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G3ict Roundtable Discussion at 2010 ECOSOC

"The Role of ICT in Empowering Women with Disabilities"

  • New York, NY, USA
  • July 1, 2010
  • United Nations Headquarters
  • In collaboration with GAID and the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA


The 2010 ECOSOC High-level Segment (28 June - 2 July 2010) will be held at United Nations Headquarters in New York and will focused on a broad range of issues relevant to the implementation of the UN development agenda (Programme). The High-Level Segment will include sessions on the Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and the Development Cooperation Forum (DCF).  The theme for the AMR segment this year will focus on "Implementing the Internationally Agreed Goals and Commitments in regard to Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women."  In this context, on July 1st, 2010, G3ict will co-host, under the auspices of GAID and in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a roundtable discussion focusing on the role of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in empowering women with disabilities.


The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is one of the fastest ever negotiated human rights treaties. Since its adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2006, it was signed by 145 countries, and ratified by 87 as of June 2010. The Convention at large - and more specifically its Article 9 - creates the first universal framework addressing the accessibility of ICTs and assistive technologies, making it one of the most innovative and far reaching dispositions of the Convention.

As a result, all mandates of the Convention regarding accessibility cover ICT applications. These dispositions benefit an estimated 650 million persons living with disabilities worldwide, representing 10% of the world population, more than two third of which live in developing nations, most of the time in extreme poverty. 

Women with disabilities face significantly more difficulties - in both public and private spheres - in attaining access to adequate housing, health, education, vocational training and employment, and are more likely to be institutionalized.  They also experience inequality in hiring, promotion rates and pay for equal work, access to training and retraining, credit and other productive resources, and rarely participate in economic decision-making. Promoting gender equality and empowerment of women is essential to the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.

Accessible and assistive ICT solutions can help women with disabilities benefit, on an equal basis with others, from education, employment opportunities, health and cultural and leisure activities. 


To address this relevant topic, the GAID-G3ict roundtable, inclusive of women living with disabilities, experts in ICT applications for persons with disabilities, will illustrate the role of ICT in empowering women with disabilities. Issues for discussion include:

  • The role of accessible Internet resources for work, health, education and social networking
  • How accessible mobile phones change the lives of women with disabilities
  • Breaking disabled women's isolation with ICTs
  • Accessible workplaces and accessible financial services
  • Success stories, pending issues, and new solutions offered by industry and service providers


The event, by invitation only, is open to Ministers, ECOSOC Ambassadors/heads of delegations, all delegates of Permanent Missions of Member States to the United Nations, GAID and Secretariat for the Convention high-level representatives, UN officials formerly involved with the writing of the Convention, Women and Disabled Persons Organizations in the New York and New England area, G3ict corporate and institutional sponsors.


During the Q&A session, the question of which initiatives should be considered to promote ICT for women with disabilities will be put forth to the panel and attendees.  Following this roundtable, G3ict will publish a White Paper summarizing the presentations and conclusions reached during the exchanges among participants.


The event will be held at United Nations Headquarters, New York, in the Delegates Dining Room on Thursday, 1 July, 2010
from 8:15 AM to 9:45 AM



G3ict was launched in 2006 as a Flagship Advocacy Initiative of GAID in support of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is incorporated in the State of Georgia as a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization, where it maintains an office in Atlanta. G3ict is a public-private partnership dedicated to facilitating the implementation around the world of the Digital Accessibility Agenda defined by the Convention.  G3ict's key constituents include policy makers and public sector institutions, ICT industries and the private sector, international standards development organizations, associations of persons with disabilities, and academia. Leading international institutional participants include the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UNESCO, UNITAR, the World Bank, and the European Commission. (http://www.g3ict.org)


The Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development (GAID), an initiative approved by the United Nations Secretary-General in 2006, was launched after comprehensive worldwide consultations with governments, the private sector, civil society, the technical and Internet communities and academia. GAID serves as a global forum to address cross-cutting issues related to ICT in development. (www.un-gaid.org)


ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) was established under the United Nations Charter as the principal organ to coordinate economic, social, and related work of the 14 UN specialized agencies, functional commissions and five regional commissions. The Council also receives reports from 11 UN funds and programmes. The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) serves as the central forum for discussing international economic and social issues, and for formulating policy recommendations addressed to Member States and the United Nations system. (www.un.org/en/ecosoc/index.shtml)