The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has expressed its support for the Philippines and ASEAN’s digital women leaders at the 3rd ASEAN Digital Ministers and Senior Officials Meetings in Boracay. The event brought together women leaders from ASEAN countries, telecommunication representatives, local government officials, and gender allies to discuss digital empowerment and gender inclusivity through the Digital Innovation for Women Advancement (DIWA) initiative of the Office of the Undersecretary for ICT Industry Development of the Department of Information and Communications Technology.
At the event, Special Advisor to the ITU Secretary General Nur Sulyna Abdullah spoke about the importance of women mentors and thanked the Philippines’ DICT for its commitment to gender inclusion. The first-ever female Secretary-General of the ITU, Doreen Bogdan-Martin, also expressed her gratitude and support for Undersecretary Jocelle Batapa-Sigue’s initiatives through a recorded message, emphasizing the role of initiatives like DIWA in advancing the ITU’s inclusivity goals.
DIWA, which means “mind” or “spirit” in Filipino, aims to harness the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to empower women and achieve gender equality. The initiative has been active since November 2022 and is aligned with the goals of ITU Resolution 70, which aims to mainstream a gender perspective in the ITU and promote gender equality through ICTs.
The DIWA strategy includes public awareness campaigns, workshops and trainings, dialogues, conferences, and summits; knowledge resources, databases, surveys, studies, and dashboards; and establishing linkages and creating communities and support groups. The ultimate goal of DIWA is to promote equal access to the Internet and digital technologies, equal participation in decision-making, increase the number of women in ICT courses and disciplines, and to advance gender equality through ICTs.
The ITU’s support for the Philippines and ASEAN’s digital women leaders shows the organization’s commitment to promoting gender equality in the digital world. Through initiatives like DIWA, the ITU aims to empower women to actively participate in building a sustainable digital future.
Sharing their insights on the role of women in ICTs during the DIWA dialogue where the Gender and Development (GAD) Focal of the DICT Assistant Secretary Maria Teresa Camba, ICT Industry Development Bureau Director Emmy Lou Delfin, and National ICT Policy, Planning & Standards Bureau (NIPPSB) Director Ma. Christina Abalos-Naig.
DIWA Women Leaders Breakfast Dialogue was held during the 3rd ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting (ADGMIN), ASEAN Digital Senior Officials (ADGSOM) and Related Meetings with Dialogue Partners from February 6 to 10, 2023 in Boracay, Aklan, Philippines.