[Announce] New Gender & ICT online forum from Digital Opportunity Channel

cory cory at sleekfreak.ath.cx
Mon Sep 15 15:20:45 EST 2003

Dear Friends,

We invite you to join the new discussion list on 'Gender & ICT:
Issues, Implications & Opportunities'. Digital Opportunity Channel
(www.digitalopportunity.org <http://www.digitalopportunity.org>) of
OneWorld South Asia is launching this email-based discussion forum
in partnership with i4d (information for development)
(www.i4donline.net <http://www.i4donline.net>), an ICT initiative of
the Centre for Spatial Database Management & Solutions based in

The economic and political marginalization of women, especially in
developing countries, is leading to their stunted growth. Gender
discrimination in the access to information is hampering sustainable
development. It has been substantiated that information and
communication technologies (ICT) have a major role to play in
bridging this gap. But the gender gap in the 'digital divide' itself
is now an increasing concern.

How ICT can support gender empowerment is something that still needs
to be discussed and understood. If access to and use of the new
technologies is directly linked to social and economic development,
then it is essential to ensure that women in developing countries
understand the significance of these technologies and use them. If
not, lack of access to ICT becomes a significant factor in their
further marginalization from the economic, social and political
mainstream - both within their countries and in the world. Without
equal and full participation in ICT use, women will be left out from
participating in the global world of the 21st century.

Several conferences and summits held on gender, in particular, the
UN World Conferneces on Women, Beijing and Beijing +5, have
reaffirmed the need to focus on gender equality issues through ICT
use. We will move ahead with their aims and objectives in our
discussion, and attempt to provide concrete inputs to the upcoming
WSIS 2003.

If you want to join the ongoing debate of a digital gender divide,
this is the right place to bring in your perspectives and ideas.
This platform will attempt to increase awareness, raise concerns and
make our commitments to give a gender perspective to policies and
design of development tools. It will circulate information on
resources, practices and events on how women globally are being
empowered by ICT.


We aim to:
- Help stakeholders in the fields of gender and ICT issues exchange
ideas and debate issues about the gender issues and implications of
ICT applications in development and the opportunities that they
- Provide them with a platform to take their voices to policymakers
in order to influence national, regional and global strategies.

In real terms, this would mean that,
- It would be a time-bound, topics-based, objective-oriented
discussion channel.
- Each month we would select a topic and that topic would be
critically analyzed, would be featured with examples and best
practices, would be discussed with challenges and opportunities and
would be highlighted with policy implications, preconditions,
successes and failures.
- All the discussions will be streamlined in a summary report each
month and would be presented to concerned authorities and at various
events where agendas are being discussed in the context of gender
and ICT, so that these can influence national, regional and global


Among the questions the forum is expected to debate are:

1.	Does ICT facilitate gender equality or create a gender bias?
2.	What are the progress and challenges in transforming the gender
relations in ICT arena?
3.	How can the current uneven and unaffordable access to information
by women be improved through ICT?
4.	How can ICT enhance women's participation in socio-economic and
political development leading to a knowledge society?
5.	What is the impact of ICT and globalisation on women's work and
6.	How will ICT bring in employment and entrepreneurship
opportunities for women?
7.	What role can NGOs, civil society organizations and other
networks play to create equality for women and to disseminate
gender-related information?
8.	What are the steps to ensure gender concerns in national ICT


send a blank email to: join-GenderICT at dgroups.org

For more information about the forum, visit

We look forward to your active participation in this discussion list.

Kanti Kumar, Editor, Digital Opportunity Channel
Anuradha Dhar, Research Associate, i4d

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