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1- Promoting the Role of Arab Women through ICT. Dr. Nibal Idlebi Chief of the ICT Applications Section. ICT Worldwide. Rapid change and growth of ICT. ICT has various applications in social and economic areas. ICT is a relatively new sector and has enormous potential for women.

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1 promoting the role of arab women through ict

1- Promoting the Role of Arab Women through ICT

Dr. NibalIdlebi

Chief of the ICT Applications Section

ict worldwide
ICT Worldwide
  • Rapid change and growth of ICT.
  • ICT has various applications in social and economic areas.
  • ICT is a relatively new sector and has enormous potential for women.
  • Statistics and data related to ICT usage are rare especially in the Arab World.
ict opportunities
ICT Opportunities
  • A variety of ICT Business uses:
    • Application design, database, e-services, network design & management, fixed and mobile telecom.
    • Project management, teaching, R&D, marketing.
    • ICT applications in health, banking and media.
  • ICT is an exceptional working environment:
    • Intellectual, stimulating, creative and innovative.
    • Requires dynamic teamwork.
    • Revenue generating, good source of income.
ict as enabler
ICT as Enabler
  • ICT is a tool for:
    • Acquiring knowledge and continuing education.
    • Organizing and assisting in doing business.
    • Networking and promoting the creation of new tiers.
    • Facilitating e-work, particularly in special social circumstances for women.
    • ICT can often dictate changes to work flows and business processes.
    • Allows remote working.
womens added values in ict sector
Womens’ added values in ICT sector
  • Good level of communication and negotiation skills.
  • Team work spirit.
  • Multi tasking nature.
  • Innovation and creativity.
  • Accuracy, perseverance and follow-up.
ict women in international summit
ICT & Women in International Summit
  • Benjin Conference 1995:
    • First recognition of the role of ICT in empowering women.
  • UN MDG 2000:
    • Improving the status of women using ICT.
  • WSIS Geneva Declaration 2003:
    • Emphasizes the role of women for building the Information Society.
    • Removing gender barriers to ICT education.
    • Gender equality and empowerment of women.
ict women in arab conferences
ICT & Women in Arab Conferences
  • ICT and Arab Women activities started in 2003:
    • 2003: Regional Forum on Women and ICT.
    • 2004: ESCWA organized various specialized workshops.
    • 2005: ESCWA organized High level Round-Table on Women and ICT during WSIS-Tunis Summit.
    • 2005: Forum on Arab Women in Science and Technology.
    • 2005-2007: The Arab Women Organization held many meetings for the Arab Taskforce on Women and ICT.
ict women in arab ict strategies
ICT & Women in Arab ICT Strategies
  • ICT policies and strategies indicated the importance of gender issues and womens’ involvement in decision making.
    • Bahrain, Syria, Palestine, Qatar, Egypt, and Kuwait.
  • Launching initiatives and programs for womens’ inclusion in the Information Society.
    • Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Syria.
  • Mechanisms facilitating womens’ inclusion in IS.
    • Qatar and Egypt.
  • ICT strategies and plan of actions are still weak in terms of womens’ inclusion in IS.
arab womens status in ict
Arab Womens’ status in ICT
  • Most of the information available on Arab womans’ usage of ICT does not clarify their use in comparison to mens’ use of ICT.
  • The proportion of young women in higher education is relatively acceptable (it varies between 20% and 50%).
  • As the level of education goes up, the proportion of women in education decreases.
  • The proportion of female workers in the business sector is very low, except in Lebanon (40%).
  • Number of women at decision-making levels, in the ICT sector, is very small compared to other sectors.

Arab Women’s status in ICT

  • Women are still operating in administrative and med-level work, in the business sector.
  • The participation of women in policy and strategy formulation is still rare.

Main issue: women generally possess limited access to information and knowledge, often leading to a vicious cycle, in which their interaction with and integration in mainstream economies becomes increasingly constrained.

  • View points
    • Priority to resolve root causes of gender imbalance rather than allowing women greater access to ICT.
    • ICT to enhance national economic performance thus benefiting all members of society.
    • The need to invoke ICT inputs in all initiatives aimed at addressing gender imbalance.
example women and e services e government
Example: Women and e-Services (e-Government)
  • Main Issue: Most governments have yet to fully exploit the promise of e-Government, let alone new approaches to harness this promise, in improving gender equity and womens’ participation in socio-economic life.
  • Viewpoints
    • E-Government provides more transparency and greater convenience for resolving gender issues.
    • Introduce legislations and abolish negative practice.
    • E-Government as an agent of change to promote womens’ rights and empowerment.
main opportunities 1 2
Main opportunities (1/2)

By building womens’ capabilities through improved ICT-based educational and training systems.

Therefore job creation.

  • To improve the chances of increasing their income and encourage the development of entrepreneurial activities and SMEs.
  • To alleviate poverty by improving productivity, competitiveness and growth.
main opportunities 2 2
Main opportunities (2/2)
  • To participate in the knowledge-based economy.
  • To accelerate efforts to bridge the gender gap by leveraging on a wide and fast diffusion of ICTs.
  • To mitigate the risk of catching certain diseases.
  • Thus enhancing sustainable development.
  • Thus combating illiteracy and developing life-management skills.
  • Thus improving living standards.
framework for promoting the role of arab women through ict
Framework for Promoting the Role of Arab Women through ICT


  • Use of ICT for empowering women in social and economic development.
  • Empowering Women in the ICT sector.
  • Enhancing Womens’ capabilities in ICT.
framework for promoting the role of arab women through ict1
Framework for Promoting the Role of Arab Women through ICT

We propose a framework including six components:

  • National policies and laws.
  • Raising awareness, promoting best practices.
  • Training programmes.
  • Education and R&D in ICT.
  • Specialized digital content.
  • Measurement of Arab Women and ICT.
gender concept
Gender Concept
  • Gender is a concept describing responsibility and the role of men and women in society.
  • Gender definition might change according to country, era, culture and society.
  • Gender describes the difference between the status of men and women, and the conditions under which they can control/develop their resources.
indicators statistical data and gender
Indicators, Statistical Data and Gender
  • One of the main tools for monitoring and evaluating the status of gender in various sectors.
  • Tool for comparing the status of various countries and regions.
  • Tool for formulating policies, strategies and plans of action.
  • Tool for monitoring the progress of strategy implementation.
importance of disaggregated ict statistics
Importance of Disaggregated ICT Statistics
  • Inform national policy makers about the status of men/women vis-à-vis ICT.
  • Set evidence based national and international policies according to statistical results.
  • Define priorities in programmes and initiatives.
  • Measure the gender gap, in the digital divide, in developed and developing countries.
  • Increase awareness on gender issue.
gender disaggregated statistics on ict
Gender Disaggregated Statistics on ICT
  • There are a number of areas where indicators on ICTs would be useful.
  • These include:
    • Internet access and usage
    • Content
    • Employment
    • Education
    • ICT policy
    • Participation in ICT decision making
    • Differential impact of ICTs on men and women
    • Participation in ICT projects
disaggregated ict statistics
Disaggregated ICT Statistics

Enable in order to:

  • Ascertain by measurement if men and women are benefiting from ICT and its tools.
  • Take corrective measures at national and international level.
  • Develop specific projects for bridging the gender gap in the digital divide.
proposed gender indicators
Proposed Gender Indicators

1- Womens’ empowerment through ICT:

  • Female use of internet.
  • Female possession of personal computers.
  • Female access to mobile phones/telephone lines.
  • Proportion of females (aged 16+) using the internet for: email, purchasing/ordering goods or services, interacting with government, finding information for research and studies, using banking or other financial services, trading, distance learning, entertainment, other…
  • Proportion of females (aged 16+) accessing the internet from: home, work, place of education, internet café, other…
proposed gender indicators1
Proposed Gender Indicators

2- Womens’ Education in ICT :

  • Female adult literacy rate (% aged 15 and older).
  • Female net enrolment ratios in primary, secondary and tertiary education.
  • Proportion of female enrolment in higher education in an ICT field of study.
  • Proportion of female graduates in higher education in an ICT field of study.
  • Proportion of female enrolment in ICT training centres.
proposed gender indicators2
Proposed Gender Indicators

3- Women in the ICT sector:

  • Labour force female participation rate (% aged 15-64).
  • Unemployment (% of female labour force).
  • Female staff in ICT sector (private and public).
  • Female staff in ICT decision-making positions.
  • Growth of female employment in the ICT sector.
challenges of collecting gender disaggregated data
Challenges of Collecting Gender Disaggregated Data
  • Social and cultural challenges.
  • Adoption of gender disaggregated data by National Statistical Offices.
thank you

Thank you

Dr. NibalIdlebi