Gender & ICTs
Reports indicate that violence against women (VAW) is still very much present in today’s society – one out of three women worldwide suffers from some form of gender-based violence. As part of the global campaign on “Say NO to violence against women”, APC member the Open Institute in Cambodia conducted three forums on “Reclaiming ICT to end violence against women” held from September to December 2008. Through these forums, they were able to uncover key challenges in the use of ICTs to end violence against women, and put forth a series of pertinent recommendations to be implemented in Cambodia as part of the country’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Women in Africa may be accessing the internet, but are they getting the information they need? Whether they are students, members of civil society, leaders of indigenous communities or women and youth affected by HIV/AIDS, patents and copyrights are making it increasingly difficult for women in Africa to access the information they need. This edition of Gender Centred, a periodic bulletin produced by APC's programme for the GenderIT.org policy site, focuses on the challenges copyright and the lack of information exchange bring to those who need it most, and explores the different issues surrounding open source software, copyright and rights to information.
APC women’s Feminist Tech Exchange (FTX) is training a key group of women’s rights advocates particularly those living in the developing world in essential internet, audio and other technical skills to enable them to use technology to most effectively document abuses, build knowledge, disseminate information, mobilise support and amplify pressures for change.
The APC women’s programme looks at the current climate internationally regarding “harmful content” on the internet and explains the raison d’etre of their current exploration into the world of sexuality online.
My Goan colleague Frederick Noronha, a happily-married Indian man, to my surprise recently joined the Facebook group “A Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women”.
In the recent years, APC’s francophone community has grown significantly, and with this growth also came an interest for Gender Evaluations Method (GEM) training in French. Requests for the workshop have not gone unheard, and the GEM Francophone Workshop, co-organised by the Women’s Networking Support Programme (WNSP), APC-Africa-Women (AAW) and Afriklinks officially began today in Bamako, Mali. The small group of fifteen people is comprised of participants from all over Africa, including two GenARDIS grantees. The workshop, which is coordinated and facilitated by APC’s Dafhne Plou and Sylvie Niombo, aims to build capacities in gender evaluation, integrating a GEM practice in Africa, and other challenges related to gender and ICTs in Africa. Additional information and impressions can be found on the Afriklinks webiste (in French).
APC member Open Institute in Cambodia was recently involved in a forum dedicated to ending violence against women. The “Women Forums on reclaiming ICTs to end violence against women” was held on December 26th and united over 120 individuals from the government and non-profit sector. Together, they discussed the vital role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in helping build awareness regarding violence against women.
Whether its through community radio, posters, sms, emails, audiocasts or websites, creative and informed use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) helps get the word out on violence against women (VAW). We have to know about technology to best use it for our activism, we have to understand it to protect ourselves and others, and to keep shaping an internet for all. From 25 November to 10 December it’s time once again to “Take Back the Tech!” and use ICTs to end violence against women.
Skill sharing sessions on wikis, web 2.0, a tech hunt, and webcasts marked the first day of the FTX (Feminist Tech eXchange) Hub as part of the Power of Movements forum, from November 14 – 17 2008 in Capetown. The FTX Hub is a place to put those skills into practice – and to share ideas around how critical communications rights are to women’s rights with over 2000 women attending this forum, organised by the Association for Women’s Rights and Development.