The International Taskforce on Women and ICTs (ITF) was launched by representatives of 46 national and international organizations from 23 countries, including UN organizations, multi-national corporations, international and local grassroots NGOs, aid agencies, and others in November 2006 with the overarching goal to ensure women’s full participation in this inclusive information society as leaders and creators, as well as users of ICT.
A 'Declaration of Agreement in Support of Girls and Women in Information and Communication Technology' serves as the foundation of the ITF and is signed by all new members joining the global and regional efforts to ensuring ITF goals.
In order to ensure that the participation of women in education and employment in ICT and engineering globally is measurably and significantly increased within five years, the ITF has identified four outcomes for women and girls that will shape its activity to 2011. These are:
- Increased access to ICT globally through formal and non-formal education and training;
- Improved technological literacy and expertise;
- Participation in the use, development, and design of ICT hardware, software, and content, including as entrepreneurs; and
- Increased presence and leadership at all levels and in all aspects of ICT, e.g. policy and decision making, regulation, program development, and the workforce.
Why ITF - Europe?
Europe was one of the first continents to start-up discussions between key stakeholders toward the creation of a European Centre for Women and ICTs as one of the Regional Centers in line with the 'Bold Global Multi-Stakeholder Strategy and Action-plan to bring about a major break-through in regard to women's participation in the knowledge-based economy' adopted 9-10th of December in Kuala Lumpur.
In March 2008 the plans for setting up of the European Centre were presented in Brussels in three fora:
- The 4th of March in the High-level meeting of the e-skills Industry Leadership Board
- The 6th of March during the EU Conference arranged by the European Commission: Move out from the Shadow: Seize the OpportunITy!
- The 7th of March the 1st Multi-Stakeholder Partnership meeting was hosed by the ITF and sponsored by the Commissions DG INFSO.
Thereafter the decision was taken to set up the International Taskforce on Women and ICTs in Europe (ITF-Europe) as a temporary group acting in a similar way and engaged for similar goals as the ITF but in the European regional context and assisting the start-up and the work of the European Centre for Women and Technology.
Members of the ITF-Europe Working-Group
- Margarita Artal Serrat. Director of the Center for European Initiatives and Research in the Mediterranean (CIREM-Barcelona), Spain
- Sasha Bezuhanova, General Manager Hewlett-Packard Bulgaria
- Myriam Diocaretz, Director MDD Consultancy – Information Society Services, The Netherlands
- Dr. Marion Esch, Research Director, FemTec, Germany
- Eva Fabry, Coordinator ITF-Europe, European Affairs Manager, Papirbredden Innovasjon, Norway
- Angele Giuliano, Director Across Limits, President of Foundation of Women Entrepreneurs FEW Malta, Member of the Board of WINNET Europe
- Bev Hurley, Director of Enterprising Women, CEO YTKO
- Dr. Irene Kamberidou, Senior Lecturer, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece
- Dr. Irina Khomeriki, Head of Georgian Branch of International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), and Georgian Technical University, Tbilisi, Georgia
- Marina Larios, Inova Consultancy, President WITEC, UK
- Dr. Maria Palasik, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, President WITEC Hungary
- Nancy Pascall, Gender Equality Expert, European Commission, DG INFSO, Directorate C, Observer
- Dr. Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director, Equalitec, Portia, UK
- Dr. Petra Püchner, Director, Steinbeis Europa-Zentrum, Stuttgart, Germany
- Ann-Christin Samuelsson, NUTEK – The Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth, Director of the Women Resource Centres Programme, Sweden
- Antoinette Taille, VHTO, The Netherlands
- Riitta Vänskä, Senior Manager, Education & Research Policy, NOKIA Corporation, Finland
ITF- Europe = Founders of the ECWT
The decision to establish the ECWT and set up its Secretariat in Drammen, Norway was taken by ITF - Europe on the 9th of May 2008.
Representatives of Member's of ITF-Europe met the 17-19th of July 2008 in Drammen, Norway where the statutes were approved by the founders on 18th of July 2008. In line sith the statutes of the ITF all members of the ECWT signed also the ITF Declaration.
A group of the founding members of the ECWT together with ITF representatives at the meeting in Drammen 2008.
In alphabetical order: Sasha Bezuhavona, General Manager, Hewlett Packard, Sofia, Bulgaria; Patrice Braun, Dr. CRIC, University of Ballerat, Australia; Eva Fabry, Papribredden Innovasjon, Norway, newly elected Director of the ECWT; Ann Holmes - President Ann Holmes & Associates, Galenia, Canada; Sophia Huyer, President of WIGSAT - Women,Technology,Society,Canada;Irene Kamberidou, Dr. Associate Professor of the Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece; Irina Khomeiriki, Dr. Professor of the Geogian Technical University, Tbilisi, Georgia; Claudia Morrell, founder of the ITF, CEO MDWIT, Maryland, USA; Dr. Maria Palasik, - WITEC Hungary; Dorothy Okello, President of Wougnet, Uganda; Nancy Pascall, EU Commission, DG INFSO, Directorate C: Lisbon Strategy and Policies for the Information Society, C1: Lisbon Strtegy and i2010; Dr. Elizabeth Pollitzer, Director of Portia & Equalitec, London, UK; Pia Waugh, President of Software Freedom International; Dr. Rosalie Zobel, Former Director of the European Commission's DG INFSO, Directorate G Components and Systems, Chair of the High-level Advisory Committee of ECWT.