also gave them opportunities in terms of economic opportunities, job opportunities, opportunities for further education, and it also gave them a sense of a network, a powerful network as groups like World Post (ph) are very intimately involved in this idea that there are women around the world who share your challenges and you can discuss some of your issues with them.

At an ecosystem level, economic development is a very clear benefit from women’s access to the internet, and our study found that if we doubled the number of women online in the course of three years, this could have GDP benefits ranging between $13 billion and $18 billion annually across 144 countries. So it’s profound, the amount that that has at a macro level.

And then things like gender equality as well. We – everyone in this room knows that repeatedly, investing in a woman has these broader benefits for her family, her community, and society. And so that is what we found as well. Interestingly, in regions where the internet has been available longer, we found that women’s benefits in terms of ability to search for a job, ability to expand networks, and earn additional income, were greater.

So the report outlines these factors influencing internet access, the types of benefits that occur, but it also calls for action. And the call to action is really to come together collectively to double the number of women online within three years. And what we found was, over the course of three years, if there was no concerted action, 450 million women are set to come online through organic growth. But if we did collectively come together through a global effort to address the internet gender gap, we could actually double the number of women online of today. So that would increase the women online of 20 percent of women in developing countries online to 40 percent in three years.

In order to do that, we would need to make the internet more accessible, more affordable, more convenient, secure, and engaging for women. And it would require collaboration and leadership among all sectors, ranging from policy makers, civil society, governments, private sector, development agencies, coming together, as Melanne said right from the start of this two-day session. It’s a perfect time to think through some of these ideas of making this happen. And it also requires this commitment to action. The report outlines a whole set of recommendations, ranging from making platforms more affordable to investing in girls’ education.

So in terms of some of the recommendations, I wanted to just kind of outline some of the things. And actually it’s interesting that the report was being developed as some of the work stream topics for this two-day session were being developed; many of them are overlapping. So in terms of awareness, one of those challenges, really developing relevant content, make – addressing the access issue around content, making content free, addressing ability issues, investing in digital literacy and information literacy, addressing some of those ingrained cultural norms in the environment, so some of those underlying inequalities underlying the barriers, and then also addressing some of the safety issues. Our respondents talked about the fact that accessing the internet in these shared access points is just not safe or considered inappropriate, addressing some of those types of things as well.

And then at a macro level, really thinking about working with governments in developing national broadband plans that address gender concerns, addressing some of those market constraints at a policy level around affordability. And then from a data perspective, this is just the beginning, really thinking about how can we get more gender disaggregated data on this topic through a course of partnerships, public/private partnerships, and collaboration among all of you in this room. And so that will really – with this concerted effort, that would really lead to getting that 40 percent of women online in developing countries, and really getting them to benefit and from the transformative power of the internet.

And so I just want to thank, again, the State Department and UN Women for the amazing input that they gave when we consulted with them on this report. Both Ann Mei and Jennifer (ph) have been phenomenal contributors, from a thought-leader perspective, as well as Dahlberg (ph) and GlobeScan for their wonderful work as the research team.

So you can download the report on our website. You have a copy, and you can also follow us on Twitter at @Intelinvolved. Thank you. (Applause.)

MS. ESQUE: In a minute, we’re going to invite a distinguished group of panelists to come and have a discussion about the implications for moving forward together. But we want to just open it up if there are a couple quick questions about the report itself. Yes, way in the back.

QUESTION: (Off mike.)

MS. ESQUE: Maybe we can get the mike back there.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) question on mobile access. What are you finding? What’s the data here? I’m assuming that you can hear me fine because I have a loud voice. So talk about mobile data, or mobile – internet access via mobile devices, any data that you are finding or that you found, in particular, given that’s the primary means of access to the internet for the majority of people, and particularly women, in the world.

MS. WITTEMYER: So we were looking across platforms. So we look at mobile, we looked at computers, and we looked at devices such as tablets. So we weren’t, in this particular study, device-specific. However, what was interesting was that we found that women who have been using the internet across multiple platforms derived increased benefits than women using single platforms. And so I think the mobile phone clearly is opening up many, many different opportunities. But what was interesting about this report was it showed the interaction among platforms.

Go ahead.

MS. ESQUE: I think – where is the mike? I don’t know. Oh, right here. So there was – right here. Yeah.

QUESTION: Thank you. I’m very happy with this report. I’m leading a network looking into general research in ICT for empowerment in Africa and the Middle East, and so this is close to our heart. I wonder whether you’re aware of the work of Martin Hilbert, who hasn’t been focusing so much on the internet use, but use of women in developing countries of ICTs.

And he has found that when you keep education and income equal, women actually do use ICT more than men do. So I would have kind of expected in your recommendations that you would have taken that on board, because that would already – if you would take care of those two factors and maybe think why (inaudible) and ICT, but gender and culture and gender and economy, then you will already have a natural flow of women using ICT and the internet, because there are already – there is already the tendency for them to do that more. Do you understand what I’m saying?

MS. WITTEMYER: Absolutely. And I think that’s one thing that we definitely try to point out in the report, is that there’s this dramatic disparity between economies, and where women have access to the internet in the more developed world, at the higher incomes, they are huge users of the internet, of social media, of accessing information for economic reasons and education. So we definitely acknowledge that. But I think what we were trying to do here is really look at what other barriers are facing them. The economic conditions obviously are a huge entry point.

QUESTION: Well, I said women tend to use it more than men in those regions –

MS. ESQUE: Right.

QUESTION: — Latin America, and Africa. When you equalize income and education, and we all know the situation of, for instance, mothers earning less in the global economy and all that. So I think you have to – if you really want to make an impact, you have to think beyond the sector of gender and ICT, you have to go gender, culture, ICT –

MS. ESQUE: Absolutely.

QUESTION: — gender, economy, ICT.

MS. ESQUE: Yeah. Absolutely. Okay, to the right.

QUESTION: (Off mike.) We work in about sixteen countries and one of the programs that we have is called Smart Woman, which we have found that when we did mobile learning to specific demographics, specific demographics – so your point about the relevance is – in our world, when we’re selling a mobile technology piece, we assume they have access because they’re getting on a phone. We assume they can afford because either they pay for it or they get it in some way. So the other issue which is the next generation is the relevance, because if I’m a demographically correct woman and I’m a certain age and a certain income level, the only thing I care about is the information that’s relevant to me, not to the same one.

And I always use the example of Angry Birds. Angry Birds is Angry Birds on any other mobile platform. So what we encourage is that if you’re going to do mobile learning, you do like what mama does – you focus on a specific demographic. What we do with Smart Woman, you focus on a specific issue, and that is where you get effectiveness. You have to assume everything else is – there it is. And the one last thing I’ll say in terms of the ICT: The reason a lot of women use mobile is because they don’t have time to use anything else. So they may use it across platform, but they’re using mobile simply the way we use it, out of convenience. So thank you for this, but I think, again, it’s – really has to be relevant is key.

MS. ESQUE: Absolutely. And relevance is a huge part of where we need to talk further, is how do we make it relevant is all these diverse markets.

Okay, we’ll take one more question, and then we want to invite our panel up.

Can the mike make it to the –

QUESTION: Hello? Oh, thanks. I also wanted to call attention to the – I’m Sophia Huyer with Women in Global Science and Technology. I’d like to say hello, and thanks for inviting me, and I’m really – we’re really pleased to be here. I’d like to also call attention to the quality and the type of ICT access and use, and the differences – gender differences. For example, what about smart phones? And are women able to use smart phones, and are they able to use them really effectively and in a sophisticated manner? I think there’s emerging data in some countries that women use the more simple phones and men use the smart phones, and men use them for a much broader range of uses, not just networking and communication. And I think we need to keep that in mind. As well, we’ve just been engaging in a data – comparative data analysis project, and we found in Korea, for example, that women do use smart phones more than men, but that’s because men use computers more than women, and women don’t have access to the computers. And so I think we need to be really aware of the differences in the opportunities and capabilities of the ICT that women use and have access to. Thanks.

MS. ESQUE: Thank you. Absolutely.

Okay. Now, we will invite our panelists to come up to the front. Okay. As we learned earlier, we’ll have three mikes on at all time, and we’ll learn.

So obviously, our first panelist needs no introduction. We already heard she’s Ann Mei’s hero. She’s my hero. Everyone in this room is thrilled that she’s here with us today. And we probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her fantastic leadership. So Ambassador Verveer, thank you again for all you do, and thank you for joining the panel.

Lawrence is next. Lawrence is with GSMA. Let me get my notes here. Lawrence Yanovitch is the President of the GSMA Foundation. The foundation and the GSMA Development Fund work together to promote and implement partnerships between the mobile communications industry, the international development community, to deliver life-changing services to those living under $2 a day. Thank you for joining us.

Next to Lawrence is Minerva Novero-Belec, is a policy specialist for ICTB and in e-governance at the United Nations Development Program, UNDP. She manages a portfolio that includes focal point support for UNDP administrator in her role as a member of the Broadband Commission and chair of the commission’s working group on women and ICTs. Thank you, Minerva, and welcome.

Next to Minerva, Gary Fowlie. He’s been the head of the liaison office of the International Telecommunication Union to the United Nations since 2009. ITU is the UN specialized agency for information and communication technology.

And then to his right, we have Gulden, who we heard from earlier. Thank you for your wonderful remarks.

So we’ll move right into the panel, and we will ask a few a questions and then open up to the audience. I know you have a lot of questions also.

Ambassador Verveer, and you spoke about this a little bit earlier, about the tremendous opportunity, and the power and the potential of this intersection of women and ICT. Can you talk a little bit about the role of governments around the globe? As you travel and work with them, what are you seeing? What do they need to do, and how can we, together, move faster?

AMBASSADOR VERVEER: Well, thanks very much, Shelly, and to Intel for the contribution that this represents. I think of the metaphor of giving birth; we now have to nurture this child and make sure it can become as well known and have opportunities to make a difference in what studies represent. Studies can sit on shelves, so to speak, or they can be discussed. They may not have all the answers, but they can lead us to better places to think about these issues.

So thank you for this, and I hope it won’t end with today, but really be the beginning of this study. I know Lawrence is going to talk about the mobile technology study, how – what we can really do with these pieces to advance all of our goals, wherever we sit.

When I looked at some of the summary of the study and read that in Africa, men have twice as much – twice as many men have access to the internet than women, and I was thinking about the magnitude of that, where women are already disadvantaged in many ways. And I think the question about education and the nexus that here we are talking about development, how all of these things really fit together, because education is so crucial to the access, the utilization, what it represents. So I think we need to be thinking in government also, in our development agencies, what Maura and others here in the room who are representing development agencies, how all of this fits together. So I think that’s certainly one way.

The whole issue of data, which is what this study in many ways represents, I think, is crucial. And I too will use that Melinda Gates phrase about “without data, we are essentially bowling in the dark.” And none of us wants to do that. But when you think about the 2.4 billion people who have access to the internet, we really don’t know how many of those are women. We have inadequate data. We have made, at the State Department, a real effort to support data gathering in all of the ways that that is done around our world, because it is so important to affecting the outcomes and where we want to go.

One of the ways we have done this is through the OECD, which is one of the premier data collection agencies. UN Women is one. The World Bank is one. There are so many others, and certainly the private sector plays a major role. But I think we, through government, need to be much more cognizant of the need to support data gathering and to see the role that it needs to play. With respect to OECD, there are new efforts being made as a result of a number of governments coming together and launching this through OECD, which is with reference to women’s employability and entrepreneurship. Now, the whole role of the internet plays a role in that as well. So I think government and data at any number of levels, and I think within countries, the data collection piece is critically important to impact policies.

Secondly, the role of government in helping to ameliorate some of the deeply entrenched cultural practices. You’ve heard reference to that from the presentation on the study. Henriette raised a question about it. We all read about the case recently where, in India, a woman was fined because she was using her cell phone without the permission of a male guardian. Imagine taking that to some kind of extended course.

So I think the role of government, and governments in doing development work, the kind of programs we all support, in showing that positive face of how the internet can help make a difference in – when it’s in the hands of women, and how that benefits them, it benefits their families, it benefits their society, but that positive face to try to change some of these cultural norms.

Thirdly, and we’ve heard about this, rightly so because it’s a big issue, the affordability issue. And here, government has a particularly significant role, particularly in countries, through regulations, through market interventions, market forces, to ensure open competition. We know what it’s done in our country. We know what it’s done in many places. But I think this is a whole area, and one of the things is we’ve entered into this whole world of ICT, women, development, and so many related pieces through the State Department, is what role our diplomatic work should play in working with governments on this whole – in this whole area of regulation, market liberalization, and the outcomes for affordability, and the self-interest of the country, obviously.

And then, I think there are so many things that one could say, but one last point I would really emphasize is the need for governments to see the internet as a place where they can provide vital information, because women in particular, they don’t have a lot of time to waste. They need access to information that’s vital to their lives. If you can go on the internet and find out about jobs, that we heard that was one of the ways that women utilize the internet, governments have so much information that is critical to what people need to know for their lives, to help them. Think of what the Small Business Association (SBA) does in terms of women’s economic empowerment in this country in starting and growing small businesses. All over the world, I hear women with access to the internet tell me how great our SBA website is. That’s the power of the internet to really provide women in this case with very vital information.

Years ago, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is the finance minister in Nigeria, she was the managing director at the World Bank, told me that in a previous incarnation in Nigeria, for the first time ever – and this would have an impact on corruption and other kinds of areas that are deeply troubling – they began to put out information, the government did, about how much money goes from the central government to the states and to the localities, because everybody’s saying we don’t see any of this money; where’s this money? It must all be in the capital. And she said when they put it on pieces of paper, they didn’t have enough money even to produce vast quantities. And people were trying to duplicate it any way they could. Imagine information like this, provided by governments, on the internet.

So I think, I mean, one can – we’re scratching the surface here, but there’s so much that government needs to do to be part of the solution. And I think, just to reiterate what today represents, government sitting down at the table with the other actors in the other sectors that this convening represents is also on the top of the list.

MS. ESQUE: Thank you, Ambassador. Thank you very much.

So, Lawrence, we’re going to look to you because you’ve done such tremendous work in the mobile field –

MR. YANOVITCH: Thank you.

MS. ESQUE: — the report that you issued three years ago, I believe. And just tell us about the lessons learned, what progress has been made, and give us advice from your perspective on how to move forward.

MR. YANOVITCH: Well, sure. I think I’d first like to open by suggesting that, based on data, we think that worldwide, the first access that women are going to have to mobile phones in the developing world will be through – to the internet will be through mobile phones. So we have data from Zimbabwe and Nigeria that suggest that over 50 percent of web traffic is coming through mobile phones. And so a strategic entry point is how do we accelerate women’s access and then create some sort of synergy with this campaign with our own?

So just to give you some – sort of the architecture and the origins, the antecedents to this mWomen Initiative, let me start off with the big data. You’ve heard a lot of data about how many mobile subscriptions there are globally, and we’ve really honed in on that since I’ve been at the GSMA. And now we are coming down to an estimate of 3.2 billion mobile phone subscribers globally, and that four out of five of those new subscriptions are coming from the developing world.

Now despite this really rapid growth in the developing world, in 2009 we did indeed conduct this study, and I want to acknowledge Brookes Partridge here, who – from Vital Wave, and also Henriette Kolb from the Cherie Blair Foundation, who were really some of the original thinkers who got behind Cherie Blair. And I want to say, you want to get action, you want to get commitment, you start off with the powerful intellect who’s got energy like Cherie Blair behind you, who then, of course, helped to engage with Melanne and ultimately Secretary Clinton to launch our global campaign.

And so in 2010, we did launch this campaign. And what I’m seeing, as we kind of define what was the essence of the thinking, I think it’s Trina DasGupta, who was one of the principal strategists behind this. She basically observed that globally, there’s very little consumer research on women’s wants and needs at the base of the pyramid, which was startling. So we talked about the value of impact evaluation, but what about also consumer research on the front end to figure out what women want and need. And then, how do you design a product offering accordingly? And so what – I mean, I love the premise, and we did the research, and it was exciting to see the results. And I’ll speak about them for a second, but I do also want to acknowledge our donors. I’ll say USAID, who was at the forefront; Maura O’Neill – I don’t know if she’s still here – and Chris Burns. I mean, without them, we would have never gotten anywhere, and Visa Foundation too.

So today we have 34 mobile phone companies who’ve signed up around the world to be engaged. And I will not underemphasize how important it was to have the credibility and what I would call the venture capital orientation of the State Department early on to get behind this campaign and endorse it, even though it was really still based a lot on data and hypotheses and you hadn’t yet seen the impact.

So I was astonished when we started to look at the data to see that the program that was doing the best was in Iraq. And I was so astonished I decided I was going to go to Iraq, and go to northern Iraq, which is a little safer than southern Iraq. And the reason why we’ve had such a great success story there – actually, I had the opportunity to meet with First Lady Talabani, Mrs. Talabani, who is this incredibly humble woman, a great intellectual, and really taught me a lot about the women’s movement in northern Iraq; it actually dates to the turn of the century. And the women there are given a status that you might not see elsewhere in the region, and that makes sense that they would be the source of this inspiration.

And so what Asiacell did is they put women in leading – leadership positions to design a program. And what did they do? They researched women’s wants and needs. They spent a lot of time doing that, and getting to know exactly how to structure a product offering. And what were the results? In one year, a 40 percent increase in female subscriptions. That translated into 1.2 million women.

So what’s the anatomy of the solution set? What were the barriers? We’ve heard a lot about these barriers. Let’s look to Iraq to see if they can provide us some insight. So the first – we’ve heard about how there’s sometimes resistance from male house – members of a household against women having access to these technologies. So what did Asiacell do? They crafted this exquisite public relations campaign and commercial that spoke more to the hearts of the men about what women are contributing to the daily lives of Iraqi society and family. And they had this imagery of the waving of the hands of women, since they’re often veiled, and how that – what they’re doing in their daily lives. It really does render emotions. And then they make a reference to mobile technology as a way to secure their women, as a way to give them hope and give them a future.

Second, strangely, and it was odd for me to learn about this, but there is an endemic pattern of harassment of women through mobile phones. And it’s probably because perhaps men don’t have other outlets. And so – and one of the things that was really disturbing is that the women told me that they would be held accountable for their harassment calls, that they were somehow eliciting this behavior. And so – we don’t even have this, I think, in the U.S., because I tried it once, but they created a bye-bye feature – they call it a bye-bye feature in English – which meant that women could block harassment calls, and – which is a great idea.

The third is that, back to the question of pricing and cost, women had different usage patterns than men. So they tended to talk a little longer, but less frequently. And they also were more loyal customers than men. So what did they do with the pricing? They gave a discount for calls under – over three minutes and they also gave a discount if you stayed with – inside the network.

The fourth area is that – and which really dovetails with our conversations today is we – there was a great thirst for information and knowledge through your mobile phones. So they created a subsidiary that was really just focused on content, and they created a whole initiative around getting content that was very specific to women. And finally, as I said at the beginning, they made a deep commitment to women’s leadership in the organization. Not just at the head of the mWomen program, but you have branch offices where women are in senior leadership positions. And they told me directly how much support they got from management, and that’s what really made the difference.

So to round up, when we start talking about the internet, what have they done on that score, HSO is going to introduce 3G services and they anticipate giving 400,000 women access to broadband by the end of 2013. So I also had an opportunity to talk to the U.S. Embassy and others about how you could accelerate the access to the internet, and there is a huge barrier because there’s the infrastructure, the will on the ground, but without policy reform, governments are not moving fast enough. And that, I think, dovetails with what Melanne was saying.

MS. ESQUE: Thank you, Lawrence. Again, underscoring the need for the relevant content, the access, the seat at the table in decision-making, these are all just key things that the report talks about too.

Minerva, can you talk to us a little bit? The UN Broadband Commission recently announced a new working group on gender and ICT that UNDP will be chairing. So share with us what that work is and what will be expected to be the result.

MS. NOVERO-BELEC: First of all, congratulations for the development of this report. It’s a very welcome and very useful tool for us in the efforts to advance women’s empowerment for sustainable human development. And it’s a pleasure to be here. Thank you for the invitation to UNDP.

On the question about the broadband commission, I think everybody’s quite aware of what it is, but just to recap quickly, it’s – and I think the question is about how we can bring awareness and action to close the gender gaps. I think the establishment of the broadband commission for digital development is in itself a significant act that raises awareness on a global scale. It is a commission composed of high-level representatives from the UN agencies, from governments, from the private sector, from NGOs, from civil society, from industry and so on and so forth, (inaudible) as well. And they do much, these leaders, in these sectors and fields, they do much as an individual in those fields a lot.

But on the platform of the broadband commission, they now have this bond to work together collectively towards a common goal, and the common goal being broadband networks providing or helping countries to have broadband networks for a specific purpose, which is to have broadband networks as platforms for progress. So it’s not just about technology for the broadband commission, especially for UNDP, and I think that is very clear to everybody in this room, and on (inaudible) for progress to – for social, economic, and environmental development and specifically to help meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. And that’s very, very close. It’s about three years away.

Since its launch in 2010, I think it has effectively enhanced the understanding among stakeholders why they need to work together, and also among the public that propels policy decisions on why broadband is important. And we have much to thank ITU, actually, which is headed by Gary here, and UNESCO for launching the commission in 2010 with the support of the UNSG, the Secretary General, and it is chaired by His Excellency Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Mr. Carlos Slim of Mexico.

So the commission has set four targets: Make broadband policy universal, make broadband affordable, connect homes to broadband, and increase internet penetration, meaning have everybody online. So in working towards these targets, the commission enhances the profile not just of individual members and what you can do, but also what together – not just the members here but the sectors that they represent can do together. They have – they hold – not they, but we. I support Ms. Clark, so I tend to think of “they.” The commission meets regularly, and these meetings are designed to be high-profile, and high-profile not just for the members and for the stakeholders that are present, but for the kinds of issues that the broadband commission addresses.

And it also addresses these issues through reports. So it has released significant reports, I think it’s widely quoted, since 2010. And most recently, also – or not – since 2010, it has established working groups that are also tasked to focus on specific issues related to broadband networks and ICT in general. On its sixth meeting in New York in 2012, the commission was challenged by the actions of Ms. Geena Davis to address the issues of women with regards to access to ICTs and empowerment and so on and so forth. And so the commission responded to the challenge by creating the task force working group on women and ICTs, and it ask Ms. Helen Clark to chair the working group, and Ms. Clark obviously accepted.

And so what is the working group going to do? And I think that’s one of the reasons why I was asked to come here, to tell you what it is. And I have to open this because it’s quite a list of objectives, pretty ambitious. So the ground objectives of the working group is to promote, obviously, digital inclusion for women, empowering women through digital literacy, training, and skills-building, promote the development of gender-sensitive applications – for instance, monitoring of violence against women – in partnership with the private sector, and bolster public service delivery, which take into account the specific needs of women, make technology training and jobs more suitable to young girls, basically make ICTs cool, and foster the protection of girls and women when they go online and contribute to the post-2015 agenda. I mean, I could cite the detailed objectives of the working group, but you can find them online as well.

So I only have about two minutes, so I will cut my intervention short and go to the perspective of UNDP when it comes to ICTs and gender. The pronouncements and the statements that have been made since the beginning of this event resonate very much in UNDP. It’s about empowerment of women. It’s about addressing the gaps between not just the haves, the have-nots, the north and the south, but even among women in the country.

Some women have access to ICTs and some do not. We think of ICTs as tools to address a lot of challenges, but the diffusion of ICTs in itself also could be cause for greater disparity. We are familiar with the digital divide. For UNDP, this is not just about divide and access to technology. It means a lot more. It means the divide in access to information, the divide in access to knowledge, the divide in access to opportunities for livelihood, income, and so on. And it’s also about the divide in opportunities to engage with each other, to mobilize, to connect, and the opportunity to engage with their governments.

So this issue is not just about broadband and technology. For UNDP, this is very much a governance issue, and governance is very much a development issue. So since 1992 – I don’t know if everybody is familiar with this – we have worked with a lot in this room, many of you at World Bank, USAID in some cases, may be familiar with our work on the ground in over 165 countries, and we have about 220 projects going on in any given year.

So UNDP focuses on three things when it comes to ICTs and gender empowerment. We focus on providing delivery of services to those most in need, and then we focus on engaging and making ICTs available to everybody, to women especially, who marginalize in the poor, to enable them to have an opportunity to engage with one another, to have a voice, and to participate in the public sphere and to participate in processes where decisions are being made, decisions that affect them, that affect their lives, that affect their livelihoods. And so we have, as I said, a lot of case studies that we can point to, and I think one of the things that UNDP can do more in this regard is to work more openly with you and more closely with you in highlighting these efforts, and maybe we can build on those efforts together.

But one of the things that UNDP would like to propose is this: As I said earlier, Ms. Helen Clark, actually, wherever she can, emphasizes that it’s not about technology, and it’s about the transformative potentials of ICTs, all the networks included, and it’s about what it can do to change people’s lives. And we are very conscious of the challenges that are faced by the poor countries on the ground, and we are very aware that we would not want to add on more challenges to them in the face of very heavy investments in infrastructure and so on and so forth.

So we try to be very innovative and we focus on the way that we can use ICTs strategically to address development challenges, and the administrator’s message is always: If it has no impact at all on the lives of those most in need, then we have not achieved anything. And from what I hear from this forum this morning, I think everybody in this room is the converted, and we are all advocates and stakeholders in this. And one of the things that I would like to propose as well is to inform policymakers to get on board in the discussions now happening in the global and national level to help frame the post-2015 development agenda.

MS. ESQUE: Thank you, Minerva. And Gary, you’ve had great experience in bringing the issues of broadband to the agenda and to the topic of discussion. Give us some advice from your perspective on these multi-stakeholder partnerships. What works and how do we move faster together?

MR. FOWLIE: Right. I think you just said the key. It’s multi-stakeholder partnership. Also, thank you very much for this opportunity. Thank you to Ann and to Jennifer for making this happen.

Yes, ITU’s perspective – you’ve heard about the broadband commission. The idea behind the broadband commission, as you just heard, was to raise the importance of national broadband plans and making sure that all countries have a national broadband plan. Because if you don’t, how are you going to, at the end of the day, take advantage of the potential, which I think is mobile broadband delivery, in terms of making sure that everybody has access to this life-changing technology?

But I think what’s needed is, always in these cases, political will and – both political will and practical tactics and opportunities. And because of ICTs, those two are coming together. It’s much, much more possible for groups, civil society groups to have a direct impact on ICT technology – or ICT policy. So we need to look for a push from the bottom and – push up from the bottom and push down from the top. So from ITU’s perspective, I’m going to talk just about what we’ve done at that top level. The broadband commission is one example. Another key important strategy of ITUs is to ensure that there is regulatory reform, that the regulators out there understand that if you have an open, transparent bidding process that you can have some – you will entice the private sector to come in and develop. And when you issue those licenses, you can put on provisos to connect schools, to connect health centers, and hopefully connect girls.

I’m always a little reluctant to talk about gender because I’m a man with no sisters, I’m the son of a man who had six brothers, and I have three sons. (Laughter.) So we don’t run thick on –

PARTICIPANT: But you needed a wife, huh?

MR. FOWLIE: — XX chromosomes. But XY – so on behalf of all the X and Y chromosomes, I think we heard something very important in the Intel study. We have 2.4 users now, but we have – 2.4 billion users now, but there are 4.5 billion users – potential users – who do not have access, X and Y chromosomes. Now of course, there’s a 23 percent of that disadvantage against women, so we have to remember that, of course, but I think we need to ensure that globally, we look at the multi-stakeholder reality of the partnership, but also the multi-stakeholder reality of the – I’m from ITU, and after the WCIT process, I’m not supposed to use the “internet” word too often. But it is a multi-stakeholder reality. We all have a role to play. ITU plays a role at the spectrum and standards level, i.e. we all know that. So we need to make sure people understand how it’s done. We need to open it up, how it works, and make sure we open it up to access.

ITU has also instituted something called Girls in ICT Day. Ninety countries have been doing these. It’s the third Thursday – third Tuesday – fourth Tuesday – fourth Thursday – (laughter) – so this is why I’m talking the high level. So I’m not going to be able to talk about a lot of the practical bottom-up work we’re doing. So I’d like to do a shout-out to Susan Schorr – raise your hand, Susan – who is the director of our special initiatives program and will be very much involved with this.

So, what can you do? First of all, I want everybody here to write down a website, www.myworld2015.org. And the broadband commission was created to support the Millennium Development Goals. That’s coming to an end, 2015, for better or worse. The UN system is looking at what’s going to happen post-2015, and these goals that they’re trying to set are not going to focus just specifically on the developing world, but to focus on the whole world. Unfortunately, the potential of ICT for development is something we all understand, but development policy people sometimes aren’t quite as bright as we are. They treat it with benign neglect at best, and in many cases, they’re just ignorant of the potential.

So why give you that website? It’s because right now, the system, support – UN system with support of the World Wide Web Foundation and others, is trying to do a global survey on what you think the six most important things are. So go on this, pick out which six you think are important. The first one you see, fortunately, comes up as ICTs, telecommunications, and so that’s an easy one. Put it on your Facebook, send – tweet it and send it to your – the girls’ networks. Let’s get that in there. Because unless political leaders see how important it is, most of them, many of them, don’t have that sense of ownership on this area that we all have. And we all understand, so that’s – I’d ask you to do that, and I think that would be a good step forward.

Also, I think we need to look at the nexus, again, between health and education. Education is key here. The potential for mobile broadband education is immense. But getting those practical hands in the mobiles that do that is really a challenge. So we’ve talked about something like mobiles for midwives in the developing world, where – who’s the one there? Often, the mobile – the midwife. I know there’s work going on, but there – again, we need to scale it, we need to bring it together, we need to bring the ministers of information and health together to ensure that they’re online to make this happen. I think it has a lot of potential.

And the reason – one of the main reasons we need to do that: ITU participated with WHO in a health accountability commission, and we discovered that more than 30 percent of the developing world does not have accurate birth or death records, so they don’t even know how many girls, really, they have. So that would be one way to tackle this. Let’s get to the frontline health workers, let’s partner with the International Midwife Federation. This is something I’m just throwing out there. Because I think the old adage is true: You educate a woman, you educate a family. And if you educate a family, you’ve educated a girl. And if you educate a girl, I think you educate a social network.

MS. NOVERO-BELEC: Okay. Well, I’ll be brief, as the last panelist. Just first, congratulations to Intel and the colleagues that produced the report. It’s a great report, and I look forward to reading it in more detail and sharing it with all our colleagues at UN Women.

We completely endorse the goal of doubling the number of women online or increasing the number of women in three years. And I think, what can we do to support that collectively and also as UN Women? I think we can really do a lot in engaging the gender community around the ICT issues. The gender advocates that we work with in so many countries improve their ability to influence the dialogue and how women can benefit from the ICT. This is something that we can all do, but UN Women has started and has been doing it for a number of years, working with national machineries of women.

And we also have the great opportunity of the Commission on the Status of Women coming up in – end of February or early March, and it focuses on ending violence against women. And one of the things that we’re going to look at is how we can link ICTs and ending violence against women. And I believe there are a number of panels and initiatives going on in that area. But it is such an amazing tool, and I think Ambassador Verveer and others talked about how we could use it to improve information around rights and access to services in this area. And also, the negative impact on ICT should not be forgotten as online platforms can facilitate violence against women and trafficking as well. So we need to be mindful on both those points.

So, yeah, the second point that I would make is putting women and their needs at the center of ICT decision making. We heard from the report. We’ve seen that while more than 109 governments have adopted national plans to expand broadband access, these plans are often developed without thinking about women’s needs, without thinking about girls’ needs. So we can also influence these kind of sectoral plans in the countries.

And also gender sensitization of ICT policymakers and regulators. I think some of you spoke to that. And we’re very excited and we’re thinking with Intel to – and discussing the development of an initiative to do exactly this by holding gender sensitization sessions for ICT regulators at their annual meetings.

Another area that I think a couple of the panelists touched upon is content, development of women-focused and women-produced relevant local content. Public and private sector support can really be given to this, but also governments, governments as drivers of local content for the quality of information on knowledge provided around key services for women. So e-government, e-governance is also another area that we can work on.

I won’t go into the broadband. I think my colleagues have mentioned it. It’s excellent, and just really great that we’re also looking at the post-2015 development framework as a real opportunity to push and encourage women and girls to benefit from ICTs.

So I’ll stop there, and thank you.

MS. ESQUE: Thank you. Obviously, we have all – a number of great ideas to explore here, and that’s really the beauty of the next hours that you have together, is to take some of these wonderful sparks and explore them together and see how we can truly move forward.

I’m going to look and – Ann Mei, do we have time for questions or no?

We do not. Okay, well, please join me in thanking our panelists. And sorry we ran out of time, but thank you all for your wonderful remarks. (Applause.) And thank you.

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Cross posted from State.gov

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