The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 21 December 2017. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> I would like to thank our repertoire for their hard work, and I'm going to ask Dustin to read the general messages sent during the first segment over the divider community by the participating NRIs.
>> DUSTIN PHILLIPS: Thank you, Anja. My name is Dustin Phyllis, for the record.
And so there were several key themes that emerged at the first part of this session. One over the most prominent themes that rose was the broad consensus that online rights are the same as offline rights.
Then, we went on to talk about the access and connectivity is rights for the digital world r world. Beyond that, the access alone is not enough. That there's an additional need for capacity development, such as increasing digital literacy and raising awareness about protecting certain rights online. And the rapid development of certain new technologies online can have an impact and effect on our digital rights. And the last thing that was a common theme among all of the ‑‑ not all of the NRIs, but a lot of them was that the approach to the matters pertaining to these online rights needs to be inclusive of all perspectives, especially, including the vulnerable communities.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Dustin, I know you didn't have an easy task given the complexities shared during the first segment. Now, building, Dustin summarized for us and what we heard during the first segment, I think we have identified a lot of issues, a lot of problems. Some of those problems, issues, and priorities in terms of what needs to be resolved are different across countries and regions.
And with that, my question, first of all, for the NRIs panel, would be what would be the effective approach to find solutions to these problems? And how can we improve the overall internet pertaining to our countries and improve the conditions globally? Can the multistake holder approach maybe be an effective approach in advancing the overall internet governance conditions?
I would kindly ask you to limit your interventions if possible to one minute. And with this, maybe to start with ‑‑ I know it's challenging, but let's see ‑‑
>> Thank you, Anja. We need to pursue and we need to get. But at the same time, it's a huge challenge. How can we build multishareholder model with the weak institutions in early one of the models. So the weak representation from companies. Weak representation from the nongovernmental side and the business side, too.
So this is the big challenge we have to deal with. You know, to work in a multistakeholder model which we really believe is the model we need to work on this internet governance.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much to the Colombian IGF, now Nigeria to see the multistakeholder approach.
>> Thank you, Anja. Brazil has been following the multistake holder model for more than two decades now. Also multistakeholder event does not propose on the recommendations. It serves as a policy forum, using important inputs for CGI, and the executive role. And for all actors of the Brazilian system. Taking an example, the CGI log seeking principles for the development of internet was the result of the committee. And none of the important bases for the widely known Brazilian bill of rights for the internet. And among those rights as mentioned before, you have freedom of speech, privacy of data protection and remove contents from websites, net neutrality.
It was the resort of a very wide consultation process which strong involvement from all stakeholder groups allow two years of intense debate and the legitimacy of that framework and the legitimacy has been stronger but the multistakeholder nature of the debates inside CGI leading toward the principles and outside of CGI with the whole society.
>> Thank you very much, I think that this is very important to underline that the legislation itself when it comes about the internet is a platform that requires, first of all, all of us to be involved, not just traditionally the governments. Let us see maybe what are the perspectives.
>> Thank you, this is Elizabeth. At this point in time, what European governance processes can do is capacity building and the policymakers and regulators. Decisionmaking remains UN Nation state centric. Europe has not been regulating. But there's a certain pressure to do so in the future.
But European countries mostly have high standards of human rights protection by legislation. So Europe is in a position to translate the standards into digital practice and to protect human rights across different European conditions. And this would be desirable to involve expertise of multistakeholder processes.
>> Thank you very much. We do have Spanish IGF inputs and I'm going to give priority as I know colleagues need to leave very soon.
>> The challenges about digital rights can be addressed through the multistakeholder model. There's a model that can potentially solve the challenges that is a multistakeholder model. Building ‑‑ so I would like to share with you very briefly some details about initiatives and detail rights ‑‑ so the IGF (?) Engaging the community. So the first group is a collaborating, while the second group is the ethics and the economy. And producing conduct the public sector and a guide for the practices for the private sector. So we had this multistakeholder enable for the cooperation to (?). Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for these ‑‑ sharing these good practices from their respective communities. Moving now to the Italian IGF to see what is the status of the multistake holder approach to these complex issues there.
>> So every one of us understand that the multistakeholder is a key for the management of the internet, especially, even in the countries. There are different models. Models, someone wants to share with the government and the government has to accept the model. In this committees. Another is that the government listened before. The opinions of the other constituencies and then they decide.
We tried in Italy, and it is now to discuss this for making the pressure on the government. This year, we think to have a result, a result that is positive, maybe more even of the previous two years. But then, the real point is that we are in an electoral campaign. That is not so easy. But we have to insist we have good signals in order to proceed. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for bringing these remarks on behalf of the Italian IGF. I think what you said is important. Goes in line with the fact that the IGF is not a decision-making forum, but a discussion forum. But ones that are making decisions are here and they're listening. And I think there is the biggest when it comes to the IGFs regardless on the level they're organized.
I do have from remarks from the IGFSA to hear remarks on this discussion.
>> One of our challenges was getting people to participate beyond what they're used to thinking is a Washington representatives taking care of this problem. Thankful that Larry Strickland has liked the multistakeholder model and implemented it in the US government beyond internet governance. Kind of used the multistakeholder models to lower the formality. It's been helpful not only in the internet governance portion, we're starting to see it involved in other areas of the government.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much to the colleagues from IGF‑USA. Now these remarks from the Portugal IGF, I know you have established within your respective community.
>> Thank you very much. Well, actually, you are right. So I'm not the coordinator, I'm part of the multistakeholder community that prepares the national initiative of the IGF in Portugal.
And because of I'm going to talk I'm going to wait I want to be certain all of my colleagues from the other fields feel comfortable with what messages that come up from our national initiative that was held on the 29th of September.
So on this ‑‑ so I'm ‑‑ as far as I'm understanding, the question.
>> So we open the second segment with discussing the multistakeholder approach. But of course, you have all of the flexibility to address all other items given the complexity of the topic.
>> So, we have a very good discussion. So we had to ‑‑ we have very good discussions, and as a result, we put in our messages that the contribution of the difference vital, to enrich the content and the ongoing discussion. It's problematics in a process allowing different perspectives to complement each other with the purpose of having a data comprehension of our reality.
This, in turn, empowers us to define the pathways to inclusions and digital competences to protect individual data, fundamental rights, the right to be forgotten, and to face up the challenges attached to issues like cyber security. Different perspectives, actors and stakeholders, they result in ‑‑ where we can recognize the main internet scenarios for today and tomorrow. But also, and perhaps, most importantly different uses, advantages and the challenges it entails. We have this initiative, now, in Portugal, it is called (?) 2030. It's an initiative, but it entails everything even the fifth pillar is about research with a computer and robotics, et cetera. And while I'm mentioning this. Because we are prepared to ‑‑ to better understand the future. Because we don't know what the technology would lead us in the morning of tomorrow. So before it was, like, day‑to‑day, we would change. Now, it's from the morning to the afternoon. Thank you.
>> Anja, thank you very much for defining how the multistakeholder approach is needed in that sense to address the issues that are emerging. Now to move to Afghanistan IGF. And see what are the perspectives that you are bringing from your respective community.
>> Thank you. As I mentioned before connectivity in being one of the greatest challenges that Afghanistan will also face the problem about having sufficient content and technologies has been a challenge here in the country that policy in the environment, taxation, government official having business interests so that it creates sort of an issue for the businesses in fiber optic, although it's open access policy that started a few really expensive really high‑end local businesses are not able to invest in the optic, fiber optic.
Public/private partnership has been an issue in Afghanistan, especially the organizations that are generating ‑‑ there's a complex cashback system in Afghanistan. All of the cash received by certain government agency go to a municipal finance fund. And then, it will come back not to that specific entity within the government body. But it will be, you know ‑‑ it'll come as a more whole, you know, for the whole ministry.
So that particular agency will not receive it back and that makes it difficult for the private/public partnership. If you're partnering with a specific agency, if we take (?) It's a problem. But recently, Afghanistan adopted a public/private partnership policy that will make it easier for us to, you know, work on that ‑‑ there are a couple of programs, which a literacy campaign and the target is to provide digital literacy across schools throughout Afghanistan. And 34 provinces.
And there are about 200 topics that will be taught in the digital literacy program. And this has been the municipal education. Has been partnering with us on that. There's a big program called promote that's the biggest US‑government funded program in the world. They have got $250 million for that.
And the purpose is to, you know, empower the Afghan women and the Afghan part of this program. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: I find it interesting that the multistakeholder approach didn't only reflect the substance to the discussion forum, it reflects the whole facilitation of the process because somebody needs to implement the whole process and invest its time and resources ‑‑ thank you for pointing this out. Can you share the inputs on behalf of your initiative?
>> Thank you, Anja, in Argentina, we underwent the second national IGF experience ‑‑ part of the core aspects of the discussions that we take into consideration. I would just guessing on the ‑‑ to the amount of time we have and the question about how does multistakeholder processes help in raising awareness and developing these human rights that in many parts of civil society in Argentina, seeing this increasingly as a vital component of its national policy. We are proceeding as the mechanism of having just run initiative in the yearly event is not enough as a multistakeholder process as such.
So the idea of this IGF ‑‑ visualized illustrated in work along the year where the national IGF is only one more of the activities that it is currently undertaking. And we see, this is the only way forward to make this a valuable space in terms of contributing towards these key priorities that are potentials between technology, human rights, the role of the internet in the economy and the promotion of innovation access to technology. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you, Carlina for being precise. Can you please just share very quickly and concisely, if possible, inputs from your perspective?
>> Secretary of African IGF. The sixth African IGF was held under a team in Italy and the digital transformation of Africa. It was preceded by the African School of governance, part of the African IGF process. The one key element was the African IGF. Based on very much stakeholder process. You can retain the ‑‑ relaxation of regulation to allow competition and reduced cost of services and products to consumers.
Affordability of content or connecting devices. The infrastructure is open that our policy for research. Capacity building, easy access to resources and application of use to encourage innovation, especially for use. Availability of space to bring all stakeholders together to share as best practices and make a stakeholder, each stakeholder understand and play its role.
As a multistakeholder model is overcoming problems in the digital world. If you want to see, you are invited to IGF open forum, from 5:20 to 6:20 in the room 23‑E.
>> Thank you very much, and looking forward to that open forum tomorrow. I hope in six minutes after we exhaust all of this today ‑‑ today, it's today. Okay. Thank you. I hope in six minutes after we exhaust all of the interventions, we can make open the floor for other colleagues to engage with you in the discussion.
Maybe if we could respect the timing of one minute and maybe ‑‑
>> The Polish IGF, I'll try to be brief. There are some fluctuations depending on the topics that are current to the internet themes and been discussed. It was in the European Union what we are trying to do as far as awareness raising is concern. We try to reach to the opinion leaders and other well‑formed communities working around internet things.
We did attract a lot of interest from the initiative, had a few successful sessions during the IGF on this topic. And we reach out to other neighboring countries that do not have for the national IGF with a session organized by our colleagues. We had some speakers and moderators from the Czech Republic. And it proved successful. It interested attention and spectators from Poland.
What we lack, really, is the more attention from SMEs, small and medium enterprises. We have big companies, we have civil society. What we do not have small, a small interpreters present at our IGF. Thank you.
>> Thank you very much. The colleagues from Polish IGF, similarities to what we heard.
>> I would say there are similarities. I would start with the identified problems. We had in previous interventions. As a solution for lack of digital competency that's identified in Croatia. We perceived that introducing digital literacy and media literacy problems formal and informal education would be important to engage more citizens in active participation if it is a problem. And online accessible services as well as to enhance the cooperation between citizens and the government team, and all government entities.
And currently, Croatia is taking place the education and critical reform, recognized those identified shortcomings and we all hope that it will mitigate them. Also, this digital competencies is recognized by my affiliate to the organization, research network, which started the huge project that aims to make school digital competent and mature. And we hope it'll bring some positive impacts.
>> ANJA GENGO: Just in time. Thank you so much. Moving now to The Netherlands IGF. To hear about the multistakeholder approach there.
>> Thank you. Thank you, again, from The Netherlands. The Dutch IGF has a multistakeholder engagement in The Netherlands. The platform engages various groups from all society, also young people. They're very engaged. I would like to stress, especially, the participation of government inside the IGF. I'm from the government ‑‑ but also, officials from economic affairs and from security and justice. Are involved in the IGF, which represents a very broad amount of knowledge policy in various fields.
I think this is a very strong aspect of approach. Next to the multilateral forum we are engaged in, we address the multistakeholder when we act internationally and we advance a free, open and secure internet all over the world.
For example, for where we are active, the form of internet freedom in Africa, but also, the global conference in cyber space in India, any IGF, of course, and I just wanted to say that other ‑‑ I want to highlight two other fora we initiated. Those are the global for cyber expertise, for all stake holders together on cyber security, capacity building and the government coalition of internet freedom and its advisory network that really is there. It will be launched today for the participation of nonstate stakeholders. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you for being on time. And I think you mentioned a lot of similar views that colleagues mentioned. But one very, very important, which is the role of the multistakeholder process. And with that, I would kindly ask to share the perspectives from your IGF.
>> Most effective model to deal with building ‑‑ research in the model as (?) And the model it's modelled directly and indirectly. The opportunity to (?)
>> Thank you very much. Can you briefly tell us what is the regional perspective there?
>> It's run as a multistakeholder group since establishment, actually. But I want to reiterate as colleagues mentioned about the importance of capacity building. So it's not just about opening the door for the people to come, but we'll have to make sure that we help them and prepare them to make some meaningful participation. And specifically raised by some ‑‑ town hall sections during our Bangkok meeting and also recognize this concern.
So therefore, we have been expanding our fellowship programs, which we were very proud to say we have been supporting from around the region to come to Bangkok meeting. And we also think it is very important to encourage new faces to come to the IGF meetings and to equip them with the understanding on how they can participate and exercise their rights here. And also, out of IGF, of course.
So that's why when you consider capacity building, I think it is very important to ensure the materials or courses we give them so we can see the diversity of language and culture as well as the background, knowledge and skills of the participants so that they can fully understand the issues. And lastly, I want to say, so we feel that by creating a network of fellows or from around the region, it would help to enhance the capacity with these peer support and shared information and encourage them for the continued participation. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. There's a very good multistake holder process in this year and well documented, I would say. What is the situation currently now there?
>> It was very multistake holder. And all of the stakeholders mentioned in IGF principle. All of them were included. In investing in government officially, the department of IGF is individual capacity, not ‑‑ is the chair of IGF. And civil society and we have the vice chair from the business community, as well. So it was very inclusive, multistakeholder. And interestingly, this was the budget.
But it is almost like funded, like organizing and organizers were there in the board and contributed. While connecting IGF activities, it is very interesting. And the most thing that there was one IGF issues. And then, that was very good discussion. And stakeholder and recommend all of the NRIs to be more focused on those and excluded community to build into this IGF that is very important.
And important thing that we are not able to admit is that most of the participants from the government itself and not from the outside of the capital. So that was one of major challenge to bring them all of them in the forum and discuss them in that way. So it was a nice discussion. And we hope we can bring who are not able to participate in the process.
>> I know it wasn't an easy journey, but you succeeded with a great outcome. In IGF, can we briefly hear about the status of the multistakeholder approach?
>> Thank you very much, Anja. The process was a success. From all points of view. In terms of organization. Makes it possible to reduce the cost, to open up debate in terms of national exchange to open debate on management of the domain and the CTFD. And all of these experiences have enabled the government to come to the conclusion that it was useful to participate to have the representatives of the local community but also all of the other officers who are in charge, with IT issues. And this has been very effective.
And so, around the IGF, they have been able to discuss the quality of services provided to the communities. We think this model should remain one and remain our process, should enable us to achieve results.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for respecting times and bringing very important inputs. I'm going to ask you to prepare your remarks and notes for intervening. While you're preparing on the policy questions we discussed during the first segment. And now the second segment with regard to the digital rights. While you're preparing, many will be quick on the behalf of IGF. Yes. We have only 20 minutes.
>> Thank you. Thank you. We try to have multistakeholder. The secretariat in the regional economic commission. But we reached out and it was multistakeholder. We want to say by 2018, we're trying to bring the West Africans to the School of internet governance. So we are hoping to hold that in 2018. School of internet governance, specifically targeting our participant that had not been enjoying the school of internet governance as we do in Africa.
Thank you. And is willing to separate us. Thank you.
>> Thank you very much, Mary. Let us just quickly go to Lianna. To hear perspectives.
>> LIANNA GALSTYAN: Thank you for giving me the floor. I'm Lianna Galstyan. And all change in the internet governance related issues are being discussed within this group. And even the discussions of the annual IGF in forms of messages go through this console. And finally placed in the world map of action plans for the coming years. The multistakeholder model can be an objective approach for making changes and improvements. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. On behalf of IGF Turkey.
>> This year was the most open transparent multistakeholder organization out of the three. And there's not much awareness about multistakeholder approaches among these. But once explained, the benefits and how it works and how it fits perfectly with the governance of internet is very enthusiastic and willing to participate in all processes. There's a general culture of government versus civil society, but at times, when this is broken, it comes with great results, such as the new legislation proposal and the analyzing of personal data. And, of course, we need to see if it will actually be enforced. And other challenges include local language content on internet governance. And more awareness about it because, like I said, once there's awareness, most parties are willing to participate, including the government.
>> Thank you very much, Sonia. Grace in Kenya, how is the situation?
>> I must say that the trend has continued because there has always been multistakeholder participation. But, you know, this year, we saw the participation of the youth determining what topics they want to listen to. And also, in terms of funding, we actually had the businesses putting in money, the government putting in money, we had traditional donors putting in money, and thin, we had organizations like the bloggers giving their time to just generate content. It was multistake holder all the way. And we felt that there are more voices this time.
And we hope that even in 2010, we will bring in more voices.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Grace. And on behalf of the Kenyan IGF, we will conclude this segment with brief remarks from the Italian IGF on the process.
>> During the Italian IGF. Because the proposal was put to the ‑‑ in the plenary session. And decent proposal of multistakeholder ability to be tackled locally for addressing internet government issues. We'll be putting public (?) Calling on this issue and multistakeholder in IGF Italia.
>> ANJA GENGO: With this, we have exhausted the initial remarks. I'll ask you to indicate whether you would like to intervene and ask a question or maybe add a suggestion for this session. I guess, there will be by raising hands. Yes, we have a first question here. I'm going to ask you to say your name at the beginning.
>> I'm from the Syrian IGF and west Africa IGF. What would perhaps put forward is ‑‑ I think every IGF should have a diversity indicator. It seems most IGFs are dominated by civil society. At this IGF, so many people from civil societies ‑‑ so many from the government, so at least you know it is multi‑stakeholder. Not more civil organizations, which is the case. Looking ahead, we don't have that many anyway.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for the question. My suggestion is we take the questions and then we will try to respond to all of them. Any other questions or suggestions? Yes, please.
>> It's more of a comment. Because after hearing all of the testimony, I feel like sharing that we launched two reports just on NRIs that raised a lot of the challenges that have been discussed here. Both are in line. And one is to open for participation by NRIs that want to share, like, the experience of their founding and the challenges encountered to multistakeholders and others.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you for this. Any questions reflecting the substance that we're hearing during the first and second segment? What is the concept of digital rights where there are issues to consider access to be a right. How are they affecting our rights?
>> Thank you, Anja. I wanted to make a 30‑second comment and suggestion. One thing I noted as a uniqueness. We have my observation. And as most of you know, my observation is we have very different models where in some cases in Europe, the government is almost the host. And in other cases, we have models where the ‑‑ maybe I should say the originator, the originator is civil society. And in other cases, it's already evolved very equally, and other cases, may be the technical community. What I've observed is there's a real challenge and I'm from the business sector. But what I've observed, there's a real challenge in all of the NRIs. And particularly, those that are not located in the countries to be able to reach businesses and particularly, outside of the telecom and internet business sectors. And I wanted to ask a question even by a show of hands of those who feel that our ability to attract businesses from health care, from financial services, et cetera, where if we're going to achieve the SDGs, we must be able to bring along more than what I think of as the supplier side of the internet, et cetera.
Because, I can say I'm looking at the co‑chair. We are able to get the communication companies. We're able to get the media companies. But it's difficult for us to interest banking or health care, et cetera. So I just think that's a common challenge that all of us face. And I guess, I'd be interested even just a by show of hands if that engagement with business is a big challenge everywhere.
I think that's very helpful and something for us in the network to think about what would make it more exciting and interesting and relevant to health care suppliers who are delivering ehealth, et cetera. So thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you, Marilyn, for the comment and suggestion, and I think your question was answered by the hands that were raised.
Any other comments or questions for the NRI colleagues? I do have one from the NRI ‑‑ just looking quickly whether there's anyone from the audience. If not, then I will give the floor to Catalina.
>> I think the issue just raised by Marilyn is one of the challenges we have with the branding of internet governance. And she were referring to companies that are part of the digital economy these days or traditional sectors or all of the sectors. And maybe the concept of ‑‑ they don't understand the concept of internet governance. They feel it's somehow unrelated to them. And I'm feeling this more and more.
And even in the university where I work, if I say this is a course in internet governance. Or if I say it's digital policy, oh. So there is a kind of a branding that I'm perceiving is challenging to overcome this next step over ‑‑ in this case, businesses, but other actors that should be incorporated into the ecosystem.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much, Catalina. I think we have an online participant. Lianna is online.
>> LIANNA GALSTYAN: Yes, we do have around 20 online participants. And we have a discussion and questions to the panel. And I combined them in this way. And so, is there possibility of creation if a global institution that will monitor all of the cases of breaking the law of digital right and to regulate and solve those cases?
And this is one question, and the other one is what is a most appropriate way to engage young people in internet governance initiatives? How to make sure that they are equally involved in the IGF question. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. Having an institution that will do the monitory incorporating the digital rights.
>> This first question, I think we have been in this territory. And there are a variety of opinions whether we should strive to create some centralized governance model organization to address all of those issues. Or, we should simply continue addressing internet governance relate LD issues in the variety of organizations, variety of forums.
And coordinate these activities through specific actions, like internet governance forum where we come together, exchange information.
Probably, following the logic of internet architecture, avoid creation of single point of failure. One would argue that the governance model also should try to avoid create the single point of failure. Hence, my personal preference would be a variety of points where the decisions should be made. And, actually, coming back and thinking how idea of IGF was created, it was created exactly with the idea in mind that people who do care about internet about internet governance and related issues should come to learn, listen, tell their story, tell their concerns, better understand suggestion.
Different aspects of the issue. And then, go back to the respective constituencies organizations and make necessary decisions based on better understanding and fuller set of information about any given question.
>> ANJA GENGO: Mr. Peter Major, thank you.
>> Okay. Sorry. I'm Peter Major, just to follow‑up on what Janis was telling us. There's a cooperation within the commission of science and technology for development just discussing this possible models. They have distributed arrangement as we have now or should we have some kind of unified approach that is creating a new mechanism. As for the mechanism, it may be a mechanism of open working group or it can be a mechanism of a body. So the discussion is still going on.
There has been a previous working group that carried out a study about the issues and the existing mechanisms identifying also gaps. And this is a very valuable study, I believe, which pointed out that many of the issues or majority of the issues are being taken care of existing mechanisms. And of course, we have to think about how to fill the gaps. Thank you.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much for the very concrete answer. I think the Colombian IGF would like to intervene.
>> Thank you very much, Anja. Well, basically, I would like to assess the first exercise that took place this year in various sessions. These sessions had the participation of national and regional levels. And, I think, it's important to conduct an assessment to see if we can make improvements and maintain these areas for cooperation. Where we can share our experiences with respect to these issues here in the IGF.
Because, I see this as a mechanism to share the results of our national initiatives as well as good practices in this global space. Thank you very much.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. I think currently the records and the status of the network and the produced outcomes probably speak in favor to what you said, which is very important that the NRIs should have a good calibration. And I think there are good grounds laid for that. Thank you very much for bringing this up.
Second online question, yes? Lianna?
>> LIANNA GALSTYAN: So we're taking a question from an online participant. The second question is what is the most appropriate way to engage young people in IGF initiatives? How to make sure they are equally involved in the IGF discussion.
>> ANJA GENGO: I think, Marilyn, you would like to intervene.
>> I'm going to make a comment about what I would say four models that I could point to. And we have some of them here. And the IGF‑USA, we have involved youth as advisers. They have been speakers on the plenary sessions. We've also involved Elon University on an ongoing basis. Through a multi‑year continuous involvement with Elon University and four other universities, we've been able ‑‑ we tried various models. And we ‑‑ our goal is just to make sure that we're integrating youth.
There are other models where youth have their own design. And I think maybe hearing from you about the other models, I would just say one size does not fit all. And I think that's important to make ‑‑ bring the voice of youth actually into the overall IGF, as well.
>> ANJA GENGO: Thank you very much. And I think we need to wrap up here. But on this question, I'll invite everyone tomorrow morning at half past 8:00 to join us at the meeting into the IGF processes with the idea to have public consultations and see how we can improve the engagement of young people. With this, I believe, we have exhausted our time.
I'm going to first of all, from my side, thank you, not just the session, but thank you for working hard the whole year for this day to happen. And I'm going to especially thank for accepting this responsibility and for, of course, doing a wonderful job and in giving the last remarks, then, to Mr. Karklins.
>> JANIS KARKLINS: Thank you very much. It was my pleasure to visit this to this community who dedicate their time to connectivity of internet in the respective countries and kudos and I'm very pleased to see that the community's growing.
And from my side, thanks to session organizer, conceptors and interpreters who helped us understand each other better. And I wish you ‑‑ all of you, wonderful end of the day and closing day of IGF that is tomorrow. Thank you very much.
[ Applause ]
>> Hello, hello, is this working? Can I ask everybody to take your seats, please so that we can start the main session on gender?
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Hello, can we sit down, please? So we can start the session? The gavel works. Hello, everybody, and welcome to the main session on gender. Which is Gender Inclusion and the Future of the Internet. I'm going to ask, this is a significant moment for gender and internet governance. Because after ten years, this is the first main session on gender. I'm going to ask that we applaud.
[ Applause ]
Thank you. And my name is Bishakha Datta. I'm from civil society. And my co‑moderator.
>> EMILAR GANDHI: I'm Emilar Gandhi, and I work for Facebook.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: When the first main session on human rights was held at the internet governance forum and that led, along with other things, to the recognition of human rights both offline and online at the human rights council. So our hope is with this kind of session, we will be able to signal the importance of integrating gender as a core dimension of internet policy and governance, which has been happening every year at the global internet governance forum, as well as at regional and internet governance forum.
So with that in mind, we just want to run you through a little bit of how the session is going to be organized. Basically, the session is broken into four chunks. The first three chunks are what we're calling 1A, B and C. And all of these, actually, relate to key issues and challenges related to gender, human rights, access, internet policy, artificial intelligence, et cetera.
And this will take us the first sort of one hour, 15 minutes or so. After that, we switch to the last segment, which looks at gender and internet governance. And we're going to try and actually shift around the ‑‑ where we sort of do the segments a little bit so that the first three segments will have interventions of three minutes each from our fantastic lineup of speakers.
And then the fourth segment, which is on gender and internet governance, we're going to run more like a talk show. And Emilar and I will model different segments. We're going to alternate with each other. So with this, let me hand over to Emilar to take it forward.
>> EMILAR GANDHI: Thank you. And we don't want to waste a lot of time talking. We do have experienced speakers, experts in their own fields and they can introduce themselves later on. But before we even start with the speakers, we have David Kaye for us. And just in opening and let us, everyone in the room know why is this significant? Why should people stay in the room for the next two hours?
>> DAVID KAYE: Okay. That's a lot of pressure. Maybe we should shut the doors, lock the doors because I don't want you to leave while I'm talking, or when anybody else is talking. I just want to say a few things about this. First of all, I'm David Kaye, I'm Freedom of Opinion and Expression. And one of the things I've been very lucky about ‑‑ (audio stopped) working in a space of freedom of expression and gender and gender rights.
And I want to say a couple of things about this. I don't know if I can frame the discussion. That's a heavy burden. But I think there are a couple of points to make. So the first one and one of the reasons why I think, I think it's so important to have organizations, like APC, active in this space is that there are two ‑‑ it's often seen that the two kinds of issues that are competing in some way. So on the one hand, you have gender‑based violence. And then, competing with that is freedom of expression.
And I think that one of the really brilliant insights that many of the people in this room and I think people on this panel have been saying for a long time that APC has been really essential at coordinating is that expression and protection are not independent of one another.
And that, really the first place to be ‑‑ the first way to think about these kinds of issues is not in terms of a victim of gender‑based violence as purely a victim, but as also an agent in her own right or his own right.
But that, I think, is a critical perspective that APC and others have brought to the table. And I hope it's a way that we can think about the issue over the course of this ‑‑ of this discussion. Although, I'm leaving, I say we in the genetic sense. That's the first point I want to make is that the gender‑based violence and expression, don't need to be add odds with one another. That protection and expression can go hand‑in‑hand. The second part of that is that as we're thinking about the race to deal with ‑‑ in particular, online abuse or online violence ‑‑ that we need to be really careful in ensuring that the steps that we take or that we're asking either companies or governments to take are on the one hand targeted to addressing the real serious threats that are gender‑based online. Also, don't do so in a way that disproportionally impact the rights that all people enjoy online. And in particular, that have a gender oriented.
Couple of generic examples, but examples nonetheless. In an effort to deal with problems of, let's say, I think it's important to make sure that policy and rules target that problem and don't give governments the opportunity to target other issues such as the sharing of information about sexually reproductive health.
And one of the things that I think we've seen all too often is that rules that might have a sound basis and are well‑intentioned are often misused by governments to deny rights that have to do with public health, let's say or sexual health.
And so, we need to be very careful on this as an example where the basic rules of freedom of expression, the basic principles of freedom of expression can really help us. And I'll close with that and maybe this will be my last kind of framing.
So article 19 on the covenant provides that everybody enjoys the right to secrecy and impart information and ideas of all kinds regardless of frontiers and through any media. It's a brilliant formulation in many ways. And if people have heard me say this before, I'm sorry, but it seems as though the language is actually from about 1948 from the universal declaration. It's language that also feels right in the digital age. It's regardless of frontiers and it's through any media. Governments also have the ability to restrict freedom of expression, not opinion, but expression. And can only do so when they (audio stopped). To ensure that those putting burdens on expression justify that there's burdens meet those three conditions so they're provided by law. They're clear, they identify the specific kind of expression that is problematic. They don't provide excessive discretion to governments or other or companies or other kind of regulators.
We shouldn't just rest or allow governments or companies to say it's necessary to do this because of X, Y or Z. We want them to show us why there needs to be transparency about why a particular restriction is necessary and proportionate and that proportionality part means definitely tackle gender‑based abuse, but don't use that as a pretext to target other kinds of expression that might be offensive for reasons of public morals or religious bias or something that might be offensive but not within the framework of human rights law.
Finally, ensure that the actual restriction is for a legitimate purpose. And too often, we see governments and, I think, companies adopting restrictions that don't meet, at least one of those conditions. So I think that this is an absolutely essential discussion. It's a discussion that I think can be important not just for thinking about gender and online rights, but also, can be a discussion that has spillover effect into all sorts of other kinds of expression. And thankfully, because of the people associated with APC and the organization itself, there's a framework for thinking about rights and expression that is sensitive, both to the violence and abuses out there, but also, to the rights that people have to access information and ideas of all kinds.
So thank you. And I apologize, but I'm going to speak and run.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Before you run, we want to open this up for maybe two questions for you before you run from the floor.
>> EMILAR GANDHI: Any questions?
>> DAVID KAYE: All questions were answered. I see a lot of people in this room who always have a question, so, shoot away.
>> Can I ask you a question, David?
>> DAVID KAYE: Yes.
>> All questions answered cannot go unanswered. Yeah. No, what I wanted to ask you, actually, is that I know you have rarely talked about, you know, freedom of expression. Like, that when there is gender‑based online violence, that itself affects freedom of expression for those who experience gender‑based violence online, right?
So in that context, you know, how do we get platforms, policymakers or government processes to recognize that in sort of ‑‑ or even laws? You know, how can that be put into practice or something that I wanted to ask you.
>> DAVID KAYE: So, there's not enough time to get into specifics, and I think the whole discussion will focus on that, which I think is really valuable. But I think there's at least two parts of an answer ‑‑ at least put us on the path to an answer. So one is, I think, if we're talking about companies, they need to engage with civil society. I think that the companies and some have been doing this more and more because of a recognition that they can't make rules in the absence of the actual stakeholders, right?
So I think that's important as a process issue is that people in this room need to be involved in that kind of discussion. And particularly, if we're thinking about this space as being almost like public space, if not actually public space. I mean, many of us consider our interactions in social media to be more or less our public space, our interactions, our ability depends on having that kind of access that if we're going to ‑‑ if they're going to talk about themselves in terms of a kind of a public function. And if we're going to think of them as providing that space, that should also include making the rules not exactly the way democratically accountable governments do. But also, making the rules with a kind of deep, regular input from those who are most affected by those rules.
So I think that's important: And then, the second part, which is connected because you can't engage if you don't have information is that we need to be advocating for maximum transparency. And not just transparency in terms of the rules but transparency of process, transparency of cases, of how things of examples of how things are being taken down. I think those two things together can actually provide better ‑‑ a better chance that the specific rules on the merits will be more consistent with what people in this room might think are how those rules should be constructed.
>> EMILAR GANDHI: Thank you so much. We can release you, now.
>> DAVID KAYE: Sorry.
>> EMILAR GANDHI: The doors can be unlocked now. Yes. And over to you.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Okay. We move on to the next segment, which is looking at key issues and challenges. And we have three speakers with us. Our first speaker is a researcher with a think tank. And Chenai, I wanted to ask you a question related to your work and the question of access. What are the key challenges and what are we missing in the debate? Are there blind spots we're not looking at that could take us to sort of a more meaningful solution? Other questions, actors, initiatives not part of the conversation? And how can IGF facilitate this?
>> CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you very much. I thought this was one question. But ‑‑ I think at least the transcripts are showing me that there are six questions in there. Firstly, thank you for having me on this panel. It's actually an honor. Because the first time I joined IGF, seeing gender sessions, they had been hidden in the back room on the last day, everyone's gone shopping and you don't know it exists.
But to respond to your question, what we have seen in terms of the gender issue is that there have been initiatives and policymaking processes that focus on ensuring the issue of gender's addressed. There is some mechanism that allows for the gender question to be properly addressed.
However, I think the biggest prime spot has been that it seems to more of a one‑size‑fits‑all policy. And I know this is, perhaps, maybe because more of the context of which I'm coming from the different African countries I look at really has been understanding gender from a very heterosexual perspective. Looking at the differences between men and women. But there hasn't been much in terms of looking at the differences amongst women.
And so, then, this morning, we had a session that looked at the different subgroups. And some of the subgroups we looked at, which were rural women, youth, women from refugee camps, just some of these groups. So I think what's definitely missing is the way in which we approach the gender question.
There needs to be an unpacking of what these forums understand to be a gender question. Because when you come to the global IGF, you can have this main gender session and it's all dedicated to gender.
When you go to your regional IGF, you have gender packed with something else. Once again, it's, I think, when it comes to the ‑‑ access question and priorities of issues it has been how do we approach the gender question. That's the group that has been missing. We've been working in siloed conversations. People working on research, working on their own, tech sector, working on their own to address the gender question or people in the civil society space are working on their own.
There hasn't been as much crossover as necessary to ensure that the conversation is similar and there isn't a repetition of work. I think, also, it's about involving the question of access to not simply be about access to resources, but to actually understand what does access mean to the type of group we want to focus on.
So for us, we've been trying to coin this topic around meaningful access where it actually is defined by the groups of people that we're trying to understand and our researchers understanding what is it that you do online? Why do you go ‑‑ why do you access these services? And what do you intend on doing when you get access? I think that's one way we will then understand why is it that when in cases of gender‑based violence or in cases of where people would describe as bad content, we have women or different groups that then decide to not be online.
So then, we can improve access to get people online, but then, what happens when to access you get is not exactly what you want and you end up leaving the online space. That's my intervention.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Thank you very much. Our next speaker is Doreen Bogden. She's the most senior ranked woman at ITU. And Doreen is also the founder over the gentec awards. Since ITU has been championing the work around leadership in the area of gender and ICTs, as well, could we hear a little bit from you about the lessons that you've ‑‑ that ITU has learned in this process? Some of the insights and what we can bring to bear IGF has the result of that?
>> DOREEN BOGDAN: Thank you very much, it's a pleasure to be here. 2017 has been an important year for the digital gender divide. As you mentioned, we have succeeded in being a named session here at the IGF, that's big progress. We also succeeded in having a reference in the G20 this year. And in the women's 20, that's big progress. And most recently, we had a whole paragraph included in the ICT resolution of the second committee in the general assembly.
What's next? Our next big challenge? Our next big challenge is to have no more gender sessions because we actually have no more gender gap when we talk about digital. I think that's my hope. My hope for the future. I just wanted to touch briefly on the access gap. Because we know that we still have a gap. That there are, when we look at the gap, it's 12% less women than men that are using the internet. We know that the gap globally is growing. It's growing most in Africa where more men are getting connected and fewer women.
The gap is about 25% fewer women online than men. And we know that when we look at least developed countries, the gap is even bigger where there's only 1 in 7 women that are using the internet. And this is really a big concern. There is a lack of disaggregated data. And we believe that we can't solve problems that we can't see. So we really do need to address the data gap. We also know that chronic underinvestment in rural areas actually has a disproportionate negative impact on women living in rural areas.
But we believe that there are lots of things that we can do. There's lots of solutions. And when I talk about the solutions, I want to mention three names. Mala, Kenley and Aurora. Last night, they were here and they were awarded at our equals in tech award ceremony. And this morning, just before the best practice forum, they joined us for a panel and told us their stories.
And what I found interesting from their stories as one of them mentioned, even small initiatives can do big things. These three women have done incredible things in their home countries. With very little funding, very little even political support. But they were motivated and they were inspired to make a difference, and they have. Mala has created the Lebanese alternative learning where she's focusing on Syrian refugees. It's very much centered around access.
And this morning, she shared with us some of the challenges that she faced. And I think a lot of us can understand those challenges linked to the digital gender gap. She highlighted some of the social, cultural issues. It's not just about connectivity. There are lots of other issues that we need to overcome. About how to convince teachers. So getting the message out there and how to convince educators the problem with devices and the cost of devices and what she's done.
And also, the problem with local languages. So I think it was really great that she could share with us some of the work that she's been able to do in Lebanon assisting Syrian refugees. We also heard from Kenley. She's from Costa Rica and she's looking at ways to bring women and girls in the technology sector.
When we look at the digital gender gap from the ITU, we break it into skills, access and leadership. So she's taking on the leadership side and really trying to figure out ways to get girls and women interested in the ICT infrastructure. Coding for moms, girls, digital skills training to help develop future women entrepreneurs.
And then, specifically on the skills side and that's where Roya comes in, she's from Afghanistan. And she is the founder and CEO of the digital citizen fund. And what she has been working on is establishing sustainable, economic livelihoods for women and girls in Afghanistan. And she has focused on digital literacy programs and making them very much sustainable and community‑focused.
And what was great to hear from her is that financial literacy was such a driving component, and she was able to overcome a lot of barriers in traditional communities because she showed that by giving them the digital skills, making them financially literate, they were able to generate income.
She gave an example of a 16‑year‑old girl that had 25 employees. So I know I am short on time, but I thought it would be good to share with you three names. Three specific cases, three amazing women that we awarded here at the IGF. And we heard from this morning because that's how we can really make a difference. And through our equals partnership, where we're working with civil society, the private sector, governments and academic institutions, we believe that we can all come together, share experiences, share know‑how and really make a difference on the ground. Thank you.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Thank you, Doreen. I just wanted to say that thank you for also reminding us that small initiatives from the ground‑up can actually sort of have big outcomes or do big things. And I think that's a valuable insight that we take away.
Our next speaker in this particular segment which looks more at one of the key issues and challenges, which is access is Joyce Donyez, and I know you've been doing work with engaging in the sustainable development goal which is the one around gender equality. At the same time, I think ISOC has shown some interest in working on the issue of gender and mainstreaming gender much more.
So Joyce, if you could speak to some of those.
>> Thank you very much. As you may know, the fundamental goal of the internet society is to bring an open, globally connected trusted and secure internet for everyone everywhere. And that includes, obviously, all genders.
Now, what we see is that the latest internet society reports that was focusing on the future of the internet has identified that there's some divide in terms of people. People are divided between hopes and fears regarding the future.
But there's also gender divide. So, we know that there are 200 million fewer women online than men. And we heard some figures already. But in the developing world, women are 25% less likely than men to have access. And when you look at sub-Saharan Africa, the numbers jump up. One of the discussions we had, amongst others, is that technology in and of itself is not really causing inequality in gender.
We need to look at it from a broader perspective, as well. We need to look at it from a social, economical and cultural aspect, as well. And it's necessary to have proper infrastructure, which brings us back to the access, obviously. We need to have access to the internet before we can start having the conversation.
But it needs to be affordable, we need to have affordability taken into account. And we need to go beyond all of that and look at development issues from a broader perspective. We need to look at what happens after people get online, after women and girls get online. And that brings me to the meaningful access that we mentioned earlier already. How do you use the internet? How does it make your life better? How does it put in the central of that technology? Crucial in this effort is also the role of role models. And we've seen some amazing examples yesterday, thanks to the equals in tech awards. Internet society has also ran a campaign on shining the lights to actually shine some light on those amazing projects that all of these amazing young girls and women are doing around the world.
And this is bringing some inspiration to other women to probably step up and do the same. We need to make sure we build that community over success stories and attract more women in that. And internet society, I'm very proud to say has actually a special interest group on women that was created and launched last month.
So I encourage all of you to join and be part of those discussions. But talking of ‑‑ talking of role models, I just wanted to highlight one. We have an IGF ambassador here this week. Her name is Josephine. She's working in Nairobi. And she told me her story. And after bringing connectivity to the slums and actually providing some opportunities and capacity building for women to start their businesses and to grow their businesses. They also realize that there's need to expand beyond capacity building and how to use the internet. But also, as mentioned earlier is to look at financial opportunities.
Where do you get the finances to, then, actually expand your businesses? How do you take advantage? Fully take advantage of the access you have? And how do you continue to build on that? The last points I wanted to make is that we have to continue to fight because the gender equality starts from very young age. And if I may, I want to share a very short, personal story.
I have a young boy, turning 6 in January. And he came back home. My husband is amazingly supportive at home, we talk about gender equality, girls and boys are the same, you know, really make a big deal out of that at home.
One day he comes home and his favorite color is red. And started drawing and he picked a color, and he's like, mom, I don't like this one. And I look at the color and it's pink.
And he says, that's a girl's color. I don't want this. I looked at him and it was a color like any other. And I said, it's actually your favorite color mixed with some white. And he looked at me puzzled and he's like, oh, so it's my favorite color mixed with something else. I can live with that. And continued drawing. It dawned on me that we have to actually fight the pink. We have to fight from a very young age. We have to fight the fact that pink is just for girls. But technology is just for men. And that access needs to be given to a certain part of the population.
And that opportunity actually should not be pink, it should be red and white. And it should, actually, make sure all of us have the same access to the opportunity that the internet is providing. Thank you.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Thank you very much, Joyce, for reminding us, again, about the need to actually go much deeper when we talk about gender and internet governance, right to the roots of patriarchy. We decided we would do this whole session in a way where we could get audience participation at different points of time.
So now, I would like to invite two or three questions from the floor directed at any of our speakers. Or comments or thoughts.
>> First and foremost, I would like to extend my thanks to the panelists. It is an honor to take part in a key session on gender. Our work in the permanent mission and embassy of Cuba. (Audio stopped) to do with women's rights as the Cuba negotiator to set up a gender identity for women. And so it's an honor for me to have represented ‑‑ representative to negotiate gender issues when I was posted in the mission in New York. My question goes to the three panelists. But more particularly, to Ms. Bogden, I'd like to ask her about what the conference could do next year in October in Dubai. We know that this is an important conference of the union whereby decisions are taken for the next four years.
I'd like to know what your view of this is. We do know that the ITU has made a great deal of progress when it comes to gender policies. But I'd like to know what your opinion, your views, what should member states do at the conference to be held in Dubai next year? Next October, thank you very much.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Would you like to answer that? Or if there are a couple of questions, we could take all of them together and get the panelists to answer. I see another hand up.
>> Okay. So I would like to live in a world where genders are accepted. The thing that ‑‑ we're not the same, not only women from rural community or refugee, we're not all the same. And being LGBT and LBT, it's really making a big difference in the possibility to access.
The legislation of digitalization of people's models tell the difference and difference means not accessing. So need to really talk about those the body ‑‑ if I'm from the global side and India's doing a lot of this, and we hear and read a lot about the challenge of person surviving that fighting. Because I need to be part of benefit. But I'm at the mercy of the legislation, the social stigma.
And also, would like technology, the technology comes from a specific place of power, which is ‑‑ it's capitalist and it's for profit. And it's ‑‑ we need to challenge many things. And the pink is very specific way of thinking. And I think it's important that we understand that it is not just generic percent of the world that is not connected. It's a specific approach.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: If there are no more questions, may I ask the panelists to respond? I'm so sorry. Please go ahead. Yeah.
>> Thank you to the authority for the support to women as member of ISOC. It's important to take action to issues to gender and women. And invite to collaborate and work together with the group, women and society. Seek to collaborate empowered women. Thank you.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Great. We will now ask the three panelists to respond. Okay. If you could make it brief because we're going to do three questions and then move on. We don't want to open it too much at this point. Yeah? Yeah. Go ahead, but really short.
>> My apologies. From the government of Uruguay. I have a question addressed to Joyce, in particular. The gender digital divide doesn't only apply to technology, but also to other policy areas. In Uruguay, there's a serious problem for women to study science or technology careers. And I would like to know whether there are any examples across the world whereby this divide in access to technological education information has been successful if you were aware of any cases. Thank you.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Thank you. And we now hear from the panelists. Would anybody like to start? Go ahead, Doreen. Yeah.
>> Thank you very much, maybe just a quick comment on the last question from Uruguay. There are a number of examples where we have seen a major shift even in specific university programs where they've been able to go from sort of 10%, 20% women in STEM to now graduating classes of over 50%. Harvey Mudd is one good example in the United States.
If I could touch quickly on the question from my friend from Cuba. Next year, the ITU will hold their plenty conference, the main government body of the international telecommunications union where the elected management team is elected. Governing council is elected. We have a resolution that's linked to gender. And we recognize girls in ICT day, the fourth Thursday of the fourth month. And we also recognize a number of other gender‑related activities that we carry out primarily in our development sector.
So it's likely that we would be updating that to reflect some of the decisions at the world telecommunications development conference. But I would also like to mention that it's an opportunity for member states. The process is member‑state driven. They should be making concrete proposals on this issue to the conference. We will encourage member states to bring gender‑balanced delegates.
We actually track the number of women participants. We started to track the number of times women actually take the microphone at our meetings. We would also encourage member states to nominate women as chairs of committees of working groups, of drafting groups.
It's very important to get more women involved in the discussions and the negotiation process that takes place within the international telecommunications union.
And finally, I also wanted to mention we're running an open consultation right now on the digital gender gap for one of our council working groups. So I would invite all of you to contribute to that process. It's an open process, the deadline, I believe, closes on the third of January. Thank you.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Would you like to say something?
>> CHENAI CHAIR: Thank you. I would like to respond to the question around the privilege. Respond specifically around the question of privilege and technology as well as the right to access and technology. I think for me, personally, what's always missing from these conversations is that the context that people exist in determines what the effect of technology will have.
So even if you provide me with technology ‑‑ but if I come from a family that insists that technology is the devil, it's going to be pointless. And I think for me, personally, recognizing the privilege as a young woman who has grown up in a family that has allowed me ‑‑ my role to go back and understand the experiences of the other young women and how, then, do we make sure that what is their desired when it comes to accessing technology? What is it they want to achieve? The research we've been doing has actually highlighted that the biggest misconception of young people always being on social media is they're wasting time.
What we found in one of the entrepreneurial communities in Tanzania and Nigeria is they're using these platforms to solve their ‑‑ they're using these platforms to push their businesses or hassling for one thing or another. I think when it comes to the position of privilege and technology, it's about backing down from our own understanding of what it means for people to have access, of what is meaningful access. That also responds to the question around the divide to access of technology and the policies that there needs to be a focus beyond simply providing technology, but actually breaking down some of the cultural norms that make it impossible for people to be able to access technology.
I think there's a disregard from policymakers to probably not want to engage in the other core issues that make it impossible for young women or women in the rural areas to actually make use of the internet. So, for example, in one of our case studies that we did, we found that women in rural areas were most likely not to be online most of the time because there was the fear of gender‑based violence. And this is not gender‑based online, this is offline. For the sake of peace, you don't go online, but then the question becomes, our tech policy initiatives working together with women units or gender rights ministries?
That's my contribution.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Be brief, please.
>> Just a couple of comments to go back to what it was specifically. There's quite a few initiatives that we see are handled through community efforts. There's ‑‑ an initiative that happened in turkey. For children, young girls, we have girls in ICT, which is obviously another initiative that many of us are aware of. We have the first women IGF in Sri Lanka this year, through the internet society chapter, as well. Those are initiatives that actually make a difference in the national perception. Now, having said that, what we also see is thinking of the SDGs is that we looked at SDG5 and 4 as we think that education is very much linked.
We had a discussion with a number of ministries around education and ICT. And what we see is that push it back the other way, it's one of the good examples here is that in some of the countries, we start seeing, now, national initiatives to bring ICT and in education. And those initiatives, for example, provide access to ICT to young women at an early age. We see that makes a difference. I don't have exact numbers here, but we see in the choice of education, improving the access to young girls and encouraging them to keep an open mind on where they want to go in the future and addressing ICT issues. And participating in the discussions around IG issues.
And so, I think, there's some very successful initiatives already. And I think we need to continue to push them and show the success stories to the other countries so that we can continue to implement that. Thank you.
>> BISHAKHA DATTA: Thank you very much to our panelists, and we will now give them a round of applause and move on to the next ‑‑
[ Applause ]