Gender & ICTs
Performing research can be challenging, especially when researchers turn to their own communities. In the GRACE project, researchers will meet to share their findings and develop their writing skills in early June in Durban, South Africa. Organised in fourteen different teams, the researchers live and work in twelve African countries and all are tackling a fundamental question: How do women in Africa use information and communication technologies (ICTs) for empowerment?
The Republic of Congo is located in Central Africa, with an estimated population of 2,854,600 in 2000. Telecommunications infrastructures are decrepit, limited to the two biggest cities of the country, Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. Despite the existence of private telecommunications companies, only mobile telephony penetrates faster in rural areas. Telecommunications infrastructures are, thus, unable to meet the needs of the Congolese population, especially those of women who constitute 51 per cent of inhabitants.
From Dalgun in South Korea, we get access to links to Korean feminism websites. From a feminism portal site, to an English-language site, and ones that give you access to community radio and webrings of feminist bloggers... there's quite some diversity coming out here. Watch this space.
From being a student activist to working with the word in the library, and getting involved in a wide range of campaigns, soft-spoken Mylene Soto has seen many things. Today, she’s part of APC member Women’sHub, a group that works for the promotion of gender equality amidst the alphabet-soup and geeky world of ICTs (information and communication technology). She joins Cheekay Cinco for this discussion on gender and ICTs in the Asian context.
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.
“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.
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.