By Cyber Era Staff
Monday at the World Radiocommunication Seminar, ITU launched NOW4WRC23, an initiative to encourage and empower more women to participate actively at the next World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23).
The main objectives of the NOW4WRC23 initiative are three-fold: to strive for gender balance among delegates, to prepare women delegates in key roles for WRC-23, and to grow the ITU women’s community in terms of contributions to the crucial conference and the technical field of radiocommunications, in general.
With three years remaining until the main event, NOW4WRC23 aims to start building capacity as early on as possible in the WRC preparatory process.
An official declaration to promote gender equality, equity and parity in the work of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector was adopted during the last World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-19), held last year in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The Declaration highlights the need to ensure that women participate actively and meaningfully in all activities of the ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) to effectively advance its work.
During the Radiocommunication Advisory Group (RAG) which met virtually earlier this year, a Correspondence Group on Gender (CG-Gender) was set up for the implementation of the WRC-19 Gender Declaration and for the drafting of a possible RA-23 Gender Resolution. Mrs Lucia Luisa La Franceschina, Chair of the RAG Correspondence Group on Gender pointed out that it is open to participation by any representative of an ITU Member state, ITU-R Sector, including SME or Academia, Member or ITU-R Associate and that active participation is strongly encouraged. Amongst its mandates, CG-Gender will be supporting the ongoing work of the NOW4WRC23 to enhance and maximize the effectiveness of this initiative.
The Network of Women started in 2015, inspired by the We Lead initiative network, to increase the number of women participating in leading roles, such as committee chairs and conference chairs, in the technical conferences of ITU’s Radiocommunication Sector.
The initiative builds on the experience of 15 years of growing synergies between the community of women delegates in the radiocommunications sector, from the Annual Women’s Breakfast , to the
Women’s Leadership Workshop at WRC-15. NOW4WRC23 aims to further nurture these synergies by continuing to provide an active forum for exchanging knowledge, networking and mentoring.
“ITU has always endeavoured to include a diversity of actors, including businesses, civil society, youth and women,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “With NOW4WRC23, ITU continues our essential work towards closing the gender digital divide and implementing the Gender Declaration made at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2019.”
NOW4WRC23 also aims to provide role models for women who are new to the sector by connecting new and experienced delegates. The Network provides advice and support from women who have successfully reached positions of management, while offering a neutral platform for both men and women to ensure the technical field of radiocommunications becomes a more gender-balanced and diverse arena for future innovations.
Director of the ITU Radiocommunication Bureau, Mario Maniewicz said: “I see the Radiocommunication Sector benefiting immensely from gender mainstreaming and the empowerment of women through ICT.” Director Maniewicz added that in this Decade of Action for the 2030 Agenda, we must accelerate women’s participation in the digital economy if we are to meet UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 on achieving gender equity.