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Internet Gender Gap Reflects Inequalities

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KUALA LUMPUR – The internet gender gap reflects and amplifies existing inequalities between the sexes not just in the political arena but in all spheres of life, said Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

The wife of the Prime Minister said there was much at stake, with much to lose if women were left behind “because technology offers great communication tools including social media that helps make connections”.

“The lack of women’s access to the internet is a serious issue with very real consequences for women and girls, their communities and nations.

“My hope is the Asean Conference Women in Politics (WIP KL2015) would catalyse action to close the internet gender gap.

“This can be done by tackling the wide range of gender-specific barriers to critical technologies such as the internet and mobile phones,” she said at a WIP KL2015 luncheon here today.

The inaugural WIP KL2015, themed, ‘Promoting Representation through Connectivity and Innovation’, organised by Wanita Barisan Nasional (BN) is participated by 121 delegates from 24 political parties.

The conference officiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is aimed at creating a political network for ASEAN women involved in politics.

Rosmah said collaboration among government, public institutions, corporations, civil society and politicians was needed to enhance capacities to use the broad range of information and communication technology (ICT).

She said the collaboration must be implemented with creativity and innovation in order to develop relevant content that addresses all women’s needs.

Meanwhile, Rosmah said the power of the internet should be used to give women the opportunity, capacity and motivation to promote their political skills and therefore increase their representation.

“Think of it as a conversational space. By encouraging forums and discourses their debating and reasoning skills, which are important tools in politics can be sharpened.

“While their (women) numbers may be small, their voices may be politically significant and more important is to seize the opportunity to teach them not to abuse the internet with misinformation and disinformation,” she said. – BERNAMA

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