We find ourselves facing a revolution, Internet and digital technologies are changing the world. The technological development of the scientific research is going faster than ethical reflection and legislation: Some jobs are disappearing and being replaced by robotics. A change based on new knowledge is in sight.

If scientific and technological progress should work for the sake of all mankind, its benefits cannot be for a few, and new inequalities based on knowledge should be avoided. This progress requires a global vision about the influence of digital and machines on humans. However, the unequal participation of women in the labour market and its lack of economic empowerment continues to exist.

European Union is building the Digital Single Market based on three pillars: – Better access for consumers and business to online good; – The right environment for digital networks and services; – Economy and Society. The objective is that economy and society take full advantage of what digitalisation offers. However, 47% of its population doesn’t have an adequate knowledge in the face of a future in which 90% of the jobs will require a certain level of digital skills.

In both regions, European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean, the unequal participation of women in the economy is reflected too in the unequal access to internet.

Internet was born more than 20 years ago, however, two thirds of the world’s population still has no regular access to it. The highest proportion of this disconnected population are women.

The Anglo-Saxon world celebrates every second Tuesday of October since 2009, “Ada Lovelace Day”, the first computer programmer invented by a woman, Ada Augusta Byron, also called Lady Lovelace, daughter of the poet Lord Byron. This celebration stimulates women’s participation in this work environment. However, women’s participation is in decline, as well as their participation in the fields of science and information and communication technologies.

Women have been pioneers, such as Ada Lovelace, or Hedy Lamarr, who invented a communication system known as “Frequency-hopping spread spectrum” in which are based the wireless technologies that we currently have. It’s not a matter of abilities.

The access to the European and Latin American market is governed by agreements that offers a favorable framework, but that does not always fulfil its objective due to the lack of information, specific knowledge, and inclusion. A gender-related chapter is needed in order to engage the parties to carry out actions of cooperation to encourage women’s participation in the national and international economy. Actions including information, education, promotion and creation of Euro-Latin American networks.

A new vision of development that must have the effective participation of Euro-Latin American women is the process of transition to the circular economy. A theme led by the European Union where the bi-regional relationship should not be exempt from it as well as its Action Plan.

The goal is to think about the present to develop the future. A world without women in the labour market, in the digital world, in the access to the bi-regional market, is not desirable, and inequitable.

Since 2010, Euro-Latin American Women’s Forum dedicates its actions to a better coverage of the female population in politics, in the economy, as well as to tackle violence against women and children.

Chaired by the European deputy Elisabetta Gardini, Euro-Latin American Women’s Forum works to strengthen relations between the European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean with the active participation of Euro-Latin American women.

1. Opening session:

Welcome by:
Antonio Tajani, President of the European Parliament;
Elisabetta Gardini, Chair of the Women’s Forum of EuroLat;

Opening remarks by:
Edite Hrdá, Managing Director of the Americas, EEAS;
Mara Marinaki, Ambassador Mara Marinaki, EEAS Principal Advisor on Gender and on UNSCR 1325/WPS

2. Adoption of draft agenda AP102.453v01-00


Session I – 15.30-17.00: Digital Agenda

3. Digital Entrepreneurship: creating high-impact ventures by leveraging digital technologies”, with the participation of:
Giovanni Zazzerini, Secretary General of INSME, The International Network for Small and Medium Enterprises;

4. European youth visioning for digital economy, with the participation of:
Oksana Vedmidska, Winner of the Youth Essay, SME Week;

5. European women entrepreneurs and their participation in the digital economy, with the participation of:
Murielle Eyletters, President for Belgium of the Association FCE, “Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises”;

6. The digitalization of data and strategies of digitalization in the companies run by women, with the participation of:
Sanae Saadaoui, PhD, Member of the Association “FCE”, Manager of ITASART, Advise, Coaching and Training in Performance Improvement Strategies;

Session II – 17.00-18.30: Access to markets and Cooperation

Moderator, Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero, Member of the European Parliament, INTA Committee, Co-Rapporteur for Gender Mainstreaming in Trade Policy (to be confirmed);

7. European and Latin American women’s access to markets and cooperation, with the participation of:
Ulla Engelmann, Head of Unit in GROW for clusters, social economy and entrepreneurship;

8. The customs planification for a rational access to the market, with the participation of:
Sara Armella, Lawyer expert in Customs Legislation;

9. “Equality means business”, with the participation of:
Raimondo Bussi, Deputy Head of Unit, Service for Foreign Policy Instruments (FPI), European Commission;

10. The empowerment of women in Brazil, with the participation of:
Gina Mancilio Pompeu, University of Fortaleza, Brazil

11. Any other business

12. Conclusions
Elisabetta Gardini, Chair of the Women’s Forum of EuroLat;