Monday, June 04, 2007

Women not participating in IG processes?

This is an update on the 2007 ICANN Nominating Committee (Nom Com).
The Nom Com received 93 Statements of Interest from candidates worldwide during an open nomination period that ran from 1 February 2007 to 18 May 2007. 12 candidates are female, 81 are male.

That is a ratio of 0.14 female applicant to every 1 male applicant in the technical governing body for the Internet.

This is a serious problem. The Internet is a vital part of the infrastructure for development. We cannot afford to have such a large gender gap - it will result in policies and processes that are not adequate and relevant to 50% of the world's population.

I know that women are grossly underrepresented in the technical community, and in the international internet governance arena as well. In IG, we tend to cluster in the ICT4D space, and not involve ourselves in the technical areas. But these areas are where policies that will shape the future Internet re being debated and implemented RIGHT NOW! We need to participate in these areas.

The NomCom this year had many issues getting candidates. Vint Cerf even posted a plea on YouTube and discussed it in the International Herald Tribune. Despite this, we get 81 male and only 12 female applicants for 9 open positions.

What can we do to get more women involved? I am out of ideas.