Session: Dynamic Coalition
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The session was organised by Bishakha Datta, co-founder and executive director of Point of View and Lisa Garcia, Foundation of Media Alternatives.
The session aimed to discuss gender participation in IG policy spaces with particular focus on national, regional and global IGF, and new gender trends in Internet governance, while raising the question of harassment cases.
It started with introductory remarks by Datta, Jac SM Kee, APC, Malaysia, and Smita Vanniyar, Second Lead - Digital Projects, Point of View.
The session was interactive and participants shared their experiences from national IGFs. National IGF representatives pointed out the importance of having gender diversity start at national and regional levels which would directly influence gender participation on a global level.
While a lot of data shows that gender participation has increased, more gender discussion is needed at the different IGF sessions. It was said that we should always raise the question of gender, not because we expect to get a concrete answer, but to make people who are working on shaping the Internet start thinking about gender perspective in a broader way.
The audience called for the support of the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) members, asking them to take into account the gender perspective in the future, especially while evaluating the workshop proposals which does not mirror the real picture of gender diversity when submitted.
The big challenge is keeping the statistics about gender diversity, because many people, for various reasons, do not feel comfortable with revealing their gender identity.
The Anti-sexual harassment policy draft was presented. A recommendation was put forward for the IGF to set up a ‘sexual harassment committee’ which would ideally consist of two members from MAG, two interested individuals from the IGF community, and one member from the Dynamic Coalition on gender.
A suggestion from the audience was to make a note at the beginning of every workshop or plenary, emphasising the importance of respecting the safe space for everyone at the event.
The session was concluded on this note, that in every session that deals specifically with gender issues, the great majority are always women. In today's session, out of thirty-three individuals present in the room, only seven were men.
All participants were invited to actively join the work of the Dynamic coalition on Gender and the work on finalising the Anti-sexual harassment policy.
by Aida Mahmutović