Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) Technical Committee

Statement of Purpose: “Gender equality and social inclusion to foster and advance technology to benefit humanity”

Who We Area and What We Do: The GESI Technical Committee draws from over ten years of development practice integrating GESI interventions in power sector projects in developing countries, amounting to over a billion dollars in investments. Our methodology and tools draw from this body of work. The Technical Committee is co-sponsored by the IEEE Industry Connections activity Dignity, Inclusion, Identity, Trust and Agency (DIITA), specifically to identify barriers to gender equality and social inclusion with a focus on technical standards for affordability and accessibility that support the progress of practical technologies to address these barriers.

The key question that we address: How to integrate GESI considerations in the development of technical standards with the view to incorporating GESI in system design, as well as policy and planning?

Impact: GESI considerations are systematically addressed in system design, as well as policy and planning in the IEEE community.

We are a multi-disciplinary team of experts:

  • Reihana Mohideen, The University of Melbourne, chair
  • Anna Åberg, Chalmers University of Technology
  • Greg Adamson, Chair of Dignity, Inclusion, Identity, Trust and Agency, an IEEE Industry Connection
  • Peter Annear, The University of Melbourne
  • Pankaj Batra, Project Director SARI/EI at IRADe & Ex Chairperson, Central Electricity Authority, India.
  • Rashi Gupta, Vision Mechatronics Pvt Ltd
  • Iven Mareels, Executive Dean, Institute of Innovation, Science and Sustainability, Federation University, Australia
  • Sally Musonye, Kenya Power
  • Priyantha Wijayatunga, Asian Development Bank

Why Gender Equality?

Our premise is that gender equality is essential to foster and advance technology to benefit humanity. Our work is based on the United Nations concepts and definitions of gender equality that “Equality between women and men (gender equality): refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys” and “Equality between women and men is seen both as a human rights issue and as a precondition for, and indicator of, sustainable people-centered development”.

We also draw from the UN Sustainable Development Goals — “Enhance the use of enabling technology … to promote the empowerment of women” (Goal 5) and to “ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services” (Goal 7).

Gender Equality in a Technical Context

We have identified the following key elements to frame our concept of gender equality in a technical context:
a) Technology, its development, and innovation should enable and not prevent gender equality. This requires that women are drawn into the processes by which technology is designed, developed, and used.
b) That women and girls, as well as men and boys can afford and access appropriate technologies and are not excluded from doing so because of their gender.
c) Creating an empowering environment through policy, regulations and standards-based solutions.

Evaluation of social and economic consequences are important and all efforts in this space should be monitored through appropriate metrics.

The metrics will be based on the following key areas:

  • Demographic information about access to electrical energy/power and internet and communication technology.
  • Demographic information about access to education, safe water on demand, health services.
  • Improved outdoor and indoor air quality.
  • Policy statements on universal access to technology and their gender appropriate formulation, by state, province, jurisdiction.
  • Information about major public and private infrastructure projects in support of the above.

Join Us

We welcome interested participants from around the world.
To join our team, please contact Reihana Mohideen.