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Lamentillo tackles DIgital Gender Gap in ADB’s IWC Keynote Speaker Series

June 12, 2023

Lamentillo tackles DIgital Gender Gap in ADB’s IWC Keynote Speaker Series

Undersecretary Anna Mae Yu Lamentillo of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) tackled the digital gender gap as she kicked off the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) International Women Committee’s (IWC) Keynote Speaker Series for this year.


Lamentillo, DICT’s Undersecretary for Public Affairs and Foreign Relations, said that 32 countries, including the Philippines, have missed out on USD 1 trillion in GDP as a result of women’s exclusion from the digital world.


She explained that the digital gender divide has become apparent with the inevitable pivot to digital transformation. For instance, a study by the International Finance Corp. (IFC) showed that women entrepreneurs could better compete if they have the necessary digital selling skills as well as access to credit, but 61% of Filipino women still do not own a bank account and were not part of the formal economy.


Moreover, in the Women in ICT Development Index (WIDI) of the DICT, while 86% of Filipino women have access to internet whether at home or elsewhere, only 26% used it to search on education and government services, while less than 20% used it to search for employment and business opportunities. And while 55% of women purchased goods or services online, only 6% sold goods or services online. Given this, she stressed that it is imperative to make sure that in the shift to the new normal, no one is left behind by equipping Filipinos with the tools and skills they need to thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.


“As 65% of the country is still not connected to the internet, this motivates us to go further, to connect every barangay in the country to the cyberspace. Access to the internet means access to opportunities. We want to make sure that no Filipino, regardless of age and gender, is left behind in the transition to the digital age,” said Lamentillo.


The IWC is an informal committee at the ADB that promotes internal dialogue within the ADB community and supports ADB’s International Women Staff. One of its activities is a Keynote Speaker Series where they invite notable women profiles to talk and discuss on various themes.


For this year, Lamentillo was invited to be their first speaker to discuss her efforts to promote women empowerment in the digital economy.

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