By Bashir Muhammad Kano.
Assistant Programme Officer, Gender and Internet Advocacy of the Centre for Information Technology and Development, Hajiya Maryam Haruna has said the centre had purposefully introduced Internet Governance Forum (IGF) as a way of ensuring women inclusion in the internet business.
Speaking at a press conference on gender-based online research carried out by CITAD held in Kano yesterday, Haruna stated that the Internet Governance Forum is a multi-stakeholder forum for policy dialogue on issues of internet governance that brought together stakeholders in the internet governance to debate on an equal basis and through an open and inclusive process.
According to her, access to internet was extremely important for women to be able to gain information which may not be available to them, adding that the Nigerian women’s participation on the internet was very low, especially in the North and that their participation and representation in the IGF, as the ratio of male to female at the global IGF was nearly 50:50.
She said gender-based internet challenges such as gender violence online and gender digital divide just like in the case of women’s physical challenges, required specific approaches in addressing them and wondered how women’s voices could be heard when they were not in the picture of events that shape internet policies in the state.
She pointed out that the key objectives of first Internet Governance Forum were to provide a platform for women to strategize on how to increase Women participation in the IGF process and to aggregate Women issues and concerns that they would want see tabled at the global IGF holding in November 2018 in Paris, France.