About Us

Working to ensure that gender equality and women’s rights are integrated in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)


The WSIS Gender Caucus is a multi-stakeholder group consisting of women and men from national governments, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations, the private sector and the United Nations system.  The strategic objective of the WSIS-Gender Caucus is to ensure that gender equality and women’s rights are integrated into WSIS and its outcome processes.


The WSIS Gender Caucus was formed during the African regional preparatory conference (Bamako 2002), which took place in Mali from 25-30th May 2002.  The WSIS- Gender Caucus commits to work towards the goals of the WSIS by sharing information and ideas on strategies for including gender equality goals and ensuring women’s participation in the WSIS process and follow-up programmes.


The WSIS-Gender Caucus affirms its support for the objectives of WSIS and reiterates its view that integrating gender equality issues are a critical means as well as a goal in creating a World Information Society that supports and promotes human development and improvement in quality of life[1].  We believe that if there is appropriate attention paid to gender equality and women's perspectives, the World Information Society will benefit by facilitating the inclusion of women's leadership, communication styles and values.  These perspectives will add richly to the concept of a World Information Society and enable the achievement of operational goals.  Without a gender dimension, ICTs will not serve human development needs.


To ensure that gender perspectives and women’s rights are taken seriously as core principles in the planning and preparation for the WSIS, the WSIS-Gender Caucus urges all stakeholders, in planning the preparatory processes, the Summit, and the follow-up programmes, to:

  • Acknowledge gender equality and women’s rights as a cross-cutting principle;
  • Include women as leaders and decision-makers in all planning processes for the Summit and recognition that women’s perspectives can make a significant contribution to aligning the Summit with the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Facilitate and encourage women as members of national delegations and representatives of civil society and business by setting targets for delegations to include at least 30% women including gender and ICT experts;
  • Include in the theme of applications --design of ICT projects which take women’s needs into account, for example by developing technology solutions suited to rural women, women in conflict areas, and applications that assist with the HIV/AIDS pandemic;
  • Development of projects that will collect and, analyze, appropriate gender specific data and reporting mechanisms to evaluate and monitor the impact of ICT developments on women and girls;
  • Implementation of an information dissemination campaign that includes a wide range of media such as radio, drama and print and variety of languages; and
  • Commission a study on the interaction between gender equality and ICT, which should include development of a  gender equality and ICT baseline study, indicators, conceptual tools and case studies on the impact of ICT on achieving gender equality, to inform the dialogue of the Summit.

The WSIS-Gender Caucus looks forward to working with all stakeholders to implement these recommendations.


Formation group of the WSIS-Gender caucus at 30th May included:

  • ABANTU for Development;
  • African Connection Programme;
  • AIS-GWG;
  • AMARC Africa;
  • APC Africa Women’s Programme;
  • AQ Solutions Association of YAM-Bukri;
  • ENDA;
  • GEEP;
  • MISA;
  • NDIMA;
  • Network of African Women Economists;
  • UNDP/SURF West Africa;
  • Unite d’appui au programme de la cooperation Canada-Malienne;
  • WomensNet(SA);
  • ZWRCN; and
  • Zimbabwe Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The WSIS Gender Caucus now has more than 100 registered participants on its list serve including individuals, NGO representatives, government representatives, academicians and researchers, consultants, private sector companies and international organisations, including persons from the following organisations:

  • ITU Working Group on Gender Issues;
  • University of Ottawa;
  • IWTC;
  • ISIS-International (Manila);
  • Datamation Foundation;
  • women ICT entrepreneurs;
  • Asian Institute of Technology;
  • HumanITy;
  • Caribbean Institute of Human Development;
  • UNESCO Chair on Gender;
  • Science and Technology;
  • SchoolNet Africa;
  • Knowledge Working;
  • World Bank;
  • Norwegian Telecommunications regulatory authority;
  • Tanzania national ICT Task Force; and
  • UN-ICT Task Force.

For more information contact the WSIS-Gender Caucus at [email protected].


Join the caucus and contribute to its work. For more details on the core programme see here.


Building on commitments made in the Beijing Platform for Action 1995.

© 2003 WSIS Gender Caucus