#eSkills4Girls at UNESCO Mobile Learning Week 2019 in Paris

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is also advancing the discussion on AI4Gender Equality: The 2019 edition of UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week will explore how Artificial Intelligence can accelerate the process of achieving SDG 4 under the theme ‘Artificial Intelligence for Sustainable Development’. On this occasion, BMZ and UNESCO will organize a workshop on “Looking at AI through a gender-lens”.

The workshop is based on the premise that women – particularly in the Global South – are underrepresented in frontier technologies. Today, most of AI technology is being developed by men in the Global North. The workshop recognises that the gender digital divide appears to be growing globally despite all the efforts to address this. It also recognises that promoting digital skills for girls and women does not automatically go hand in hand with women becoming content creators and AI developers. How do we address this gap and ensure that in addition to using AI technology skillfully, women have the skills and competencies needed to steer its development? It anticipates that as AI technology becomes increasingly embedded within daily life, the lack of women ‘at the table’ on decision making increases the chances that technology will be built in a way that replicates or even exacerbates pre-existing gender inequalities.

In light of these issues, the workshop considers strategies to establish stronger gender parity in the digital sector with a focus on AI – so that women and girls influence and shape the future of frontier technologies. It explores the current barriers, and the examples of good practices that can be scaled or adapted to speed up progress. Participants will share ideas and experiences and discuss the following questions in breakout groups together with experts:

  1. AI and the future of education: What are the skills needed to use and create AI? Is it at all possible to do a skills-forecasting for the future? And how can education systems adapt to that in a gender-sensitive way?
  2. Cooperation with the private sector: How can education systems and donors cooperate with the private sector to help ensure that more young women in developing countries get employed in the AI industry?

The workshop will take place on March 5 at 2:30 – 4 pm in room 5 at UNESCO.

Birgit Frank (BMZ)
Mark West (UNESCO)
Lea Simpson (Brink)
Svenia Busson (LearnSpace)
Priya Lakhani OBE (Century Tech)
Dr. Michael Pucci (WeCode)
Meaghan Brugha (Jigsaw Consult)