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In March 2016, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission, stressed the importance of continuing the gender equality work of the Commission. The Commission agreed to convene a working group on the digital gender divide. It is to be chaired by Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. It was proposed that this working group, as a first step, reviews existing normative frameworks in order to develop a set of recommendations which will address the digital gender divide and foster the equal inclusion of women and girls in broadband access and use.     

WG DGD sdgs.jpg 

Launch of the Progress Report of the Working Group on the Digital Gender Divide

On the 16th of September 2017, the Broadband Commission Working Group on the Digital Gender Divide launched its progress report "Bridging the gender gap in internet and broadband access and use".  The publication's release in New York, USA coincided with the Annual Meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.

The progress report of the Working Group on the Digital Gender Divide provides an update on progress against the commitments of the Working Group members to take forward the four groups of recommended actions outlined in the March 2017 "Recommendations for action" repo​rt, aimed for stakeholders to address the gender gap in Internet access and use.

The progress report "Bridging the gender gap in internet and broadband access and use" also introduces new commitments to action by members of the Working Group.

Download the report 

Following the final report at its recommendations released in 2017, the Working group on Digital Gender Divide has sought to maintain the efforts in bridging this divide through reporting back on its Members commitments against the recommendations. The Working Group Progress report 2018 was launched during the EQUALS Partners meeting 2018. in  New York and presented to the Broadband Commission annual plenary held in New York on the 23rd of September.


WG comprises the following members, including 16 Commissioners and 5 external members:

 Commissioners and External Experts

External Experts 

  1. Ms Caren Grown, Ms Samia Melhem, The World Bank   
  2. ​Ms Chat Garcia Ramilo, APC
  3. ​​Ms Helani Galpaya, LirneAsia
  4. ​​Ms Sonia Jorge, Executive Director, Alliance for Affordable Internet - Web Foundation
  5. ​​Ms Ann Mei Chang



​ Objectives
  • ​Facilitate the sharing of information and experience within the Broadband Commission;
  • Put together Broadband Commission recommendations for consideration by governments, commercial entities and other stakeholders in order to address the digital gender gap.

  • Develop an implementation plan to help put the Broadband Commission recommendations into effect;

  • Advocate endorsement of these recommendations by other stakeholders as well as coordinated action by all stakeholders to close the digital gender gap, meet women’s needs for broadband and fulfil the goals for gender equality set out in the 2030 Agenda and other international agreements.​​

 Latest Media
  1. Press Release : UN Broadband Commission: Time for a "​New Deal" if Broadband is to reach everyone, everywhere

  2. Press Release : New Broadband Commission call to action provides guide to close digital gender gap

  3. Photos from the meeting: Flickr




On 15th March 2017, the Broadband Commission Working Group on the Digital Gender Divide launched its report "Recommendations for action: bridging the gender gap in Internet and broadband access and use" during the Annual Spring Meeting of the Broadband Commission, held in Hong Kong, SAR of China. 

The report identified four specific action areas for closing the digital gender gap:

​​Compile detailed evidence: collect, analyze and track sex-disaggregated data to inform policy, particularly at a national and sub-national level, through a greater understanding of the issue.

Integrate policy: integrate gender equality targets and key performance indicators into strategies, policies, plans and budgets, involving women and relevant local communities from the onset.

Address the barriers women face: confront barriers that impede gender equality online, including affordable access; issues around safety; digital literacy and confidence; and the availability of relevant content, applications and services.

Support multi-stakeholder cooperation: develop tools and policies to support national and international efforts, and effective sharing of best practices to address the digital gender gap.​

  1. ​​​​​​​​​The group was launched in Dubai (UAE) in March 2016. 

  2. The Group held several meetings (conference calls) in 2016 and 2017.

  3. The final report was presented to the Commission at the Spring meeing 2017 held in Hong Kong SAR of China on 15-17 March and launched publicly the day prior the full meeting of the Commission, on 15th March during the Working Group final session held on 15th March 2017.