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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Foundation for Media Alternatives to Launch Philippine Gender Report Card


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Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) is set to launch a Gender Report Card that measures the Philippines’ progress in closing the digital gender gap on April 6, 2017 at the Oracle Hotel and Residences, Quezon City. The launch and forum is expected to be attended by around 50 participants from academe, government, women’s groups, community organizations, human rights organizations, and other civil society groups.

The Philippine Report Card was developed by FMA in collaboration with the World Wide Web Foundation and with support from UN Women and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency. The overall country score is based on 14 indicators that were grouped into five main thematic categories, namely: internet access and women’s empowerment, relevant content and services, online safety, affordability, and digital skills and education. Scores for each indicator were given based on reliable empirical sources such as reports, surveys, and existing legislation.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) have transformed the way people communicate and relate with each other. ICTs have provided opportunities for women to express and assert their rights and identities, access important information that may contribute to their empowerment, and the development of the communities they belong in. However, as the Report Card scores demonstrate, a formidable gender gap in Internet access, digital skills and online rights remains to be closed.

In response to these scores, FMA, in consultation with other national stakeholders, has taken the lead in identifying concrete steps that the Philippine government can take to address the challenges identified. These steps form a 5-point action plan: integrate gender into the Philippines’ national ICT plan; improve internet affordability and speed; implement inclusive digital literacy programmes; conduct gender audits of government agency websites; and end online gender-based violence.

Apart from the Philippines, the Web Foundation and its partners prepared similar gender audits in nine other countries (Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Colombia, India, and Indonesia). The audits are designed to help the countries assess the steps that need to be taken to close the digital gender gap. In the future, FMA plans to use the Report Card to push for the agenda included in the action plan and influence meaningful policy change.

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