Arab Women Summit | Events | IDC CEMA

Information and communication technology (ICT) has transformed the social habits of Arab society and impacted the wider economy as a whole, influencing both the production and consumption of goods and services. However, when considering the use of new tools and media (e.g., computers and the Internet) or active participation in the development of them (i.e., working in IT functions), Arab women remain a minority. While many Arab women use ICT both for work and play, very few make it their profession.

Achievements in Arab Countries

One of the most important actions taken by Arab states in the area of public policy and legislative change has been, in general terms, the recognition that women have political rights.  New constitutions have enshrined the right of women to participate in politics and public affairs on an equal footing to men, and laws have been enacted affirming their right to stand as candidates for public office, to exercise these rights, and to be appointed to advisory assemblies and the like without discrimination.

States in which these rights are recognized regularly organize training courses designed to help women exercise them effectively, and most states have adopted a quota system for women in their national assemblies. In addition, some have instituted positive discrimination mechanisms for appointing women as members. Such temporary measures have been designed to enhance the political situation of women, and some states have recently adopted policy-development plans aimed at securing a meaningful presence of women in the decision-making process.

Objectives of the Summit

The Arab Women Summit has been conceived as a tool for stimulating and supporting strong cooperation between women in the technology, political, and social sectors by providing a framework for development. The summit will provide a platform for diagnosing shared development challenges and catalyzing development solutions with the aim of driving increased gender equity. In collaboration with regional and global partners, the summit will facilitate the creation of critical development knowledge through ICT and encourage the development of dialogues, processes, programs, and policies based on the very best expertise available. Furthermore, the summit will address emerging regional needs and challenges such as education, governance, and other phenomena that are inhibiting the betterment of women’s interests across the Arab region.

Arab women need to be given the same access to technology as men, but unfortunately, this is currently not the case due to various educational, accessibility, cost, and social barriers. Consequently, the Arab Women Summit will focus on:

  • Enabling a regional review of existing gender gaps
  • Facilitating the exchange of gender-related best practices within the ICT sector
  • Collecting gender-disaggregated data and providing tools and training for the mainstreaming of gender issues throughout the Arab region
  • Developing knowledge and capacity for enhancing entrepreneurship among Arab women

The key goals of the Arab Women Summit include:

  • Improving understanding of existing ICT use and application trends among Arab women
  • Identifying gender gaps across the Arab region where more use could be made of ICT
  • Raising awareness of the relevance and application of ICT in Arab women’s lives
  • Driving the creation of accelerated access centers
  • Establishing ICT training for Arab women and girls
  • Reducing the high ICT illiteracy rate among Arab women and girls
  • Reducing the stereotyping of ICT roles for men and women across the Arab region
  • Developing best-practice guidelines for Arab countries to encourage the better use of ICT

Partners

Co-Organiser

Partner(s)

Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Dell Maroc Intel United Nations Development Programme Center of Arab Women for Training and Research United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia