What does the Internet Governance Forum signify for gender equality?

This paper sets out to study how gender equality gets constructed within the discursive space of IGF, using IGF 2012 as an exemplar. It utilises a Critical Discourse Analysis Framework that draws upon the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development's framework which defines gender equality as comprising the following domains: capabilities and access to resources and opportunities; empowerment; and enabling macro-environmental factors. The paper demonstrates that in the new global order being shaped by a rising network capitalism, the discourse of gender in the spaces of technology policy such as IGF, is reduced to a depoliticised product. This is because the new 'multi-stakeholder' model of governance that is endorsed in these spaces, does not really generate valencies about the governance of the Internet and emergent digital technologies, as a set of public policy principles.

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