GSMA We Care Panama: Mobile Operators Join Forces to Address Disaster Response and Gender Equality

The Panamanian mobile industry today launched a series of initiatives under the We Care campaign, supported by the GSMA in Latin America, to promote local action in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Mobile operators Claro, Digicel and Telefónica Movistar signed on to the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter to strengthen response to natural disasters and the operators will also work together to advance gender equality and the empowerment of girls and women. The We Care Panama campaign was unveiled at the GSMA Latin America Plenary Meeting #46, which brings together the region’s leading CEOs, regulators, executives and specialists from across the broad technology ecosystem.

“To achieve the SDGs, it is necessary to take full advantage of the transformational power of mobile technology,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of Latin America, GSMA. “The mobile industry is committed to achieving the SDGs and through initiatives such as We Care, Panama’s mobile operators are positively impacting citizens at the local level while contributing to the ambitious 2030 global agenda.”

Supporting Humanitarian Response

In support of SDGs 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and 13 (Climate Action), the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter outlines three shared principles of commitment focused on:

  • Enhancing coordination within and among mobile network operators before, during and after a disaster;
  • Scaling and standardising preparedness and response activities across the industry to enable a more predictable response; and
  • Strengthening partnerships between the mobile industry, government and the humanitarian sector.

With this launch, Claro, Digicel and Telefónica Movistar join 147 mobile operators across 106 countries that have already committed to the Charter.

Promoting Gender Equality

In the second initiative of the We Care campaign, Panama’s mobile operators have committed to contribute to SDG 5 (Gender Equality) through:

  • Incorporating the gender perspective at the highest levels of leadership and internally analysing the “glass ceiling” that often limits the career advancement of women in the corporate world;
  • Leveraging social networks, websites and institutional channels to raise awareness of actions designed to prevent violence against women; and
  • Contributing the experience of the mobile industry in Panama to the dialogue of Women 20 (W20) to help close the digital gender gap on a global basis.

As a W20 Topic Chair, the GSMA will help lead the debate in the run-up to the G20 Argentina 2018 summit taking place in Buenos Aires, 30 November – 1 December 2018. This includes creating forums for dialogue with international organisations and experts to help draft the W20 recommendations and influence decision-making groups in the G20 to carry out policies towards gender equality. Achieving equality via digital inclusion is one of the four strategic objectives of the W20, alongside labour inclusion, financial inclusion and rural development.

“Claro Panama and the América Móvil group, together with the Carlos Slim Foundation, believe that with access to information technologies, we can make new tools available, such as the free platforms and Capacítate para el Empleo. Both can have a positive impact on the girls and women who use them, contributing to their professional and academic development, allowing them to participate actively in the country’s social and economic growth,” said Oscar Borda, General Director of Claro Panama.

“The recent investment in LTE technology in Panama will allow internet access in rural or remote places where there was not a fast internet connection before, helping to reduce the digital divide. As the gap narrows, the country’s citizens and businesses will have greater opportunities to access information technologies and the benefits they deliver,” said Santiago Gradin, Commercial Director of Digicel Panama.

“At Telefónica Movistar, we are committed to the ‘We Care Panama’ campaign because we understand that connectivity and gender equality are pillars of a country’s development. Our focus of social investment is aligned to our business strategy because we live sustainability on a daily basis. By doing things properly, being responsible with the environment and society, we build the company of the future. That is why we work on various issues associated with education and the environment with emblematic programs such as electronic waste recycling through the ‘The Earth calls you: Answer’ initiative, reducing emissions, promoting digital inclusion by serving remote areas, and the Digital Classroom program of ProFuturo, through which we bring digital education to vulnerable communities. And in this context, we make alliances with the experts in each sector to ensure that we do it well and with the best result,” said Marcelo Mouzo, General Manager of Telefónica Movistar Panamá.

Underscoring the mobile industry’s commitment to the SDGs, the GSMA We Care campaign is an initiative of the region’s leading mobile operators to ensure all users can enjoy the life-changing benefits of mobile technology in a safe and secure environment. To achieve this, operators have joined forces to take on a series of commitments in every country in the region where mobile phones and networks can provide solutions to social problems. The We Care campaign has been launched in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru, and will continue to expand across the region.


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