IGF 2022 Open Forum #79 CGI.br’s Gender and Diversity Agenda for ICTs

Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (12:00 UTC) - Thursday, 1st December, 2022 (13:00 UTC)
Banquet Hall A

Round Table - Circle - 60 Min


This session aims to provide an overview of the activities developed by CGI.br within the scope of the Gender and Diversity Agenda, a project that has been implemented since 2021. The Agenda, that has a multistakeholder nature, aims to promote gender and ethnic-racial diversity in the IT sector and the Internet Governance ecosystem, in accordance with the Principles for the Governance and Use of the Internet in Brazil. The debate on the importance of digital inclusion and the role of the Internet for social and economic development are well established and guide a long list of initiatives around the world. It is known that the technology advancement can represent improvements in many aspects of our lives, as education and medical access. On the other hand, there aren’t enough initiatives aimed at dealing with adverse and unexpected effects of the Internet, as its potential for reproducing and deepening inequalities. The report “Pictures of Inequality” exposes a “structuring scenario of Brazilian social inequality”. Brazil has more women than men in the population, representing 51,8%. Amongst them, most declare themselves black and brown (52,7%). However, their participation in almost all sectors, productive and public activities is notably smaller as these social variables are considered. Considering Brazilian population in 2020, only 10.7% of Brazilian women in university are enrolled in STEM programmes versus 28.6% of men. In this sense, the Gender and Diversity Agenda seeks to encourage the participation of women, afro-descendants, indigenous people and other historically excluded social groups, not only for Internet usage, but also for the development and research of digital technologies. The indicators of the 2019 National Household Sample Survey show that women are the majority among the working-age population in Brazil (52.4%), as well as the population that declares itself black and brown (55.7%). The survey also shows that, in 2019, the participation rate in the labor force of the population over 15 years old reached 73,7% among men and 54.5% among women. The last demographic survey, carried out in 2010, tells us that the only sectors where women have more participation than men is Education, health and social services (17,6% compared to 3,9%) and Domestic services (14,7% compared to 0,9%). Careers in Brazil are also marked by gender inequalities when observing the low number of women hired in the sciences, mainly in medicine, engineering and technology. Therefore, the Gender and Diversity Agenda is expected to contribute so that technologies can benefit more and more excluded and marginalized groups, supporting the sustainable development of communities, regions and countries and the strengthening of a more inclusive and egalitarian society. In its first two years, the agenda was divided into three phases. The first phase focused on strengthening the debate on the topic, within the scope of CGI.br and Internet governance in Brazil, and on bringing CGI.br closer to different actors in the IT sector and related areas. To this end, an annual publication on the subject was launched in 2021, which already has two editions (in 2021 and 2022) and is under development for the launch of the third edition, in 2023. Along with the launch of each edition, a debate was held with some of the authors. Another activity of this first phase was the seminar “Diversity and Equity in the IT sector in Brazil”, which took place on March 11 of 2022, during the week of International Women's Day, with the aim of bringing together actors in this ecosystem and bringing awareness for the debate in the context of CGI.br and Internet governance in Brazil. The second phase, currently under development, is aimed at surveying and systematizing the main challenges for the development of a more inclusive and equitable Internet ecosystem in Brazil, as well as actions and guidelines to overcome them. To achieve this objective, multistakeholder workshops are being held with important national and international actors. Finally, after carrying out these first two phases, a plan of actions and guidelines will be developed to encourage and promote diversity within the scope of CGI.br and Internet governance in Brazil in the coming years. It should be said that the first three stages will be completed by the end of 2022. It is worth noting that there is an important opportunity for CGI.br to strengthen the process of digital inclusion with a focus on gender and diversity in Brazil, considering its vocation for formulating thoughts and strategies, ability to dialogue with the various actors in society and influence positively the decision making for the development of guidelines related to the use and development of the Internet in Brazil.

With the aim of ensuring a great experience and interaction between all participants, both online and on-site, the activity will be developed based on three aspects: on-site participants and organizers; dedicated people and tools to ensure good interaction between online and on-site participants; and an on-site technical facilitator to balance on-site and online participation. The session then will be divided in two main segments: explanation and interaction. In the first part, the organizers will explain how the Gender and Diversity Agenda came about, how it is being developed and the main lessons learned so far. In this part each individual speaker presentation will have a total duration of up to 15 minutes. The second segment will consist of the overall interaction between the participants and speakers. With the aim of encouraging debate and participation of online and onsite audience, some polls will be launched through the IGF platform or by external tool (such as Slido or Kahoot). Questions from the Q&A will also be gathered by the online moderator and given to the on-site moderator, who will select and distribute them. The session will count with an on-site and an online moderator, and also an on-site facilitator. Online attendees will be encouraged to make questions and share their experiences. During the activity, the on-site moderator will be responsible for organizing the interventions and interacting with the speakers (on-site and online) to guarantee the balance of participation of online and on-site participants, as well as ensuring diversity both by speakers and the audience. The online moderator will be responsible for managing the online tools used in the session, and also read, select and deliver questions and comments made by the remote audience to the on-site moderator. Comments and questions will be collected through a series of tools, such as Zoom chat and hashtags in social networks. The on-site and online moderators and the on-site facilitator will also work together to ensure the best experience possible for the interaction between online and physical audience. The rapporteur will be responsible for capturing the highlights and critical information of the activity, as well as listing the main topics for the summary report and for consolidating another final report to be delivered to the IGF Secretariat.


Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br)
Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br): - Laura Tresca, CGI.br, Civil Society, GRULAC - Bia Barbosa, CGI.br, Civil Society, GRULAC - Tanara Lauschner, CGI.br, Technical Community, GRULAC Onsite Moderator: · Bia Barbosa, CGI.br, Civil Society, GRULAC Online Moderator: · Luiza Mesquita, Technical Advisor to the CGI.br Board, Technical Community, GRULAC Rapporteur: · Gabriela Nardy de Vasconcellos Leitão, Technical Advisor to the CGI.br Board, Technical Community, GRULAC


- Laura Tresca, CGI.br, Civil Society, GRULAC - Bia Barbosa, CGI.br, Civil Society, GRULAC - Tanara Lauschner, CGI.br, Technical Community, GRULAC

Onsite Moderator

Bia Barbosa, CGI.br, Civil Society, GRULAC

Online Moderator

Luiza Mesquita, Technical Advisor to the CGI.br Board, Technical Community, GRULAC


Gabriela Nardy de Vasconcellos Leitão, Technical Advisor to the CGI.br Board, Technical Community, GRULAC


5. Gender Equality

Targets: The Gender and Diversity Agenda proposed by CGI is an initiative related with the inclusion of marginalized groups in ICT related-areas, mainly focusing on women, and afro-descendants. By investigating the current challenges for a more diverse and inclusive Internet ecosystem in Brazil, as well as Action Guidelines to overcome these challenges, the present proposal dialogues directly with goal 5 of the Development Goals (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), and specifically with the aim of enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women. In addition, the Agenda also looks at issues related to race and sexuality, among other aspects that make female experiences on the Internet diverse and the issue of the inclusion of girls and women even more complex in a highly unequal country like Brazil.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)
The CGI.br Working Group on Gender, Race and Diversity is preparing a document on ‎Brazil's main challenges for diversity and inclusion in ICT to be published next year. ‎Through a series of workshops, ten challenges were collected and presented in the Open ‎Forum, so the public could give their opinions and comment on them.‎
The challenges showed that, despite the problems related to themes like surveillance, vio-‎lence on the Internet, or the dangers of the artificial intelligence to women and people of ‎color, Brazilian most significant challenges are still related to the low use and participation ‎of women on the Internet.‎
Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)
Build an agenda of action in order to be able to prevent the deepening of the gaps ‎between women and men. It is important to make a list of our homework and address ‎these issues.‎
Continue with the publication about diversity and Internet Governance in Brazil, as we ‎found out throughout the process the existence of a great demand to publish materials on ‎these themes.‎
Session Report (* deadline 26 October) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

Organized by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee (CGI.br). the Open Forum, focused on providing an overview of the activities developed by CGI.br within the scope of the Gender and Diversity Agenda, a project that was implemented in 2021 to investigate challenges to promote gender and ethnic-racial diversity in the IT sector and Internet Governance ecosystem in Brazil.

The session was presented by Beatriz Barbosa, Laura Tresca and Gabriela Nardy, and divided into two parts: 1) the motivations, objectives and methodology of the initiative; 2) the results of the national workshops.

In the first part, Beatriz presented the guidelines for developing the workshops, how they were held and conducted, ensuring regional and ethnic diversity of women, and leading the group to the joint construction of the main challenges in Brazil to promote diversity in ICTs. The second one focused on presenting the ten challenges found in the workshops, how the debate took place and how it relates to the Brazilian scenario. The ten challenges are:

1. Produce data that includes information on gender, race and ethnicity regarding presence participation in the technology sector

2. Develop public and private policies that promote diversity and equity in Internet access, use and development

3. Address gender and racial violence and different forms of oppression on social media/Internet platforms

4. Ensure access to information and the exercise of freedom of expression for women on the Internet

5. Promote policies with gender, equity and diversity perspective

6. Build capacities for girls and women regarding ICTs considering the intersectional perspective of class, age, race, sexuality and persons with disabilities

7. Support and foster civil society initiatives that promote diversity within the Internet ecosystem

8. Create a work environment that is favorable for women in Internet and technology companies

9. Ensure gender and racial diversity in Internet governance spaces

10. Economic empowerment of women in the online environment

After the presentation, some comments highlighted how this initiative can inspire actions into other countries. The comments from the audience could be divided in three areas: policies that could contribute to reduce inequalities, education, and intersecctionall issues.

A participant from Uganda mentioned that, in his country, the digital world is creating even more gaps between women and men. The debate revolved around policies that could tackle these challenges not only in the digital environment, but, somehow, to make women equally benefit from the digital technologies. Another one ranted about university courses and asked how we could make STEM more appealing to women. A comment from an online participant from Brazil said that the first step to advance on themes like facial recognition and transgender is producing material on the topic. Finally, another woman from Brazil talked about the importance of making women feel like they belong in tech and how to provide a warm environment where they can feel safe to learn and work.

Complete report also available here