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Press Release: Global Experts Chart Course to use Knowledge to Bridge Digital Gender Divide

Representatives of 22 leading academic institutions from around the world are gathering from today in Macau, China to chart a course for leveraging the power of knowledge to bridge the growing digital gender divide. They form part of the 31-member Research Group of EQUALS, a growing global partnership network of more than 50 companies, organizations and governments working to bring digital tech to women and girls, and women and girls to digital tech.

Today, the World’s digital dependency is increasing, though the gender digital divide is expanding. The result is that millions of women and girls are excluded from benefitting from vital economic and social digital resources.

Data and research evidence are critical components of the EQUALS initiative. Inadequate information can both mask unrecognized challenges and underestimate progress, leading to misguided policy and action or inaction. Knowledge sharing enables effective and efficient decision-makings towards digital gender equality.

The important work of the EQUALS Research Group is facilitated by the United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) – one of the five founding partners of EQUALS. The other founding partners are: the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), UN Women, GSMA and the International Trade Centre.

“To realize broad global success, women must have the same access to technology as men, and must be equally represented in technology industries,” said UNU Rector and UN Under-Secretary-General David M. Malone. “Unfortunately, this is not the case today, which is why this meeting is both timely and urgent. The multi-stakeholder EQUALS Research Group plays an important role in facilitating knowledge sharing towards evidence-based decision-making to achieve digital gender equality locally and globally.”

The EQUALS Research Group aims to ensure this evidence-based approach to the activities of EQUALS, to track progress towards EQUALS targets, and to generate and disseminate knowledge globally to address gender inequalities in science and technology. It is comprised of experts in gender and development studies, technology and society, communications, information science, computer science, and business.

This week’s meeting will set the group’s research agenda, draft its work plan for 2018, and finalize the content and schedule of its inaugural report due to be published in mid-2018.

For more details about the EQUALS Research Group and full list of its partners, visit:

Media Contacts:

Jennifer Ferguson-Mitchell

Senior Media and Communications Officer, ITU

Tel.: +41 22 730 5469

Mobile +41 79 3374615


Maria Sanchez

Media Specialist, Communications & Advocacy, UN Women

Tel: +1 646 781-4507


Hillary McBride

Head of Communications, UNU

Tel: +81 3 5467-1298



EQUALS is a ground-breaking global network delivered by a committed partnership of corporate leaders, governments and non-profit organizations around the world working together to bridge the digital gender divide – by bringing women and girls to tech, and tech to women and girls – and in so doing, bettering the lives of millions worldwide. EQUALS works across three core areas—Skills, Access and Leadership -- promoting awareness, building political commitment, leveraging resources and knowledge, harnessing the capacities of partners, and supporting real action.

For the past four decades, UNU has been a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing global problems of human survival, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers in 13 countries, UNU’s work spans the full breadth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, generating policy-relevant knowledge to effect positive global change.

The United Nations University Institute on Computing and Society (UNU-CS) in Macau, China, is a research institute at the intersection of information and communication technologies and international development. It focuses on the key challenges faced by developing societies caused by innovations in computing and communication technologies.

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