Latin America & the Caribbean
Doing a search for women´s institutes in Mexico yields few results – even though all women´s institutes are required by law to have websites. Mexico´s 2002 transparency law was heralded as key to ending corruption, a vindication of citizens’ right to know.
Proposals to fight cybercrime have been floating around in Brazil for more than a decade but the backers – primarily banks and music companies worried about internet fraud and unauthorised music sharing – couldn’t find public or parliamentary support till they switched their focus to child pornography. Lula has refused to sanction online censorship and the government has opened a public consultation on what a civil law to regulate the internet should look like. EroTICs researchers Corrêa, Maria and Queiroz explore the history of the Brazilian regulation debate and conclude that the time is ripe to talk about rights – and for feminists and sexual rights activists to get involved. Photo: “Mike Vondran”:http://www.flickr.com/people/over_kind_man/
Politicians aren’t always aware that sound research that could help them make better policy decisions is out there waiting to be used. On the other hand, social networking websites are experiencing an explosive growth worldwide and Latin America is no exception. This new initiative from APC and Latin American telecomms research network DIRSI will bring together researchers and activists to see if it is possible to influence policy debate using blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter and more in Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay.
The Bolivian government is focusing on telecentres as a means of bringing internet access to the population, especially in rural and marginalised areas. But according to researcher Orlando Arratia, the structural problems that currently limit connectivity cannot be resolved until the government adopts a national broadband policy.
In the 1990s, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela privatised their telecomms sectors and the policies were a dismal failure. Almost 20 years on the Andean region has some of the worst connectivity statistics of all Latin America. For example only 4 in 100 Bolivians have internet access. Of the four, two will have broadband connections but out-of-date telephone systems will force the other two to use dial-up so slow that viewing YouTube or interactive news sites will be virtually impossible. From 2008 APC has looked at what had gone wrong. Our detailed national reports produced with an eye on influencing the policy debate in Latin America are now collected along with summaries of main points to emerge from the research. Photo: “Velaia”:http://www.flickr.com/photos/velaia/3238166271/
This meeting is part of the MDG3: Strengthening women’s strategic use of ICTs to combat violence against women and girls project run by the APC women’s programme (APC WNSP).