Recognizing WSIS Impacts

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WTDC Resolution 44

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WTDC RESOLUTION 44 (Istanbul, 2002)

Mainstreaming gender in ITU-D programmes

The World Telecommunication Development Conference (Istanbul, 2002),

  • noting
    • a) Resolution 7 of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (Valletta, 1998), which resolves “to establish a task force on gender issues to facilitate, develop and take forward a range of activities aimed at ensuring that the benefits of telecommunications and the emerging information society are made available to all women and men in developing countries on a fair and equitable basis”;
    • b) Resolution 70 (Minneapolis, 1998) of the Plenipotentiary Conference, on the inclusion of gender perspective in the work of ITU, which instructs the Council “to ensure that, within available resources, appropriate funding is included in each budget for gender perspective initiatives”; instructs the Secretary- General “to facilitate the work of the ITU Focal Point on Gender Issues by providing the necessary means to carry out the work”; and instructs the Secretary-General and Directors of the Bureaux “to report to Council each year on progress made”;
    • c) the Memorandum of Understanding between ITU, UNDP and UNIFEM, signed in July 2000, which promotes cooperation to enable women to participate in, and benefit from, the current communications revolution,
  • further noting
    • a) Beijing+5 Outcome Document, Section J, 100(b), which recommends “to develop programmes that support women’s ability to create, access and promote networking, in particular through the use of new information and communications technology”;
    • b) the G8 DOT Force Report, May 2001, Action Point 3 (d) which gives “special attention to disenfranchised and illiterate people (particularly youth and women), through innovative partnerships to disseminate knowledge and skills using ICT”;
    • c) ITU Council Resolution 1187 (2001 session), on Gender Perspective in ITU Human Resource Management, Policy and Practice which requests the Secretary-General “to allocate appropriate resources, within existing budgetary limits, to establish a gender perspective full-time dedicated staff”;
    • d) ECOSOC Resolution E/2001/L.29 (July 2001) on Social and human rights questions: advancement of women, which decides “to establish, under the regular agenda item “Coordination, programme and other questions”, the regular sub-item “Mainstreaming a gender perspective into all policies and programmes of the United Nations system” in order to, inter alia , monitor and evaluate achievements made and obstacles encountered by the United Nations system, and to consider further measures to strengthen the implementation and monitoring of gender mainstreaming within the United Nations system”,
  • recognizing
    • a) the powerful forces of globalization and the spread of information communication technology;
    • b) that information technology has become a potent force in transforming social, economic, and political life globally;
    • c) that if the ultimate goal is to provide universal access to telecommunication services, it would be counterproductive to neglect the gender dimension in telecommunications;
    • d) the far-reaching implications of the impact of telecommunications and especially information and communication technologies (ICT) on women;
    • e) that the United Nations places lack of access to information technology as the third most important issue facing women globally, after poverty and violence against women,
  • considering
    • a) the progress made by ITU, particularly in ITU-D, in awareness raising of gender issues over the last four years, ITU’s increasing participation in international forums as well as studies, projects and training initiated by the Task Force on Gender Issues (TFGI);
    • b) the catalytic role of the ITU Focal Point on Gender Issues and the Secretary to the TFGI to carry forward the work on gender issues in addition to their regular ITU duties, and the lack of continuous support staff to assist in carrying out those duties;
    • c) the financial support committed by Norway to contribute to ITU-D’s effort to promote gender issues by establishing a gender unit in ITU, and that this contribution will cover the first two years of gender expertise,
  • resolves
    • that ITU-D should include gender initiatives in each of the programmes established under the Istanbul Action Plan to ensure that the following priority areas are fully integrated and included into the programmes as well as in the operational plan over the next four-year cycle period:
    • Within ITU-D
      • a) Mainstream a gender perspective* into BDT strategic, operational and budgetary plans
        • * “Gender perspective”: Mainstreaming a gender perspective is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of a ny planned action, including legislation, policies, or programmes in all areas and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as m en’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension of design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality. (Source: Report of the Inter-Agency Committee on Women and Gender Equality, third session, New York, 25- 27 February 1998).
      • b) Monitor and evaluate projects and programmes to assess gender implications
      • c) Incorporate gender indicators in ITU statistics
      • d) Develop training modules in line with TFGI “Curriculum Proposal on Integration of Gender Perspectives in Telecommunication Policy”
      • e) Provide gender mainstreaming capacity training in BDT, specifically to staff responsible for development projects and activities
      • f) Incorporate a gender perspective into study group Questions where appropriate and carry out an annual assessment of gender impact on those Questions
      • g) Promote new partnerships and mobilize resources for gender projects and ICT-related activities with gender components
    • Assistance to Member States
      • a) Encourage the mainstreaming of a gender perspective through appropriate administrative mechanisms and processes within regulatory agencies, ministries and promote inter-organizational cooperation and gender related initiatives in the telecommunication sector
      • b) Provide advice on gender analysis, gender statistics and gender perspective in policy and regulatory issues to ITU membership, including advice on monitoring and evaluation methods and guidelines for projects and activities
      • c) Promote access to rural ICT facilities such as telecentres operated and managed by women
      • d) Provide support in organizing capacity-building ICT workshops, especially for underserved communities
      • e) To encourage their Sector Members to contribute to the equality of men and women in the ICT sphere,
  • further resolves
    • that ITU-D convert the TFGI into a working group on gender issues working consistent with the mandate in WTDC-98 Resolution 7 as well as on any new and relevant issues, with allocated resources (see Terms of reference, Annex 1),
  • invites the Plenipotentiary Conference
    • to take this resolution into account while revising its Resolution 70 (Minneapolis, 1998) and in considering the Strategic Plan of the Union, to ensure that through the establishment of an ITU gender unit with full-time professional gender expertise, gender mainstreaming for ITU as a whole is continued and sustained (Terms of Reference, Annex 2),
  • urges Member States
    • in submitting contributions to the Plenipotentiary Conference, to take into account the need for full-time gender expertise for mainstreaming the gender perspective into the ITU activities as a whole.
  • ANNEX 1 TO RESOLUTION 44 (Istanbul, 2002)
    • Terms of reference of the Working Group on Gender Issues
    • 1) The Working Group on Gender Issues will comprise BDT representatives, appointed by the Director of BDT, as well as representatives of Member States, Sector Members, United Nations bodies, other regional/international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and individual experts. The Working Group will be an “open” group, welcoming all persons and organizations with relevant expertise to join and participate in its work.
    • 2) The Working Group shall be responsible to and report to the Director of BDT.
    • 3) Members of the Working Group shall participate in all ITU-D activities to ensure that a gender perspective is included in its policies and work programmes, including human resources development activities, study groups, seminars, conferences and workshops.
    • 4) The Working Group will be responsible for:
      • a) securing financial and other resources to carry out this work, including through partnerships with the private sector, multilateral development finance bodies and other donors;
      • b) defining its specific tasks, working methods and priorities.
    • 5) The scope of work of the Working Group will include, but not be limited to, priority programmes of ITU-D (i.e. sector reform, regulation and legislation, rural development and universal access, technologies and applications, finance and economics, partnerships with the private sector, human resources development and management) and other projects such as broadcasting, development of telecentres, telemedicine, tele-education, telecommunications and trade, telecommunications as a social service, telecommunications and the environment, and telecommunications and disaster preparedness, and the universal right to communicate campaign.
    • 6) The Working Group will serve as a source of expert advice, guidance and assistance to ITU-D in developing its policies, work programmes and projects in telecommunications. It will also keep ITU- D up to date with of progress made on gender issues by the United Nations system and Member States, and provide training for BDT staff on gender issues, as appropriate.
    • 7) The Working Group will undertake a comprehensive range of activities to increase participation of women in policy and decision-making, operation and regulation of the telecommunication sector.
    • 8) The Working Group shall assist ITU-D in raising awareness and disseminating information in order to sensitize all stakeholders in the telecommunication industry to the importance of these issues by working closely with existing women’s communications networks, the Youth Network, the Platform for Communications and Democratization, and with specialist gender and development networks within the United Nations system, including those provided by UNIFEM and UNU-INTECH.
  • ANNEX 2 TO RESOLUTION 44 (Istanbul, 2002)
    • Terms of reference for an ITU gender unit
    • An ITU gender unit with full-time professional gender expertise would, inter alia :
      • 1) ensure that continued efforts are made to mainstream gender into ITU’s strategic, operational and budgetary plans;
      • 2) facilitate the inclusion of a gender perspective into the analytical and statistical work of ITU;
      • 3) provide advice on mainstreaming a gender perspective in policy and regulatory matters for ITU, Member States and Sector Members;
      • 4) advise and assist staff in applying a gender perspective in their activities;
      • 5) collect and disseminate information related to gender issues and best practices;
      • 6) monitor and evaluate projects and programmes to assess their gender implications;
      • 7) provide advice to the Secretary-General and the Directors of the Bureaux of the three Sectors on the role that ITU should take in order to be a leader in gender and ICT-related issues as part of the many international initiatives to bridge the digital divide, such as the G8 Dot Force, the United Nations ICT Task Force and the World Summit on the Information Society.
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