The 18th annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) will take place from 8th-12th October 2023, with participants from around the world. Hosted by the government of Japan in the city of Kyoto, the IGF will bring together diverse stakeholders, government officials, and Civil Society Organisations to discuss and shape the future of the Internet, and among these is the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET).
Under the theme, “The Internet We Want- Empowering All People”, the IGF will recognize the potential of the Internet to foster inclusivity and empower marginalized communities. Women, in particular, have often faced challenges in accessing and benefiting from digital technologies.
The internet is a powerful tool for advancing human rights and freedoms, but it can also be misused to perpetuate discrimination and violence. Therefore at the IGF, WOUGNET will advocate for the protection of women’s rights in the digital space, emphasizing the importance of upholding privacy, freedom of expression, and combating online gender-based violence.
WOUGNET firmly believes in the power of digital inclusion to uplift women in Uganda. We shall actively contribute to discussions on overcoming barriers such as access to technology, digital literacy, and affordable internet connectivity. By advocating for policies that prioritize women’s access to the internet, WOUGNET aims to create an inclusive digital society.
Additionally, WOUGNET recognizes the significance of data governance and trust in the digital age. We shall contribute our expertise to discussions on data privacy, and protection by emphasizing the need for gender-responsive data governance as we aim to ensure that women’s voices and concerns are adequately represented in decision-making processes.
In the modern day, the rise of cyber threats and online harassment poses risks to women, thus hindering them from fully participating in the digital space. WOUGNET will shed more light on the importance of cybersecurity and online safety measures aimed at addressing vulnerable women, especially female politicians and female journalists.
The IGF will provide insights on how to combat this trend through the various sub-themes;
- AI and Technologies,
- Avoiding Internet Fragmentation,
- Cybersecurity, Cybercrime & Online Safety,
- Data Governance and Trust,
- Digital Divides and Inclusion,
- Global Digital Governance and Cooperation,
- Human Rights and Freedoms,
- Sustainability and Environment.
Thus the 18th annual Internet Governance Forum will provide a platform for stakeholders like WOUGNET to come together and shape the future of the Internet through significant contributions to the discussions and addressing the challenges of digital inclusion, data governance, human rights, and cybersecurity.