The internet, digital platforms, information and communications technology (ICT) and artificial intelligence (AI) offer unprecedented pathways to increase women’s participation across all spheres of life, enhance gender disaggregated data collection, advance gender-responsive standards, develop gender responsive public procurement policies and promote global collaboration in gender equality efforts.

Yet where there is opportunity, there is also risk. While the digital transformation bears vast potential to leapfrog progress towards SDG 5, the digital gender divide, persistent gender stereotypes, the under-representation of women in tech and decision making, significant gaps in digital literacy and a rise in technology-facilitated GBV also threaten to exacerbate existing inequalities.

The Global Board of the International Gender Champions made ‘leveraging the potential of digital and new emerging technologies for gender equality’ a strategic objective for the network in November 2023, building on the positive resonance of the IGC’s ‘I Say No To Sexism Online’ Campaign and recent developments in the multilateral sphere.

The Global Digital Compact, whose goal is to establish an inclusive global framework, is considered essential for the multi-stakeholder action required to overcome digital, data and innovation divides and widely accepted to be a once in a generation opportunity to address these issues. It is expected to be adopted at the Summit of the Future in September 2024.

The Global Digital Compact presents an important occasion to advance International Gender Champions’ objectives by ensuring that gender perspectives and the goal of gender equality are a central component of this new digital governance framework.

As such, the Global Board supports the Position Paper prepared by UN Women, in collaboration with the Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation for Gender Equality, which outlines a dual track approach:

1. The inclusion of a stand-alone goal on gender equality that elevates three fundamental topics to be prioritized in every dimension of the Global Digital Compact:

  • Freedom from technology-facilitated gender-based violence and discrimination;

  • Equitable educational and economic opportunities; and

  • Equal voice, leadership and participation

2. The robust mainstreaming of gender considerations across all parts of the framework.The Global Board invites members of the IGC network to support this approach by becoming signatories of this statement.

IGC Global Board Members

Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary General, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Chair of the IGC Global Board

H.E. Mr. Hugh Adsett, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Embassy of Canada to the Netherlands

Ms. Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Secretary-General, International Telecommunication Union 

Mr. Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director-General, International Atomic Energy Agency

Ms. Caitlin Kraft-Buchman, CEO and Co-Founder, Women at the Table

H.E. Mr. Jürg Lauber, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva

Mr. Philip Lynch, Director, International Service for Human Rights

H.E. Ms. Athaliah Molokomme, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Botswana to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva

H.E. Mr. Matthew Wilson, Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Barbados to the UN and other International Organisations in Geneva

Mr. Roger Yates, Regional Director, East and Souther Africa and the Middle East, Plan International

International Gender Champions

Adriana Quiñones, Head of Human Rights and Development, UN Women Liaison Office in Geneva