New Launch: 5 Principles to gender-responsive innovation and technology

The UN Women facilitated Global Innovation Coalition for Change (GICC) has today launched the Gender Innovation Principles –  5 global standards aimed at taking a gender-responsive approach to innovation and technology.

 

The GICC, a unique alliance with 27 partners from private sector, non-profit organizations and academic institutions was formed a year ago to develop the innovation market to work better for women and to accelerate the achievement of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

After a year-long process, GICC established the ambitious Principles to help guide organizations toward including women and women’s needs throughout the various phases in the innovation lifecycle, such as design, implementation and evaluation.

The Principles include:

  • Principle 1. Make a high-level corporate commitment to adopt a gender responsive approach to innovation
  • Principle 2. Design innovations that include women as end users
  • Principle 3. Adopt an adaptive approach to implementation to ensure innovations are gender-responsive and meet the needs of women
  • Principle 4. Evaluate the gender-responsive impact using a data driven approach
  • Principle 5. Scale innovations that provide sustainable solutions to meet the needs of women and girls

“Today’s launch is about working with companies to ensure that women play a key role as both developers and consumers of technology and innovation. From mobile banking and blockchain technology, to artificial intelligence and the internet of things, it is vital that women’s ideas, concerns and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape our future societies,” states UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, welcoming the standard-setting Principles.

According to the UN Women, applying a gender lens to the innovation cycle and involving women more actively, has the potential to serve as a catalytic tool of change, to break trends and increase access and availability of opportunities.

UN Women’s work with the private sector is extensive, from setting standards such as the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) and these newly-launched Principles, to encouraging private sector partners to join global campaigns such as HeForShePlanet 50–50 by 2030 and the Unstereotype Alliance.

The Gender Innovation Principles launched will be implemented in connection with the WEPs framework and other UN Women partnerships to bring together GICC members and like-minded organizations to share experience and knowledge on gender-responsive innovation.

Steve Krouskos, Global Vice Chair of Transaction Advisory Services of EY, who led the work stream to develop the Gender Innovations Principles, had this to say:

“EY is proud to be at the forefront of developing the gender innovation principles with UN Women to promote gender equality through innovation. Reducing inequality—especially at a time of turbo-charged technological disruption—is a business priority, and the principles provide a platform for businesses to benchmark themselves and work towards better outcomes. As a father and a business leader, I believe we all need to support ways to help build a better working world.”

Working together to advance the gender equality agenda, the Innovation Coalition, facilitated by UN Women, has the support of a diverse set of global industry leaders, such as Nasdaq, SAP, CISCO, Citi, Dell, Ericsson, Facebook, HP, General Electric, and a host of others. Full list available here. The Coalition also includes academic institutions like MIT Solve and New York Academy of Sciences.

 

 

 

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reGina Jane

reGina Jane Jere is a Zambian-born London-based journalist and founding Editor of the New African Woman magazine the sister-publication of the New African magazine of which she was the Deputy Editor for over a decade. The mother of two juggles a wide-range of editorial and managerial duties, but she has particular passion on women’s health, education, rights and empowerment. She is also a former Zambian correspondent for Agence France Presse, and a former Africa Researcher at Index on Censorship. She writes extensively on a wide range of issues, from politics to women’s rights, media and free speech to beauty and fashion

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