Putting Beijing Online is the first volume of Women in Sync. It documents the reflections of the women (and some men) who worked onsite in Huairou and Beijing and offsite from all over the globe during the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women (UNWCW).
In September 1995, governments participating in the Fourth United Nations World Conference on Women (UNWCW) passed the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) — one of the strongest and most comprehensive international agreements on women's equality.
Crucial to the crafting of the BPFA was the vigilance of women everywhere. Thirty thousand women from all parts of the globe had gathered in Huairou and Beijing, while those who were left in their cities and villages monitored the conference though whatever means available: radio, cable news, video feeds, fax, and a new thing called the Internet. Together, the women onsite and offsite constituted a very powerful force, connected by the daily exchange of information and communication across the seas.
A crucial node in this network of women and information was the APC-led team of 40 women representing 25 countries and speaking 18 languages who worked together to provide Internet access, information services, training and user support to the women participating in the world conference. At the end of the UNWCW, 1,700 free e-mail accounts were opened, 62,000 e-mail messages were exchanged and 133,000 Web visits were registered at the electronic communication centre run by the APC team. This initiative demonstrated how computer networking can be a powerful mechanism for women's movement building.