Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Gender Equality

E-discussion examined the four areas:
1. Examining the availability of useful content for women in developing countries, and analysis of the ICT needs of different categories of women (rural, urban, illiterate, entrepreneur, civil servant, homemaker etc.).
2. Identifying common threads in existing capacity building initiatives.
3. Customizing training packages intended for audiences in industrialized countries to meet the needs of women in developing countries. The role of the World Bank Group and other institutions.
4. Mainstreaming gender into the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in 2005. How to capitalize on the relatively high profile that gender issues received at WSIS in December 2003 and ensure that this continues in Tunis in late 2005?
Issues raised during E-discusions:
1.There was a continuing debate over the five weeks about whether poor women (and men) in rural areas needed ICTs.
2.Language was considered to be a critical barrier.
3.The definition of what is included in ICTs was discussed at length.
4.It was generally agreed that there is no single appropriate approach to capacity building.
5.There was discussion about the efficacy of ICT-based training
6.It was generally agreed that cultural contexts, while different from one place to another, are extremely important everywhere and any efforts to introduce ICTs to rural communities must be made within existing, acceptable cultural frameworks.
7.ICTs have had a substantial impact on the quality of work environments and women have been affected both positively and negatively.
8.It was generally agreed that efforts should be made to ensure that gender issues receive a high profile at WSIS-Tunis.
More information at http://www.worldbank.org/gender/digitaldivide/
Disscusion archive available at: http://www.dgroups.org/groups/worldbank/Gender-ICT
Publication date: 
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Year of publication: 
2004