The first Arab Women in ICT Summit was held with high-level involvement of over 500 participants the 6-7 December 2011 in Rabat, Morocco. The event was organized by IDC and ISESCO in collaboration with Dell, Intel, UN Women, UNDP, UNESCWA CAWTAR, World Bank, ITU, Fondation Mohammed VI and the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT). Participants included several Ministers of IT from the Arab World, major ICT vendors, female ICT researchers and entrepreneurs, NGOs and students.
• Enabled a regional review of existing gender gaps
• Facilitated the exchange of gender-related best practices within the ICT sector
• Presented gender-disaggregated data and provided tools and training for the mainstreaming of gender issues throughout the Arab region
• Developed knowledge and capacity for enhancing entrepreneurship among Arab women.
The Summit attempted over the two days to become a tool for stimulating and supporting strong cooperation between women in the technology, political, and social sectors by providing a framework for development. It provided a platform for diagnosing shared challenges and catalyzing solutions with the aim of driving increased gender equity.
In collaboration with regional and global partners, the summit facilitated knowledge transfer through ICT and through active discussions after and during the presentations, interactive dialogue between the speakers and the participants, involvement in processes, programs, and policies based on the very best expertise available. Furthermore, the summit addressed the emerging regional needs and challenges such as education, governance, and other phenomena that are inhibiting the improvement of women’s interests across the Arab region.
ECWT was the co-organizer of the event and had a highly active role, since it undertook two presentations and participated in 3 different panels, one of them as moderator. ECWT shared with the participants, both Best Practices regarding the use of ICT and active social participation and also the 'Benefits of e-learning for Education and Training:
During the summit, several initiatives and proposals were presented related to gender issues and their effect on the active participation of women in today’s society, the drawbacks of ICT both in terms of infrastructure as well as in cultural and psychological aspects, best practices of using ICT focused on women. It had finally, examined gender equality through ICT under the social and cultural characteristics that exist in the examined target group.
The summit been finalized in a highly positive way, since the initiative got the political commitment for help, support and willingness from the respective actors, while at the same time it was decided to set up a scientific committee that will lead the way for the change. Furthermore agreement was reached on the following next steps:
- the creation of a Community of Practice with all the involved stakeholders,
- the development of a Road Map and based on the all of the above,
- the creation of a development strategy that will make all the proposals reality and will open the way for implementation of the suggested measures and actions.
ECWT will play a key role in the implementation through knowledge transfer and providing management support and development strategy, tools and sharing experiences.
Conference preparations and website