The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) kicked off the eTrade for Women Network during the fifth UNCTAD eCommerce Week on 1-5 April 2019 in Geneva. The network aims to empower women in developing countries through improving the profile of women leaders engaged in the digital economy and making their voices heard in policy processes both domestically and internationally. ‘A systematic effort to collect, nurture and enhance the experiences of women involved in e-commerce is needed,’ elaborated UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant. To this aim, the eTrade for Women Network was developed for four main reasons: 1- visibility: to increase the visibility of successful women entrepreneurs in e-commerce in developing countries, 2- largesse: to provide them with a relevant network of peers, 3- Inspiration: to inspire the next generation of women entrepreneurs and e-business leaders in developing countries, and 4- learning: to highlight good practices emerging from the field that are likely to add value to existing gender initiatives.
Women's rights online address online aspects of traditional women rights with respect to discrimination in the exercise of rights, the right to hold office, the right to equal pay and the right to education. Women represent more than half of the world’s population, yet their participation in technology-mediated processes is an area where progress is still needed.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.