Posted 15 December 2005

This edition of Gender Centred offers you a selection of writings assessing the outcomes of WSIS from

gender perspective, and invite you to reflect with us.

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*GENDER CENTRED: A thematic bulletin*

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*Gender Peripheries of WSIS II: Post-WSIS Reflections*

- OPINION POLL: WSIS gains & losses

- FEMINIST TALK: Mirror Images of WSIS


* Gender equality may constitute a normative consensus, but the

political will is lacking

* From Geek to the WSIS Gender Caucus

* ICT gender issues past, present and future

* Funding ICTs: where will the money come from?

* TICs, CMSI, mujeres: para que este Milenio nos pertenezca

- NEW RESOURCES: The selection of launched publications linked to gender

and WSIS

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of the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society

(WSIS), and covered events on the ground from Tunis and Geneva. However,

the WSIS process is over, and now is the time to reflect what have women

gainned through this seven years long process.

We offer you a selection of writings assessing the outcomes of WSIS from

gender perspective, and invite you to reflect with us.

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*OPINION POLL: WSIS gains & losses*

What we have gained and lost in terms of integrating gender as a

relevant dimension into the ‘information society’? What do we have? And

where should we go from here? What is the importance of having these

explicit mentions of gender and women here and there?


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FEMINIST TALK: Mirror Images of WSIS [by Jac sm Kee]

*Conversations with Tunisian Women (Part I)*

I changed my route to the Palexbo on the last day and found a café

between where the taxi dropped me off to the security line. The woman

who managed the place spoke to me in English, and since I was the only

customer, we started chatting. I asked her what she thought of the

Summit, and she responded, “I don’t know. I’m not there. Why don’t you

tell me about the Summit?” Good point =)

*The Missing Rights Agenda (Part II)*

These conversations, and the “Expression Under Repression” panel

organised by Hivos starkly reminded me of the missing rights agenda in

the WSIS process. At most, the discursive thrust of including civil

society perspectives have been on development issues. In the ICT 4 All

exhibition centre, this was particularly evident. It really felt like a

global branding exercise on who are the current Big Players in the field

of ICTs. Kind of like Who’s Who for potential investors who might be

swarming in the space.

*The Point(lessness) of Global Platforms? (Part III)*

This led me to question the efficacy of such global platforms and

processes. A lot of money and effort have been pumped into this Summit,

and for the entire seven years of PrepComs as well as Phase I in Geneva

during 2003. Where has it all led to?

*What about Gender? (Part IV)*

In terms of gender, information communications technologies (ICTs) and

the ‘information society’ is slowly creeping into the agendas of women’s

movements. It is at a painfully slow rate, and a LOT of work still needs

to be done to find political investments in this issue. Some connections

can be seen from the development trajectory, and foreseeably, from the

perspective of international trade and globalisation.

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*OPINION:Gender equality may constitute a normative consensus, but the

political will is lacking*

[by Heike Jensen, Terre des Femmes/WSIS GC]

Heike Jensen, is one of the hard-working gender advocates, whose “effort

and time spent gathering information, sleepless nights, many cups of

coffee , talking, training, skills sharing, lobbying and writing”

focussed on integrating gender as a relevant dimension of WSIS process

and outcomes. In contrast to writer Jac sm Kee, she sees

the results of seven years advocacy more optimistically. Here is her

initial assessment of the achievements in terms of gender written few

days after the conclusion of WSIS process.

*INTERVIEW:From Geek to the WSIS Gender Caucus*

Jac sm Kee grabs a conversation with Jacqueline A. Morris during WSIS

PrepComm3 at Geneva, and finds out about how a girl from Trinidad &

Tobago ends up being a gender & ICT advocate, her insights about the two

priority issues in WSIS Phase II – financing and internet governance –

as well as the efficacy of the WSIS Gender Caucus.

*ICT gender issues past, present and future*

[by Brenda Zulu]

As women living in Africa we have many things to confront: the process

of African enlargement and our participation in the globalised world,

the decline of national states, the dominance of market and consumerism,

growing poverty, social and political inequalities or insecurities

within Africa and outside in the face of neo-conservatism and dominance

of the United States.

*Funding ICTs: where will the money come from?*

[by Brenda Zulu]

The Digital Solidarity Fund (DSF) was proposed by Senegal's President

Abdoulaye Wade at Phase I of the World Summit on Information Society

(WSIS) Summit. It was inaugurated by the Nigerian President Olusegun

Odasanjo in March 2005, in Geneva. This fund is seen a voluntary and

complementary financing mechanism to supplement existing financial

mechanism. It is registered in Switzerland.

*TICs, CMSI, mujeres: para que este Milenio nos pertenezca*

[Graciela Selaimen]

Magaly Pineda es Directora Ejecutiva del Centro de Investigación para la

Acción Femenina (CIPAF) y fue una miembra activa de la delegación de la

República Dominicana en la Cumbre de Túnez. Su país se destacó entre los

demás de América Latina y el Caribe por sus posicionamientos claros y

comprometidos con la equidad de género en la sociedad de la información,

aunque Magaly reconozca que aún no haya un involucramiento efectivo de

las organizaciones de mujeres en los debates de la Cumbre Mundial de la

Sociedad de la Información. En esta entrevista a GenderIT, Magaly Pineda

comparte sus impresiones acerca de la segunda fase de la CMSI y revela

su expectativa: que la realización de la CMSI y los resultados de este

evento “sirvan como un urgente llamado de atención al movimiento

feminista y de mujeres. Hay aquí mucho en juego para nosotras,

incluyendo el mantenimiento de los avances que hemos hecho en los ultimo

años en materia de educación e inserción laboral”.

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*From the Digital Divide to Digital Opportunities: Measuring Infostates

for Development*

The publication is a response of the International Telecommunication

Union (ITU) and Orbicom, the Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communications

to calls from the international community and follows the explicit

recommendation of the WSIS Plan of Action, paragraph 28, to “…develop

and launch a composite ICT Development (Digital Opportunity) Index”. The

featured measuring instrument combines statistical indicators with

analytical work on policies and their implementation. Beyond that the

publication is complemented with unique quantitative and qualitative

research in a chapter on ‘women in the Information Society' co-authored

by Sophia Huyer, Nancy Hafkin, Heidi Ertl and Heather Dryburgh.

*Mainstreaming ICTs: Africa Lives the Information Society*

The book is aimed at development practitioners and ICT innovators

interested in inventive technology applications for social justice and

development. It serves as a practical user guide, covering case

studies of projects in the areas of ICTs in education, gender,

environment, health and e-democracy from a number of Sub-Saharan African

countries. The collection also features five toolkits which centre on

technology planning, open source migration, information security and

privacy, gender evaluation methodology, and community wireless

networking. The book was compiled and edited by Women'sNet with the

assistance of a Southern African editorial group , and financial support

of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA).

*Access is denied: a report on the status of the internet in Iran*

The report published by Iran CSOs Training and Research Center discusses

the advent and development of the internet in Iran, censorship and its

methods, weblogs and their role in the civil society. The study also

elaborates the classification of filtered websites, where in the top of

keywords list subjected to censorship are words related to women,

gender,or sexuality. As documented by the study, the content filtering

basically blocs all content concerning women, including sites with

information on women's health, education, violence against women, or

gender issues.

*WSIS 2005 feature: gender equality and ICT*

An updated shortlist of online resources on gender and ICT in the UN

System compiled by Women Watch to mark the second phase of the World

Summit on the Information Society.

Visit the collection of a wide variety of other resources, including

women advocates' statements policy papers and gender assessments in the

WSIS section

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*CopyLeft. 2005 APC Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP)*

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