On Wednesday June 1st, 2022, RightsTech Women had the pleasure to pick up the award it was granted in 2021 by the WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) Forum, in Category 1: “The role of governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of ICTs for development”. ICTs are information and communication technologies.

Ellen Walker, the Founder (and Executive Director since recently) was handed the certificate by the ITU Secretary-General, Mr. Houlin Zhao.

Pictured from left: 1st – Ellen Walker, 3rd – ITU Secretary-General, Mr. Houlin Zhao
Pictured: Ellen Walker

The WSIS Prize ceremony gathered the awardees from 3 consecutive years, as the respective prize ceremonies were cancelled due to the pandemics.

The list of laureates in various categories was long; academia and government representatives, NGOs, private sector, technical communities from different countries across the world. All were congratulated by the ITU Secretary-General, Mr. Houlin Zhao​​.

The WSIS Forum 2022 started from 15 March onward in a virtual format with the final week being held physically with enhanced remote participation from 30 May to 3 June 2022 at the ITU Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

The WSIS Forum 2022 serves as a key forum for discussing the role of ICTs as a means of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and targets.

RTW is most appreciative of this recognition and will endeavor to do even better in its work with stakeholders to achieve gender-equitable STEM education and employment by 2030.

Pictured: Ellen Walker (RTW Executive Director) and Magda Bunkowska (RTW board member)

During the week, RTW had an exhibition booth allowing for meeting with stakeholders interested to know more about RTW’s work to achieve gender-equitable STEM education and employment by 2030. Ellen was able to discuss with government and UN entities about ongoing challenges and RTW’s training programs.

Pictured: H.E. Mrs. Maimuna Kibenga Tarishi (Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania to the UN in Geneva) (left) and Ellen Walker (RTW) (right)

Ellen enjoyed a conversation with Ms. Neo Mokoma (ITU) and participants on Friday, 3 June 2022 as a speaker during a WSIS TalkX event. They discussed RightsTech Women’s work with partners to achieve gender-equitable STEM by 2030. Ellen stressed the importance of re-skilling in ICT skills women already working, and once more called on women and girls to “Start Learning, Make Mistakes, and Keep Going!”.

Pictured: Ms. Neo Mokoma (ITU) and Ellen Walker (RTW) at WSIS TalkX

During a Knowledge Café on gender and ICTs on Friday, 3 June 2022, participants including Dr. Suay Melisa Özkula of University of Trento (Italy) and Ms. Yvette Ramos, first female president of Swiss Engineering – Geneva, shared their experiences and knowledge. Issues discussed included the need to change stereotypes resulting in harmful practices in educational settings, and how to improve effective listening skills at diversity events.

Pictured – Dr. Suay Melisa Özkula (Research Fellow, University of Trento) – left, and Ellen Walker (right)
Pictured: Ms. Yvette Ramos (President, Swiss Engineering – Geneva)

During the closing ceremony of the WSIS Forum on Friday 3 June 2022, Ms. Gitanjali Sah of ITU announced new partnerships including ones with Vision Empower and RightsTech Women to conduct more trainings of girls and women, following the trainings RTW did with ITU on 11 February and 30 March 2022.

Pictured: Ms. Gitanjali Sah (ITU)

UN Women recognized progress achieved in gender mainstreaming in ICTs but reiterated the need to reduce online gender-based violence and to reduce the gender digital divide.

Pictured: Ms. Lowri Angharad Rees (UN Women)