Gender & ICTs
Women’sNet’s training co-ordinator Elizabeth "Liz" Araujo writes that the recent Africa Source 2 event was set "against a beautiful Lake Victoria island backdrop, replete with sandy beaches, and fishing boats", and turned out to be a "smashing success". Held from January 8-15, 2006, the skills-packed practical workshop was aimed at introducing and exploring free/libre and open source software (FOSS) for non-profit organisations and local African communities. She says that what made this camp radically different from other technology-focused workshops was the almost natural seeming integration of novice, occasional user and high-end techie.
‘Mainstreaming ICTs: Africa Lives the Information Society" is a contribution towards efforts to bridge the "policy-practice" divide. The book is amied at development practitioners and ICT innovators interested in inventive technology applications for social justice and development. It contains 10 case studies reflecting on the innovative and creative ways information and communciation technologies (ICTs) have been used to promote people-centred development in a number of Sub-Saharan African countries. The book was compiled and edited by Women’sNet with the assistance of a Southern African editorial group including Toni Eliasz, Ria Greyling, Benter Okello, Muroro Dziruni, Ashraf Patel, and Natasha Primo. The project was supported by the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).
Natasha Primo recently became the first-ever woman to chair APC, or the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), which one publication called The African Digital Commons described as being founded by a team "clued in to the potential power of ICTs at a time when many of us still thought of computers as glorified typewriters". Primo, also the executive director of the South Africa-based Women’sNet, outlines some issues, challenges and plans that stand before APC.
Integrating GEM, or the Gender Evaluation Methodology, in the women’s health context, can be a daunting task and there are no quick answers to gender issues in their contexts. But tools like GEM could help one immediately know if their projects are "gender friendly", suggests the experience of a mini-workshop held recently in Vietnam.
http://wentafrica.blogspot.com/ is an electronic reflection of the Women’s Electronic Networking Training, which began in early December at Uganda. Women from Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Zambia, Sudan, Cameroon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Senegal are participating in the second such workshop being hosted by APC-Africa-Women. This year, the focus of WENT Africa 2005 is Free and Open Source Software Solutions (FOSS) in women’s organisations in Africa. Melissa’s screen began by talking gobledeegook!
I was quite impressed by the many side events women participated in, on Wednesday and Thursday. I'm particulary impressed by the Tanzanian women forum held in the afternoon with a highly led delegation of women in leading Source: APC">ICTand "state" in this glossary). As a general rule, "government" should not be capitalised.
Source: Wikipedia">governmentposition in the country. Of particular importance are the women-led event at the APC stand and APC-related talks. Keep it up!
It has been a crazy tiring, hectic and running-around day, so I am hoping to give a small glimpse at least before I pass out into oblivion. So, after working on this process for close to seven years, we are finally tying up the ribbons and signing on the dotted line with icing. Yes, it is Source: APC ICT Policy Handbook and APC Annual Report 2005.">WSISII opening!
On the first day, I was so desperate to see women at this space because of the overbearing presence of men, especially those in uniformed and are armed. When I scanned around, I saw mainly (apart from the participants) women in pink who were cleaners and usually hauled big bags of rubbish with them...
Today was a day of cancellation. The GEM (Gender Evaluation Methodology) Book launch was scheduled to happen at 2:00 pm, but in a demonstration of solidarity, APC decided to withdraw and cancel all of its side events scheduled for today...