World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)

Women in the Information Society: Participating in development and ICT policy

Dafne Sabanes Plou on 10 May 2013
One of the main complaints by women during the discussions at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) focused on the need for more women to participate in decisions about the development of the Internet, and the discussion and implementation of public policies aimed at building an inclusive information society, without discrimination based on gender or any other grounds.

"What went wrong?" Anita Gurumurthy's statement at the closing ceremony of WSIS plus 10 review

Anita Gurumurthy on 8 Mar 2013
The statement by Anita Gurumurthy, Executive Director, IT for Change, at the closing ceremony of WSIS plus 10 review held by UNESCO from 25th to 27th February, 2013, starts questioning _"what went wrong?"_ in the last decade since the internet should have been been equalising social and economic opportunity. Why did the internet, and the information society phenomenon not do what it was supposed to do?

“The Burden of The Struggle” - Engendering Change in ICT Policy

Cheekay Cinco on 2 Jun 2010
Cheekay Cinco, member of APC WNSP, interviews Nancy Hafkin, woman pioneer of networking and ICTs development in Africa on her thoughts about the current gender and ICT policy environment. She reflects on the WSIS process and the recent Commission on the Status of Women, and articulates what is urgently needed to render visible the gender dimensions of ICTs at policy levels.

Funding ICTs: where will the money come from?

Brenda Zulu on 2 Jun 2010
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.

Gender equality may constitute a normative consensus, but the political will is lacking

Heike Jensen on 2 Jun 2010
Heike Jensen, researcher and lecturer at the Department of Gender Studies of Humboldt University in Berlin, (Germany), is one of those hardworking 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. She has been involved in the process almost since the beginning, worked as member of the German Civil Society Coordinating Group, the NGO Gender Strategies Working Group and the WSIS Gender Caucus, where she is a member of the Steering Committee. 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.

ICT gender issues past, present and future

Brenda Zulu on 2 Jun 2010
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.

From Geek to the WSIS Gender Caucus

Jac sm Kee on 2 Jun 2010
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.

Publication Digitall Future gives a feminist perspective to the Information Society

on 2 Jun 2010
A team of feminist journalists from Asia, Latin America, North Africa, the Middle East and Eastern and Western Europe will take part in the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) from November 16-18th in Tunis, Tunisia.

WSIS Tunis: In the face of police repression, civil society cancels activities

on 2 Jun 2010
Many international NGOs taking part in the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) have collectively decided to cancel their activities planned for today, November 15, at WSIS. This measure is to make government, private sector and civil society delegates aware of the human rights violations that have been adding up over the last two days including beatings of journalists by police and the breaking-up of meetings since November 13. It is also a clear showing of solidarity with all independent NGOs in Tunisia who seem to have to put up with police repression on a daily basis. Markus Beckedahl interviewed APC's Anriette Esterhuysen on the reasons for this drastic decision. Listen to the interview.

Africa Grassroot Caucus prioritise the WSIS and MDGs as part of development

Brenda Zulu on 2 Jun 2010
Africa Grassroots Caucus has prioritised the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as part of development. This was the outcome of the second Grassroots Caucus Regional Consultation that took place in Lusaka, Zambia on 26-28 July 2005. The participants from Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Congo Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo addressed the serious omission of non-representation of grassroots issues in the WSIS Action Plan, and highlighted health, livelihood, education and environment to be the priorities in the ground. Gender, culture and traditional access to information were identified as cross-cutting themes.

Gender and ICT Issues at Women's World Congress

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza on 2 Jun 2010
Gender and ICT advocates from all world regions joined some 2,000 other women activists at the Women's Worlds Congress 2005, Korea, June 19-24. The advocates met separately for 2 days at Sookmyung Women's University to discuss gender and ICT issues at the World Summit for the Information Society (WSIS 2005). The meeting produced the Seoul-Gyeonggi Declaration which outlines gender issues and recommendations in relation to internet governance and financing mechanisms.

After sessions ending at 4 am, do gender issues count?

Dafne Sabanes Plou on 2 Jun 2010
The belief that technology is gender-neutral is still rife. Representatives of international organisations, financing institutions, and governments simply overlook gender concerns in ICTs (information and communication technologies). Dafne Plou, APC WNSP regional coordinator for Latin America and Caribbean, reflects on her recent experience at regional World Summit on the Information Society meeting in Rio, where this point was driven home once more.

Gender and ICT policies: it's time to reorder our forces and understand what is happening

Graciela Selaimen on 2 Jun 2010
Magaly Pazello is the only Brazilian feminist who’s been active in the WSIS process since its inception. A member of the WSIS Gender Caucus, she is also member of the DAWN network - Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era. In the Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Preparatory Conference, held in June 2005 in Rio de Janeiro, Graciela Selaimen interviewed Magaly Pazello, speaking about the participation of Latin American women in the WSIS process and other themes.

WSIS Rio regional meeting: very few doors open for the gender perspective

Graciela Selaimen on 2 Jun 2010
No participation of civil society as observers in the governmental delegations' meetings; no gender working group in the final regional action plan ELac 2007; almost no women, black people or indigenous people as panelists. Although the Rio WSIS Regional Meeting opened two slots for civil society statements in the plenary and produced documents which were fairly positively received by NGOs and social movements, there was a step back regarding women's participation in the regional action plan.

Women, Gender & Media

Jac sm Kee on 2 Jun 2010
When I was a trainer at a media and gender workshop in 2002, the only male participant there confessed, “Our organisation is not prioritising gender actually. We are more concerned about other issues – issues which are political”. This statement reveals much about the stand that most media institutions take on gender.
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