Barcelona, 27 March 2015. Within the framework of its strategy for women’s empowerment, the Secretariat of the Union for the Mediterranean organised a multi-stakeholder workshop to discuss the constraints and opportunities of women’s economic participation in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector within the Euro-Mediterranean region. The event was held at the UfM headquarters in Barcelona and gathered over 40 participants from international and regional organisations, development agencies, civil society organisations and the private sector. Donors and representatives from different UfM partners and stakeholders, including UN Women, the European Training Foundation, the Union of Arab ICT organisations and private companies such as Microsoft also participated in the discussions.
Participants stressed the need for a comprehensive approach and complementarity between different actors to overcome the main challenges and obstacles that still hinder women’s equal participation in ICT in the region. They explored the opportunities offered by the sector and proposed suggestions for the implementation of specific actions to enhance women’s economic participation.
Together with the UfM Conference on “Women’s socio-economic empowerment: Projects for progress”, held in Barcelona in March 2014, this workshop contributes to consolidating a regional dialogue and coordination platform between key sector stakeholders active in the field of gender equality. Further discussions will take place during the next High-Level UfM Conference on Women’s Socio-Economic Empowerment, set to take place from 19-20 May 2015 at the UfM headquarters in Barcelona.
“Information and communication technologies offer critical tools that are progressively and deeply shaping our society, our interactions and our understanding. They have an instrumental role towards realising inclusive and equitable development. Through its role as an action-oriented regional platform, the UfM Secretariat aims to place women’s empowerment and gender equality at the centre of the development of digital opportunities, thus contributing to diminish the gap for women within the digital landscape”, stated UfM Deputy Secretary General Delphine Borione.
This meeting falls within the UfM’s strategic objective to develop a Euro-Mediterranean women’s empowerment initiative, as a key follow-up to the Declaration of the UfM Third Ministerial Conference on Strengthening the Role of Women in Society, and as a contribution to the Beijing+20 process.
Presentations delivered by the speakers
- Samir Benmakhlouf, Country General Manager, Microsoft (Morocco)
- Elisa de la Nuez, Founder, IClaves (Spain)
- Hasan Omar, Co-founder and CEO, Glow Innovations (Palestine)
- Nizar Zakka, Chief Executive Officer, Union of Arab ICT Associations
- Outi Karkkainen, Project Leader – Support to EU Policy and External Assistance, Operations Department, European Training Foundation (ETF)