On the occasion of the National Information and Communications Technology (NICT) Month 2018, with the theme: Thrive Through Disruption: Inclusivity, Empowerment and Sustainability, the DICT hosts back-to-back trainings on Women and Mobile: Bridging the Gender Gap on 27 June, and on Children and Mobile Technology on 28 to 29 June at the Cocoon Boutique Hotel, Quezon City.

The said courses will be conducted in cooperation with the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) and GSMA, equally known to be globally recognized organizations committed to developing innovative interventions through policy and regulation addressing society’s technology gaps and inequalities.

Gender gap exists in several forms including what is commonly referred to as ‘digital divide.’ For the DICT, embracing ICT must be ensured to be inclusive insofar as to avoid societal imbalance most apparent in unserved and underserved communities. In these areas, telecommunications play a pivotal role in magnifying the opportunities that technologies bring in the digital economy

“The increased occurrence of women being marginalized in cyberspace has also been alarming,” says DICT Undersecretary John Henry Naga.  While qualified access to information promises a brighter future through more informed decision-making, aided by trends like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Machine Learning, it is imperative that the government promulgates policies and issuances that will facilitate the use of ICT most notably by those who are in vulnerable conditions.

Global best practices are then needed to be localized to fit consumer demands peculiar to a demographic region, such as mobile applications as used by the younger generation. The use of the Internet has been defined mostly by the applications used by consumers, especially the younger generation, and with it, appropriate mechanisms have been established to address cost, availability and coverage.  Enjoining the industry in telecommunications reform is key to realize the broadband vision with emphasis on the digital literacy among children.

In terms of digital inclusion, equal access to opportunity is of paramount significance in bridging the countryside and narrowing the digital divide. In view of this, ICT development must be continuously pushed across different nations and cultures, especially the use of Internet in educating the youth and mainstreaming gender equality for a truly digital economy.

To learn more about these courses, please contact the Secretariat at ngov@dict.gov.ph