Gender & ICTs
“Francophone women are less likely to use the internet than Anglophone women (40.4% compared with 55.3%, respectively)" says a survey report released lately on the Womyn’s Voices website. In the spring of 2002, 50 women’s groups working in minority situations in Canada were surveyed on the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). The project’s scope is limited, looking at Francophone women’s groups working in minority situations. Also since statistics tend to change rapidly, especially concerning ICTs, the data presented may not be an accurate account of today’s reality. It remains a valuable assessment for APC, not only for better understanding its current projects and members in francophone Africa and Canada, but also in preparing its new website in French.
In this piece published in the March edition of the Development Journal, Chat Garcia Ramilo argues strongly for a feminist agenda on technology. Drawing on the discussions at the AWID Forum, she shows how within the framework of women’s rights technology is a determining factor in women’s sexuality, representation and exploitation, and has to be seen as one more facet of violence against women. She calls on the feminist movement to engage technologies as a site of feminist political struggle. Download the article in PDF format.
What does a director of a Paraguayan women’s organisation and a rural Colombian teacher have in common? For APC member in Colombia, Colnodo, the answer is clear. It is their capacity of using information and communication technologies (ICTs) as tools to empower women. This is the reason Colnodo celebrated the Women’s Month, in March, with courses, workshops and seminars aimed at making ICT accessible to women from different regions and realities.
In between short gaps, and while waiting for the meetings – at the first APC-organised information and communication technology (ICT) policy workshop in Dhaka, Bangladesh – to start, APCNews staff writer Frederick Noronha talks to APC’s women’s programme manager ‘Chat’ Garcia Ramilo about APC WNSP’s work, priorities and initiatives. ‘Chat’ took over the APC WNSP challenge in 2004 and works on the policy work of the Women’s Networking Support Programme.
Where the Government in Pakistan, Intellectual Property Organization, Federal Investigation Authorities and the Business Software Alliance BSA are initiating a crackdown on Software Piracy in Pakistan, there is hardly any awareness of piracy and its implications within society apart from members of the IT Industry. It is crucial to the basic Human Rights of the citizens of Pakistan that they first be provided Anti-Software Piracy Literacy and trainings on Free and Open Source Software as an alternative to pirated software. Source: APC">ICTSoftware Freedom is their basic human right in the Information Society!
Cheekay Cinco, member of APC WNSP, interviews Nancy Hafkin, woman pioneer of networking and ICTs development in Africa on her thoughts about the current gender and ICT policy environment. She reflects on the WSIS process and the recent Commission on the Status of Women, and articulates what is urgently needed to render visible the gender dimensions of ICTs at policy levels.
From April 24 to 27, the Datamation Foundation and the APC WNSP are organising a gender-evaluation methodology (GEM) training. APCNews has met Cheekay Cinco, one of the co-organisers, in Dhaka. "At the end of using GEM, one of the main outputs is an evaluation plan that incorporates gender. So, it’s not just about answering questions, but about identifying different stages in an evaluation, and where you can involve gender in those stages." Read the full interview on the APC women’s programme website.
Exactly one year after the successful introduction of GenderIT.org – the gender and information and communication technology (ICT) Policy Monitor in English – the APC WNSP now presents GenderIT en español, the Spanish counterpart of the monitor with original resources and coverage in Spanish, as well as in Portuguese.
Women from the Center for New Words this weekend have said that's what they are all about: finding new solutions for old problems, making women's words matter, wedging open spaces for women's voices to be heard. The CNW launched WAM!, Women, Action and Media three years ago as part of this effort. Audio streams of the WAM!2006 keynote speakers can soon be heard at the CNW site and are well worth listening to, if you have the bandwidth. Though all three journalists are rooted in the (diverse) reality of US media, for me their comments served as an illustration of WHY the APC Source: APC WNSP website">Women's Networking Support Programme(and so many other gender media and Source: APC">ICT advocates) insists on governments respecting Section J of the Beijing Platform of Action and not leaving media and ICTs in the hands of a small group of powerful white men.
"There is great potential for using free software in women’s organisations,” said an enthusiastic Lenka Simerska insisting that this potential “is driven by needs and growing interest in training and networking.” Simerska – one of three trainers in the Women’s Information Technology Transfer (WITT) team – commented at the end of a three-day ‘IT for women’ workshop taking place in Prague, Czech Republic on February 23 – 25 2006.