By APCNews GENEVA, Switzerland, 11 December 2003
GENEVA, 11 December 2003. The APC Women’s Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP) celebrated ten remarkable years of working to make ICTs accessible to women yesterday at the World Summit on the Information Society in Geneva.
In honour, they hosted a day-long series of panels, workshops and presentations which included a Gender and ICT award winners panel, a presentation on the WNSP’s innovative gender evaluation methodology for ICTs which included the experiences of GEM testers from several continents, a session on free and open source software for African women from APC-Africa-Women, and the WENT Asia fifth anniversary awards.
The day was rounded off by a tenth anniversary presentation. “It was incredible that everyone who got up to speak from the audience commented on how inspiring and innovative they consider the WNSP,” said a participant. “Many of the women there had actually got their first taste of the internet through training from the WNSP.”
APC WNSP member, Chat Garcia Ramilo, feels that the name says it all.”WNSP is a home for women working with information and communications technologies which is often a stressful environment to be in. Women’s Networking Support, that’s what WNSP is all about,” she told APCNews.
Katerina Fialova joined the WNSP just a few years ago. She was attracted to it as “a friendly space where more than anything I’ve learned a lot about the social impact of ICTs and how to get involved in advocacy work.” She’s working to raise awareness about the importance of ICT policy in the Czech Republic which she says will be affected dramatically when the nation becomes part of the European Union.
Online members from Mexico and the Philippines were working hard to prepare a 10th anniversary website, and an online chat/message board where people can write messages.
The Programme emerged in 1993 as a response to several convergent needs and demands from within the women’s movement. The United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women (UNWCW) and the rapid development of international communications technologies were key factors which gave rise to the Programme’s beginning.
APC WNSP’s network numbers over 100 women from more than 35 countries. They are individual women and women’s groups and organisations working in the field of gender and ICT and actively supporting women’s networking. Members have formed themselves into regional networks in Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Africa and are building an emerging network in Europe.