2023 IEEE Connecting the
Unconnected Summit

Closing the gender digital divide

The 2023 IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Summit will be the first in-person instance of our event! Please plan to join us on 4 December 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as we co-locate the CTU Summit with IEEE Globecom, one of the IEEE Communications Society’s flagship conferences dedicated to driving innovation in nearly every aspect of communications.

While we will provide options for remote registration and viewing for those who cannot travel, our goal is to convene as many in-person participants as possible to encourage networking, inspiration and knowledge sharing in a way that only physical events can.

The speaker and attendee list will feature innovators, regulators, multinational companies, standards-setting bodies, and nonprofits dedicated to Internet connectivity and inclusion. As with prior versions of the event, attendees can expect a robust program of keynotes, invited talks, panels, and presentations from winners of the IEEE Connecting the Unconnected Challenge.

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CTU 2023 Theme:
Closing the gender digital divide

Persistent gender-based inequalities in how women access, integrate with, and are empowered by digital technology have profound effects on their lives. As countries continue to digitize, the ongoing exclusion of women from online spaces will widen economic and gender inequality, which will limit inclusive sustainable development. For women who have managed to secure access to digital technology, a new set of challenges and harms await them online: harassment and hate speech; poor-quality services; exploitative business practices; algorithmic bias; data abuses; fraud; and technology-facilitated gender-based violence. 

Closing the gender digital divide will require local solutions that address the persistent social norms and barriers preventing low-income women and girls from using technology to improve their lives and do so in a safe and secure manner. Solvers working at the local level often struggle to find flexible, right-sized funding that can enable their work without being overly burdensome to manage. For this reason, IEEE has partnered with USAID to focus the 2023 CTU Challenge and Summit on supporting hyper-local solutions targeted to the unique needs of women, girls, and other traditionally marginalized populations. 

For background information, please read USAID’s Gender Digital Divide Primer.