From 16th to 18th January 2024, Women Political Leaders (WPL) co-hosted three sessions at the 2024 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
WPL thanks all partners and participants for fostering equal representation and a safer digital future for all.
“Representation Matters – The Davos Dialogue“, supported by Salesforce and the Oliver Wyman Forum addressed the fact, that in 2024, 90% of the world’s leaders are still men and that this year offers an opportunity to take a step forward in democracy and bring more women into political leadership positions.
Read the full Representation Matters Report here.
During the “AI and Digital Leadership in Politics” session, co-hosted by the Apolitical Foundation, GWL Voices and Open Society, participants discussed harnessing AI to support women’s political leadership by addressing challenges such as deep fakes in elections and policymaking to secure a safer and more inclusive digital future. We’re pleased to announce a new partnership was launched to strengthen democracy and establish a global community to address challenges that impede on women’s political participation.
Here are some outtakes from the discussion:
“There’s so much potential – all of society is becoming very diverse…technology allows you to have your voice in multiple languages to reach so many people which is exciting from a campaign perspective. From a policy perspective, for policymakers, AI can be used for complex analysis.The potential of AI is really exciting, but you have to take into account all of the misuse. A lot more women in STEM need to be part of the design of what’s happening.”
“We also have a scheme around serious intent cyber abuse – this is after someone has been abused and reported it to the site – specialising in takedowns, the safety net when people don’t know where to go.”
“Governments until 2023 with the development of AI, have not designed platforms with safety in mind – we need virtual seatbelts and digital park rails to rectify those platforms and ensure the burden of safety doesn’t fall upon the users – we call it safety by design.”
“No one is keeping you from using chatbots to reach out to people and connect with them in an authentic way that you have never done before – don’t leave this field for agendas of chaos and misinformation.”
“Today’s panellists have underscored that the active participation and leadership of half the world’s population is a necessary ingredient for democracy. There’s research showing that the status of women and the stability of nations are interlinked…the success of democratic movements worldwide has often depended on women’s political engagement.”
85% of women serving in political positions across the world report experiencing online violence, and this number is likely much higher. At WLP’s “Catalysing Change for a Safer Digital World” event in collaboration with Airbnb & HateAid, women political leaders came together to address the urgent need for action, emphasizing the importance of combatting online gender-based violence. Key takeaways include the imperative to combine regulation, financial support, and accountability to create a safer digital space for women in politics and uphold democratic values.
Here is what participants said:
“This discussion is critical to have, what can we do to make your online presence safer, what is the role of corporations, institutions, support from government in increasing online safety.”
“Digital violence against women is a worldwide pandemic. If we look at the research we can see the gendered aspect, in every country there is online violence, facilitated by technology.”
“Technology has been a great enabler for women…but on the other hand, it has really put women at risk. There is a rising link between online violence that can turn into real-life violence.”
“When female voices are silenced, this is not only a threat to freedom of speech, but also a threat to our democracies.”
“As women in power, we have a responsibility to secure a path for all women to come.”