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ICT Policy Themes > Gender

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“Women constitute 50 per cent of the population but do 60 per cent of work, earn one-tenth of the income and own 1/100 of the assets1”.

The digital divide in access to ICTs, between the developed and developing world, is the result of various factors including poverty, lack of resources, illiteracy and low levels of education. In many societies women are the most impoverished with the least access to resources and with little control over decisions that affect their lives. For this reason, women are on the wrong side of the digital divide, with limited access to and control over ICTs.

GenderIT.org (http://www.genderit.org) is meant to be a tool for women’s movement, ICT advocates and policy makers to ensure that ICT policy meets women's needs and does not infringe on their rights. It offers special focus on Africa, and regular news features come from African policy-writers.

When considering the factors that contribute to these inequalities it is important to understand the ways in which ICTs are allocated between women and men (the gendered allocation of ICTs), the different opportunities that exist for men and women with respect to education, training and skills development, employment and working conditions, content development and access to power structures and decision-making processes.

Beyond questions of access to technology and software, training programmes for women should focus on how to find, manage, produce and disseminate information, and how to develop policies and strategies to intervene effectively in and make use of new media. Other major concerns are illiteracy and language as obstacles to information access; the need to break down gender and cultural barriers to women’s access to careers in technology; and the design of software, that often does not respond to the needs of women and girls. statistics_theme_top_text

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 South Africa: How can feminists use ICTs to their advantage?
16/02/2008 (APC) -- The first-ever Feminist Tech eXchange (FTX) held recently in Cape Town brought together more than 100 activists from around the globe. Organised by the APC women’s programme in the run up to the massive women’s movement forum AWID, the capacity-building and information-exchange event explored various technologies such as video, audio, social networking platforms and other emerging ICT tools. |

 Senegal: Linking up through technology
12/02/2009 (APC) -- Seven women and thirteen men from Anglophone and Francophone Africa and the Caribbean met during the last days of September in Gorée Island, Senegal. They have many things in common, but one in particular is their ability to make innovative connections between gender, agriculture and ICTs. This ability has led them to be finalists of the Gender, Agricultural and Rural Development in the Information Society (GenARDIS) small grants fund... |


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 Egypt: Getting women's crafts online
26/12/2008 -- Are there limits to how the internet can be used to improve the lives of women? A study by ArabDev in Egypt concluded that the internet is too competitive a marketplace to be a realistic showcase for women artisans, but it can be used to generate new handicraft ideas that can be marketed locally. |
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