Dominican Republic guarantees women's equality in technology initiatives and policies across the country using APC GEM

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, Dec 17 (APC)

The Dominican Republic is the first Latin American country to act on their commitments to involve women in the information society nationwide. This Caribbean island nation of ten million has promised to include a “gender perspective” in every information and communications technology initiative and policy developed by the government from now on. The tool the Dominicans have chosen to design and evaluate all the public policies is the APC gender evaluation methodology (GEM).

“This is great news for women’s equality in the Dominican Republic,” said APC’s Dafne Plou who trained government officials in a three-day workshop in November. “And it’s potentially a breakthrough for millions of other women in Latin America because the Dominican Republic is leading Latin American governments’ thinking around gender and technology as part of the regional eLAC2010 plan”.

About GEM
“People involved in development have long recognised that the on-going marginalisation of women undermines social and economic development. And now they are finally recognising that technology can have a transformative impact,” said APC’s Chat Garcia Ramilo who co-authored the GEM manual. GEM provides an evaluation framework and tools to learn how ICT for development programmes and projects are improving women’s lives and changing gender roles and relations in the family, communities and larger society.

Dominican commitment to gender equality
The APC women’s programme was invited to run the GEM training by the National Commission for the Society of Information and Knowledge (CNSIC in Spanish), Indotel (the Dominican telecoms regulator), the State Ministry for Women’s Affairs, the Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNESCO) in Havana, Cuba and the Research Centre for Women’s Action (CIPAF).

At the opening of the workshop on November 16 José Rafael Vargas, Indotel chief and chair of CNSIC, emphasised the group’s commitment “to encourage the full participation of women in all areas relating to ICT development and ensure their active involvement in developing ICT policies.”

He recognised that “there is much work to do to ensure equal opportunities for men and women within the framework of the CNSIC” and that he valued “the use of GEM and its application in the design and evaluation of public policies, programmes and projects relating to ICTs.”

“It’s heartening to see governments take the findings of research and evaluation seriously”, says Sarah Earl of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). “Whether it is being used in Nigeria, the Phillipines or Colombia, GEM has showed that women can use technologies to positively impact the health, education, income, and the empowerment of themselves and their families. IDRC is proud to have supported this evaluation research.” IDRC has supported GEM since its initial development in 2002.

For more information
About GEM: http://www.apc.org/en/projects/gender-evaluation-methodology
GEM manuals in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese are freely available to download http://www.apc.org/en/pubs/books/gender-evaluation-methodology
Report in Dominican newspaper “El Nuevo Diario” on workshop (translated by APC) http://www.apc.org/en/news/dominican-republic-guarantees-womens-equality...
To find out more about GEM write to Dafne Plou: daphne@apcwomen.org
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(END/2009)

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