Gender & ICTs
This paper sets out to look at the question to information and communication technologies (ICTs) in relation to women’s development in Africa. The emphasis is on current issues and the paper highlights key issues and challenges faced by women in Africa and to a smaller extent, globally. The paper provides examples of good practice and includes recommendations to civil society organisations on how to create an enabling environment for women to access and use ICTs for development. The crucial link between understanding the gender dimensions of the information society – in terms of what women’s needs are and a thorough understanding of conditions of access, policies – and the potential ICTs have of boosting the economic, political and social empowerment of women, and the promotion of gender equality is explored. An extensive resource list and examples of successful initiatives form the field are included in appendices.
This brief was published for the Gender and ICT Awards knowledge-sharing session where the winners and guests deliberate the issue: Can ICTs really help in women’s economic empowerment? This session was held at the 10th AWID International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development in Bangkok, Thailand from 27-30 October 2005. This brief is a condensed version of the issue paper with the same title, which was commissioned by the Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP).
Women have one chance in three less than men to benefit in the African information society. In the “Gender digital divide in francophone Africa” research on six countries (Benin, Burkina FasoBurkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal) conducted by the Gender and ICT Network, connections between gender and ICTs were found to be widely unrecognised. Looking at control, content, capacities and connectivity, the research measured gender disparities that are present with regard to access, use and mastery of ICTs. The reality surfaced from the results is as the title suggests, harsh. However, more positively, this collaborative research has developed critical statistical tools to enable concrete measurement of the gender digital divide. In turn, the data and knowledge base established renders the gender dimension in this field significantly visible. For the development of ICT policies that are equitable, strategic and relevant, particularly in response to poverty-reduction, this constitutes an important decision-making tool for the region.
The Gender Digital Divide in Francophone Africa: A Harsh Reality» is part of the French-language series “Etudes et recherches” published by ENDA. The series consists of papers presented at seminars and raining sessions, occasional papers and other documents.
The English translation and publication in PDF format of «The Gender Digital Divide in Francophone Africa: A Harsh Reality» was made possible thanks to the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).
GEM is an online tool created by the APC WNSP to integrating a gender analysis into evaluations of initiatives that use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for social change.
It 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.
Katerina Fialova is a coordinator with the APC. She's coordinating the gender and APC">ICT policyportal called GenderIT.org. This means that she is working on regulation and policy there where gender and technology intersect. What that really means? It is like looking at how cellphones for instance, can best be used to inform women in rural areas.
Are you troubled by pornographic materials on the Source: TechSoup Glossary and GenderIT.org">internet? Do you consider it damaging? Or is it a valid expression of fantasy or of diverse forms of sexualities? Have you been harmed by sexually explicit and/or violent content through information and communications technologies? How have you dealt with this in your own use of the internet, mobile phone etc.? harmful content on 1 November 2007.
The Open Institute – a Cambodian NGO – launched a Khmer language web portal on October 24 2007. It will give non-profits, the government, and other organisations working on women’s issues in Cambodia easy access to legislation and latest developments related to women’s issues.
The 2007 Global Information Society Watch report identifies Nigeria as the fastest growing ICT market in Africa. Despite this, women remain severely under-represented among the country’s ICT professionals. And yet, one young woman in APC-member Fantsuam’s ICT department became a role model when she became the first woman to climb a communications tower in northern Nigeria.
Training people to use APC Annual Report 2006 ">GEM(Gender Evaluation Methodology) is always a challenge. There are lots of expectations about the results of this training. For the trainer, the usual finding is that evaluators very seldom take a gender perspective into account when planning a project or considering its results, unless they work in a gender unit or in a project that is already committed to women´s issues or related to equity goals. So after lots of discussions in plenary sessions, learning about gender issues and gender policies, and active group work, participants do want to show, through concrete examples, what they have learned about this tool. And this is where creativity plays a crucial role.