At the Web Foundation, we are proud of our work to champion digital equality and women’s rights online. To support these efforts, we convened the inaugural Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology, which brought together nearly 170 brilliant women and men to explore how policy can increase women’s empowerment by and on the internet. Specifically, we aimed to develop a set of key actions that policy makers, activists, teachers, technologists, and women community leaders must take to ensure that women and girls in Africa have access to a web that is open, safe, and empowering for them.
Based on discussions over the two days of the event — as well as input from Summit participants in the weeks since — we have assembled the Accra Summit Action Plan. This document outlines a number of key actions and principles that will drive our work. These include the need to:
- Build a movement of women technology leaders driving digital revolutions for women and girls across Africa that will REACT to policy failures to date, building a shared vision focused on Rights, Education, Access, Content, and Targets.
- Reclaim the internet as a tool for women’s active citizenship and self-expression, and ensure that the Internet is a safe public space for expression by African women and girls — politically, socially and culturally.
- Hold governments accountable to what they’ve promised, ensuring that they develop and implement gender-responsive policies that work toward digital and gender equality.
- Design technology for women with women — break down common stereotypes and misconceptions about women in technology, and scale efforts to empower girls to be technology creators.
- Extend the benefits of being online (e.g., access to information and health, education, and government services) to women who might still be offline by implementing policy and unlocking funding needed to bridge the digital gender gap.
- Scale successful initiatives to achieve meaningful and lasting policy impact, and translate grassroots efforts into policy-level interventions.
The Accra Summit Action Plan also features a list of actions that we at the Web Foundation commit to doing to work towards these goals and achieve this vision of full digital inclusion. In short, we will:
- Continue to support existing and prospective new partners in our Women’s Rights Online network by developing adequate policy and advocacy toolkits for gender-responsive national ICT policies.
- Set up a mentorship network to ensure that we get more women and girls engaging in ICT policy at local and international levels.
- Launch a bottom-up, multi-country campaign to close the gender digital divide.
- Host a second Africa Summit on Women and Girls in Technology in 2018.
And now we ask you: What are you committing to do in your individual or organisational capacity? To achieve the meaningful scale we desire, we need to be bold in our commitments, and steadfast in our resulting actions, in spite of the many challenges that may lie ahead.
Share your commitments by filling out part I of this form.