Women in International Security and Cyberspace Fellowship

The information contained in this page is taken from the joint press release by the Governments of of Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Please note that the GFCE Secretariat provides administrative support to select countries under the Fellowship program and is not responsible for the selection of fellowship candidates.

Background information

The Women in International Security and Cyberspace Fellowship (WIC) aims to address the need for a greater proportion of representation from women at the United Nations negotiations concerning cyberspace. The fellowship is jointly organized and sponsored by the Governments of Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. 

The Women in Cyber Fellowship aims to ensure equal and effective representation of women diplomats from all regions in United Nations cyber negotiations. The program seeks to develop cyber governance capacities, providing access to workshops and training as well as direct support to Fellows for their participation in UN First and Third Committee processes. 

The current edition of the Fellowship runs in support of the 2021-2025 Open-Ended Working Group on Developments in the Field of Information and Telecommunications in the Context of International Security (OEWG) in the UN First Committee and the Ad-Hoc Committee Elaborate a Comprehensive International Convention on Countering the Use of Information and Communications Technologies for Criminal Purposes (AHC) in the UN Third Committee.

Table of Contents

Added value of the project

As recognized by the Women, Peace and Security agenda, women are differently and uniquely affected by conflict and threats to international peace and security. UNIDIR’s report into gender balance in arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament diplomacy ‘Still Behind the Curve’, found that the UN First Committee (under which the Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) is convened) has the lowest proportion of female diplomats of any of the UNGA’s Main Committees. In addition, while estimates vary, women represent less than 25 per cent of the cyber security workforce. Combined, this highlights the need to ensure women are empowered to participate in discussions concerning cyberspace.

Expected Outcomes

The fellowship provides opportunities for knowledge and skills development related to cyber diplomacy, with Fellows participating in substantive sessions with their national delegation. The training elements of the fellowship therefore have a particular focus on international security and cybercrime, in addition to exploring the intersections of gendered issues of security with cyber policy.

Actions and Outputs

Events in which the fellows participate

This online event was an opportunity for fellows to take stock of gender inclusion to date and consider options on how to keep increasing the meaningful participation of women and address gender perspectives in ongoing international cyber security policy discussions at the UN. The session also aimed to identify possible priorities for future work in this regard.

Substantive negotiations of the UN process. Fellows receive support to participate in the meeting.

Substantive negotiations of the UN process. Fellows receive support to participate in the meeting.

Substantive negotiations of the UN process. Fellows receive support to participate in the meeting.

This workshop provided fellows with an overview of key issues ahead of the second substantive session of the UN Open-ended Working Group (OEWG). The workshop was a refresher on the OEWG – its history, procedural developments, and current status – with fellows discussing strategies for tackling concerns raised by the issues under negotiation.

Substantive negotiations of the UN process. Fellows receive support to participate in the meeting.

Substantive negotiations of the UN process. Fellows receive support to participate in the meeting.

Substantive negotiations of the UN process. Fellows receive support to participate in the meeting.

Contact email

For further enquiries, please reach out to us using the contact details below.

Elliot Mayhew (elliot.mayhew@thegfce.org)

GFCE Secretariat (contact@thegfce.org)