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Gender and ICT

This page contains resources that focus on the broad sectors of gender and ICT4D. It includes resources that discuss the technological gap between women and men, gender relations in the information society, and the ways in which ICTs have reinforced existing power relations or promoted gender equality.

Resources include publications, toolkits, training materials, reports, research papers and collection of case studies examining initiatives that:

  • Promote equal access to the benefits and opportunities made possible by ICTs.
  • Address the needs of both women and men in ICT policies and strategies.
  • Empower woemn by building their capacity to not only access and use technologies, but also to participate in their design, influence their content and shape their uses.
  • Incorporate gender into ICT projects

 

The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics

The World’s Women 2015: Trends and Statistics

The World’s Women Report is prepared by UN DESA’s Statistics Division every five years. The publication is guided by the principles of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted by countries at the 1995 UN Fourth World Conference on Women, aiming to remove all the obstacles to women’s active participation in all spheres of public and private life. Reviewing progress towards gender equality, the report presents the latest statistics and analyses of the status of women and men in eight critical areas of policy concern. Marking the significantly increased availability of statistical data on gender issues over the past two decades, the World’s Women Report is launched on the occasion of the 2015 World Statistics Day (20 October) which highlights the importance of statistics in helping policy makers develop informed policies that impact millions of people worldwide.

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E-Government for Women's Empowerment in Asia and the Pacific

E-Government for Women's Empowerment in Asia and the Pacific

As governments transition towards e-government in Asia and the Pacific, there is growing acknowledgement of the role that e-government could play to harness ICTs for women’s empowerment and gender equality. However, much of e-government policy and implementation still do not take into account the differentiated access to, and impact of, technology for men and women. Recognizing the potential of e-government for women’s empowerment, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) undertook a project in 2014–2015 on “E-Government for Women’s Empowerment in the Asia Pacific”, in partnership with the United Nations Project Office on Governance (UNPOG). The project aims to enhance knowledge and awareness of good practices of gender-responsive policies, programmes and strategies in e-government, in order to help build the capacity of governments to harness this tool towards women’s empowerment.

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The 2015 Female Entrepreneurship Index

The 2015 Female Entrepreneurship Index

The 2015 Female Entrepreneurship Index (FEI) analyzes 77 countries—an increase from 30 in 2014; and utilizes an established theoretical framework to measure entrepreneurial environment ecosystem and individual aspirations, and score nations from 0 to 100.

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Power and the Sustainable Development Goals: a feminist analysis

Power and the Sustainable Development Goals: a feminist analysis

This article offers a power analysis of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) process and outcomes, from a feminist perspective. Many see, in the SDGs, several opportunities for progress on gender equality and women’s rights, if not for transformation. Yet there are many reasons for scepticism, as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s vision is not always met with strong enough language, clear policies or funding provisions. Realising the ‘transformative potential’ of the Agenda in the decade and a half to come will be far from a technocratic exercise – and this is particularly true for the full realisation of women’s rights. A first step is to consider how structural power relations are challenged or reinforced in the Agenda and the SDGs, and in plans for their implementation and resourcing.

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Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media

Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media

The Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM) seek to address this intersection of women’s empowerment and media development. Its main focus is on the equality and gender dimensions of social diversity in the media.

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INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES FOR WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

Access to ICT is essential to business development and growth. This study assesses the need for and use of ICTs by women entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Uzbekistan. The study exposes the gaps between ICTs and the development of women entrepreneurship within the context of legal and regulatory frameworks, policy and leadership coordination, financial services, business development support, capacity building and use promotion, and women’s participation in public dialogues. Finally, this work recommends ways to use ICTs to help women start and grow their own businesses.

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What in entrepreneurship development helps women entrepreneurs to succeed? - What the evidence is telling us.

What in entrepreneurship development helps women entrepreneurs to succeed? - What the evidence is telling us.

The ILO’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Development (WED) programme of the SME Unit in September 2015 invited top researchers in qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods in entrepreneurship development to share their latest research findings and evidence of impact in entrepreneurship interventions for women. Findings included those from recent ILO’s work in this area and the presentations led to a frank discussion between panelists and participants on the implications this may have in the design of future interventions. Speakers included researchers and experts from the World Bank, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and the University of Groningen and Wageningen.

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Access to Finance of Women-Owned SMEs in Southeast Asia: An Assessment of Five Countries

Access to Finance of Women-Owned SMEs in Southeast Asia: An Assessment of Five Countries

Commissioned by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Women's World Banking conducted research to examine the profile of women-owned SMEs in five countries in Southeast Asia (the Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Indonesia) and surveyed the landscape of their access to finance. Based on these findings, we give recommendations for government, private sector players and development agencies that will enable women's access to finance in these countries.

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HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Corporate Parity Report 2016

HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Corporate Parity Report 2016

This Corporate Parity Report outlines the data and tells the story of the first year of the HeForShe IMPACT 10x10x10 Corporate Champions.

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THE POWER OF PARITY: HOW ADVANCING WOMEN’S EQUALITY CAN ADD $12 TRILLION TO GLOBAL GROWTH

THE POWER OF PARITY: HOW ADVANCING WOMEN’S EQUALITY CAN ADD $12 TRILLION TO GLOBAL GROWTH

Gender inequality is not only a pressing moral and social issue but also a critical economic challenge. If women—who account for half the world’s working-age population—do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer. While all types of inequality have economic consequences, in our new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report, The power of parity: How advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth, we focus on the economic implications of lack of parity between men and women.

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Profiling Caribbean Women Entrepreneurs

Profiling Caribbean Women Entrepreneurs

This report seeks to redress the current paucity of information on growth-oriented women entre­preneurs in the Caribbean region by drawing on various data sources to estimate their numbers and sectoral focus. At the same time, it develops an understanding of the main issues facing women in their businesses and their future growth potential.

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Integrating Gender into Humanitarian Action: Good Practices from Asia 1

Integrating Gender into Humanitarian Action: Good Practices from Asia 1

Statistics show that women are disproportionately negatively affected by disasters. As an example, the devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004 took the lives of hundreds of thousands of people in Asia, and over 70 percent of the victims were women. Women are often posed at risk when social and cultural norms limit their mobility – according to some studies, women are 14 times more likely to die during a disaster than men. The humanitarian community has been taking steady steps to ensure an effective humanitarian system for all women, men, boys and girls affected by disasters. As stated in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the reduction of risks from disasters requires engagement and partnership from all in society. In this brochure, you can read about successful initiatives that have been taken in Asia to ensure an equal treatment of all in society before, during and after disasters. The document has been developed by Asian Disaster Preparedness Center and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs on behalf of the IASC Informal ad-hoc Working Group on Gender in Humanitarian Action in Asia-Pacific Region and with support from the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Gender Mainstreaming in Environment and Sustainable Development Projects: A Perspective from the Asia-Pacific Region

Gender Mainstreaming in Environment and Sustainable Development Projects: A Perspective from the Asia-Pacific Region

These guidelines are designed to facilitate robust integration of gender equality perspectives in the entire project cycle, from design to implementation to monitoring, evaluation and reporting in UNDP’s environment and sustainable development projects in Asia and the Pacific. Gender equality is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Only when women and men are equally empowered to manage the development processes are those developments likely to be sustainable, resilient and durable. To that end, these guidelines will assist UNDP staff to design better projects in the first place so that better results will be achieved.

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Striving for Business Success: Voices of Liberian Women Entrepreneurs

Striving for Business Success: Voices of Liberian Women Entrepreneurs

This report is an overview of the women’s market in Liberia and provides insights on the experiences of women entrepreneurs in post conflict and fragile affected states. Through the journey of seven Liberian women business-owners, the report highlights the many challenges women enterprises in post conflict countries face. The report also provides recommendations to governments, private sector entities, donors and practitioners looking to increase opportunities for women enterprises in these countries.

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Women's Empowerment in the Digital Age: Implementing WSIS Outcomes and Agenda 2030

Women's Empowerment in the Digital Age: Implementing WSIS Outcomes and Agenda 2030

2015 is a landmark year for women's empowerment in multilateral and international fora. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by UN Member States in September, identifies ICTs as key enablers of development and as an essential component of transformative solutions to meet today's development challenges. The catalytic power of ICTs for development is recognized as holding 'great promise for human progress' and cited specifically in 4 of the 17 goals and indicated as a cross cutting tool to be utilized for the achievement of all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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The Business Case for Womens Economic Empowerment: An Integrated Approach

The Business Case for Womens Economic Empowerment: An Integrated Approach

In recent years, amidst increased awareness that empowering women yields a ‘high return on investment', a growing number of companies have collectively invested more than $300 million and launched dozens of programs to support women’s economic empowerment. The majority of these programs aim to expand women’s employment opportunities, training and access to finance. However, for a woman to be economically empowered, she needs both the ability to succeed economically and the power to act on economic decisions. Oak Foundation hence commissioned Dalberg Global Development Advisors (Dalberg) and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), integrating findings from communications research by WITTER ventures, to understand in more detail corporate-funded women’s economic empowerment programs.

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Women Entrepreneurs in SMEs: Realising the Benefits of Globalisation and the Knowledge-based Economy

Women Entrepreneurs in SMEs: Realising the Benefits of Globalisation and the Knowledge-based Economy

The first OECD Conference on Women Entrepreneurs in SMEs in 1997 highlighted their contribution to innovation and job creation. Since that time, women’s entrepreneurship has been burgeoning. Women entrepreneurs constitute a growing share of SME owners, with higher than average start-up rates in several OECD Member and non-member countries. Eliminating obstacles to the creation and development of firms by women and creating a level playing field for women business owners is vital for a thriving entrepreneurial sector and important for national growth strategies. Women business owners are creating new niches for entrepreneurial activity and have the potential to become key players in the new, knowledge-based economy. However, they must adapt to profound changes in the way small enterprises do business, both locally and at the global level. The 2000 Conference aimed at finding ways to help women-owned SMEs seize the opportunities offered by globalisation, ICTs, changes in firm organisation, the increasing importance of the service sector, and other current developments.

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The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in India

The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in India

Our new report, The power of parity: Advancing women’s equality in India, reveals that about 70 percent of this “best in region” potential would come from raising women’s participation in India’s labor force by ten percentage points between now and 2025, bringing 68 million more women into the labor force—70 percent of them in just nine states. This will require bridging both economic and social gender gaps. To determine this, we have created a measure of gender equality for Indian states: the India Female Empowerment Index, or Femdex (exhibit).

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Economic Empowerment of African Women through Equitable Participation in Agricultural Value Chains

Economic Empowerment of African Women through Equitable Participation in Agricultural Value Chains

This report prepares the ground to empower women, to take a leading role in the business of farming and agricultural value chains, regionally and globally.

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Catalyst for Change: Empowering Women and Tackling Income Inequality

Catalyst for Change: Empowering Women and Tackling Income Inequality

This study shows empirically that gender inequality and income inequality are strongly interlinked, even after controlling for standard drivers of income inequality. The study analyzes gender inequality by using and extending the United Nation’s Gender Inequality Index (GII) to cover two decades for almost 140 countries,. The main finding is that an increase in the GII from perfect gender equality to perfect inequality is associated with an almost 10 points higher net Gini coefficient. For advanced countries, with higher gender equity in opportunities, income inequality arises mainly through gender gaps in economic participation. For emerging market and developing countries, inequality of opportunity, in particular in education and health, appear to pose larger obstacles to income equality.

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2014 Synthesis Report

2014 Synthesis Report

Discrimination against women and girls carries a high development cost. This third edition of the SIGI captures and measures gender-based discrimination in social institutions − social norms, practices and laws − across 160 countries. It exposes the ongoing prevalence of discrimination in all regions of the world and across all cultures irrespective of their levels of income or development. The 2014 edition of the SIGI testifies to the global nature of gender inequality but provides evidence that national and local solutions can catalyse more equitable social transformation and improve the development potential of countries. Moreover, the SIGI offers a unique evidence base for measuring progress towards gender equality in a post-2015 development agenda; it takes stock of the underlying structural barriers that deny women’s rights and their access to justice, resources and empowerment opportunities.

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Women’s Rights Online: Translating Access into Empowerment

Women’s Rights Online: Translating Access into Empowerment

New research by the Web Foundation shows that the dramatic spread of mobile phones is not enough to get women online, or to achieve empowerment of women through technology. The study, based on a survey of thousands of poor urban men and women across nine developing countries*, found that while nearly all women and men own a phone, women are still nearly 50% less likely to access the Internet than men in the same communities, with Internet use reported by just 37% of women surveyed. Once online, women are 30-50% less likely than men to use the Internet to increase their income or participate in public life.

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WOMEN AND LAND RIGHTS: LEGAL BARRIERS IMPEDE WOMEN’S ACCESS TO RESOURCES

WOMEN AND LAND RIGHTS: LEGAL BARRIERS IMPEDE WOMEN’S ACCESS TO RESOURCES

The Thomson Reuters Foundation and the World Bank partnered to better understand legal frameworks that affect women’s ability to access resources, with a particular focus on the legal and cultural barriers to women’s secure land rights. It covered both statutory and customary law, with a particular focus on how laws work in practice. This work should be seen as complementing other gender and law resources such as the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law Database. This note highlights some initial findings, specifically those related to legal restrictions on women’s right to own and control land and property in the seven case study countries.

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Gender Diversity in Jordan

Gender Diversity in Jordan

This is a research on the impact of gender diversity on the economic performance of companies in Jordan. Despite constituting a large portion of society in Jordan, women have a minor presence in boardrooms and in senior decision-making positions. The research sets out to demonstrate the degree of involvement by women in boardrooms and senior decision-making positions in the corporate world; the value of their presence when they are involved in those positions; and some of the challenges that women face in reaching such decision-making positions. The publication also includes recommendations for ways to overcome those challenges.

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Putting gender smart commitments into practice : SheWorks year one progress report

Putting gender smart commitments into practice : SheWorks year one progress report

This short report marks the one year anniversary of World Bank Group's IFC-led SheWorks global private sector partnership to advance women's employment opportunities and improve working conditions for more than 360,000 women by 2016. Launched by WBG President Jim Yong Kim at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meetings, this partnership brings together 13 leading private sector companies that have made a minimum of three gender smart commitments to support women as employees in their respective workplaces. Commitments include, amongst others, implementing sponsorship/mentorship programs to advance women in leadership, providing flexible work arrangements, and establishing effective anti-sexual harassment mechanisms. The purpose of this progress report is to capture, on an aggregate level, the progress made by SheWorks member companies towards realizing their commitments. The report starts with an overview of the SheWorks partnership, the various commitments made by members, and key partnership results and highlights. It then delves deeper into the progress members have made in each of the 6 commitment categories. The report ends with a forward-looking perspective on SheWorks and its plans for 2016.

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The Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity: The Role of Market Imperfections

The Gender Gap in Agricultural Productivity: The Role of Market Imperfections

This paper hypothesises that labour and credit market imperfections – by discouraging off-farm income-generating activities and restricting access to inputs, respectively – affect female farm productivity more deeply than male productivity. The paper develops a theoretical model, which decomposes the contribution of various market imperfections to the gender productivity gap. Empirically we show that agricultural labour productivity is, on average, 44 per cent lower on female-headed plots than on those managed by male heads. 34 per cent of this gap is explained by differences in labour market access and 29 per cent by differences in credit access.

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EU Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Development for the period 2010-2015

EU Action Plan on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in Development for the period 2010-2015

Council Conclusions on the Millennium Development Goals - Supporting the achievement of the MDG by 2015, including the EU Action Plan on gender equality and women’s empowerment in development for the period 2010 to 2015, as approved by the Council on 14 June 2010. The Action Plan proposes activities to be carried out by the EU Member States and the Commission towards gender equality in development cooperation and in policy dialogue with partner countries.

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SMEs and Women-owned SMEs in Mongolia

SMEs and Women-owned SMEs in Mongolia

The “SMEs and Women-Owned SMEs in Mongolia” report highlights the key trends, challenges, and opportunities for Mongolian SMEs in three areas: enabling environment, supply and demand prospects for financial and non-financial services, and demand for and access to finance, with a particular focus on women-owned businesses. The study is expected to provide guidance to IFC and other financial institutions in the design and implementation of their SME Banking and Women-focused products in Mongolia.

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Guidelines for producing statistics on violence against women : statistical surveys

Guidelines for producing statistics on violence against women : statistical surveys

Violence against women is an obstacle to achieving the objectives of equality, development and peace. It violates the enjoyment by women of their human rights and fundamental freedoms. In all societies, women and girls are subjected to physical, sexual and psychological abuse that cuts across lines of income, class and culture. Data on the prevalence and incidence of various forms of violence against women, as well as the causes and consequences of violence, are the starting point for developing effective mechanisms at policy levels to eradicate this phenomenon. Properly designed and executed, surveys produce the most reliable data on the prevalence of violence and shed light on the scope, nature and consequences of many types of violence against women. Surveys can also collect information on circumstances surrounding violence, health consequences and the actions the women took to seek help. (source: Nielsen Book Data)

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Feasibility Study: Identifying Trends in Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace in Social Media

Feasibility Study: Identifying Trends in Discrimination Against Women in the Workplace in Social Media

This feasibility study tested a method for filtering keywords from public tweets related to discrimination against women in the workplace, identifying some topics with significant volume of discussions - such as discriminatory job requirements. This study was done in collaboration with ILO and Crimson Hexagon.

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Women’s Empowerment Principles

Women’s Empowerment Principles

UN Women and the UN Global Compact offer the Women’s Empowerment Principles in the hope that using them as a targeted “gender lens” inspires and intensifies the efforts to bring women in at all levels.

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2014 Gender-GEDI Index Executive Report

2014 Gender-GEDI Index Executive Report

The Gender-GEDI identifies high potential female entrepreneurs as women who own and operate businesses that are innovative, market expanding and export oriented. Through their entrepreneurial activities, high-potential female entrepreneurs not only contribute to improving their own economic welfare but to the economic and social fabric of society through job creation, innovative products, processes, and services, and cross border trade. By focusing on the gender differentiated conditions that often affect high potential female entrepreneurship development, the Gender-GEDI provides a new systematic approach that allows for cross-country comparison and benchmarking.

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Immobile Mobility: Young Migrant Women in Contemporary China

Immobile Mobility: Young Migrant Women in Contemporary China

The study that forms the backbone of her book, Technomobility in China: Young Migrant Women and Mobile Phones, adopts extensive ethnographic methods, including participatory observation, semistructured interviews, and informants’ diaries and discourse analysis to discuss mobile phone use of young migrant women who work in low-service areas in Beijing. Wallis’ immersive ªeldwork was conducted from 2005 to 2011. “Feminist ethnography is based on an acknowledgement of power relations, a desire to let silenced voices speak, intersubjectivity between researcher and participants, and, perhaps, most crucially, reexivity” (p. 25). As a white, middle-class, American university professor and communication researcher, Wallis is reexive about her privileged position compared with migrant women. On the other hand, she acknowledges migrant women’s expertise and knowledge.

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EY | Empowering women: uncovering financial inclusion barriers

EY | Empowering women: uncovering financial inclusion barriers

Microfinance plays a significant role in providing sustainable livelihoods to disadvantaged groups all over the world. The provision of loans, savings and payment products for the underserved and unbanked populations is critical to promoting inclusive finance. This report details practical tips and insights gained from interviews with leading experts in microfinance (shown in Section 5). Without their commitment and valuable insights, it would not have been possible to write this report.

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Volume II: Gendered Dimensions of Development

Volume II: Gendered Dimensions of Development

UNRISD's research over the last half-century has lent a voice to those who believe that sustainable development, social justice and gender equality are more than a pipe dream. At a moment when a "new" global consensus is in the making, UNRISD research on gender and development provides important insights for those who believe that it is necessary to push the boundaries of political discourse beyond its current focus on economic growth and poverty reduction toward a broader understanding of development that includes human well-being, equity, sustainability, democratic governance and social justice.

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Women and ICT in Africa and the Middle East: Changing Selves, Changing Societies

Women and ICT in Africa and the Middle East: Changing Selves, Changing Societies

What is the link between information communication technology and women’s empowerment in today’s development context? How can ICT facilitate the pursuit of a better world? Exploring the rich complexity of the contexts in which they live and work, the authors of Women and ICT in Africa and the Middle East offer a multitude of perspectives and experiences, avoiding simplistic answers and solutions. Based on analyses from 21 research teams in 14 countries, this much-needed, human-centred contribution to the fields of gender, development, and information communication technology questions, demonstrates and suggests what it takes to wield the emancipatory potential of ICT.

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Myths and Facts about Female Directors

Myths and Facts about Female Directors

Women in the workforce are key to healthy economies, but this does not mean that adding more women to the board will necessarily increase shareholder value or that the financial crisis would not have happened if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters. Negative stereotypes may be one reason women are underrepresented in management and on the boards. But are women better served if we promote them on the basis of positive stereotypes? In this paper, Renée Adams draws on current research to debunk popular myths about boardroom gender diversity.

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Information and Communication Technologies for Women Entrepreneurs

Information and Communication Technologies for Women Entrepreneurs

Access to ICT is essential to business development and growth. This study assesses the need for and use of ICTs by women entrepreneurs in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Uzbekistan. The study exposes the gaps between ICTs and the development of women entrepreneurship within the context of legal and regulatory frameworks, policy and leadership coordination, financial services, business development support, capacity building and use promotion, and women’s participation in public dialogues. Finally, this work recommends ways to use ICTs to help women start and grow their own businesses.

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MEASURING ICT AND GENDER: AN ASSESSMENT Report

MEASURING ICT AND GENDER: AN ASSESSMENT Report

This report constitutes part of the efforts by the Task Group on Gender (TGG) of the Partnership on Measuring ICT for Development (hereinafter referred to as the Partnership) to improve the availability of sex-disaggregated data, especially in developing countries. It takes stock of existing ICT indicators disaggregated by sex, assesses data availability and identifies main gaps based on an evaluation of needs and demand for such indicators. It also identifies areas covered as well as potential new areas where sex-disaggregated data are desirable, and the methodological work needed in order to develop relevant indicators to fill the data gaps. The report has been prepared as an input to the Partnership’s work on measuring ICT and gender, and is intended to serve as a basis for further discussions with countries on this subject.

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Women’s Socioeconomic Empowerment through ICT in Latin America: Peru, Colombia, Ecuador

Women’s Socioeconomic Empowerment through ICT in Latin America: Peru, Colombia, Ecuador

The primary purpose of this report is to describe the process of creating and disseminating an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) training curriculum that serves information and economic interests of women entrepreneurs in three Latin American countries: Peru, Colombia, and Ecuador. The overarching goal of the training is to provide accessible and regionally appropriate content that teaches women how to effectively harness the power of the information economy and to leverage e-business strategies to improve their socioeconomic statuses. This report outlines the steps taken to support ICT training curriculum development and deployment. The first steps of the research included regional basic literature reviews, online surveys, and focus group interviews (FGI). The resulting data were used to build a seven-day training technical curriculum based on existing APWINC training materials. This report describes these processes, as well as outlines the rationale of the training module content, the content localization process, criteria for selecting training sites within the three countries, and the potential of the programme to significantly impact the lives and livelihoods of Andean women through the use of ICT.

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Women and the Web

Women and the Web

Although access to the Internet is spreading rapidly in developing countries, women are nearly 25 percent less likely than men to be online. This gender gap—which today prevents a staggering 200 million women from participating online—is projected to perpetuate. A dedicated and coordinated effort by public and private sector actors is urgently needed to accelerate the pace of progress in bridging this gap. Without any concerted action, 450 million new female Internet users are projected to come online in the next three years, simply as a result of organic growth in Internet penetration. We believe progress can be accelerated to add 600 million new female Internet users within three years, rather than 450 million, which would double the number of women and girls online. As this report will explain, doubling the women and girls online in such a short timeframe is an ambitious but eminently achievable goal—given a concerted multi-stakeholder campaign. This is an opportunity worth urgently pursuing because the faster the internet gender gap is closed, the sooner women, their families, communities and countries will realize the significant socio-economic benefits that can be unlocked through access to the Internet.

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Gender and ICTS: Annotated Bibliography

Gender and ICTS: Annotated Bibliography

The rapid global spread of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and particularly the proliferation of mobile Internet devices, is redefining not only the realms of information and communication, but the very nature of social structures and institutions. This brief argues that the global ‘information society’ or ‘network society’ is not gender neutral – it has different implications for women and men, girls and boys, and for the relationships between them. This brief, and supporting annotated bibliography, is intended to be a guide for policy and programming, providing a synopsis of the debates and reflections for directions ahead, in a domain that is increasingly relevant for all development areas. The brief seeks to critically assess the most recent research on gender and ICTs, adopting a perspective that draws from the conceptual frameworks of information society, 'network society' and 'knowledge society' studies. It argues that changes brought about by the network society mean it is important to rethink some foundational concepts of gender and social transformation, particularly in relation to questions of identity, community, knowledge, and public and private spheres. New ‘virtual’ spaces and relationships mean these concepts can no longer be understood in terms of fixed, physical places and relationships - rather they need to be seen as flexible, constantly in flux and affected by diverse influences. The discussion in the brief maps and engages with these more fluid underlying concepts, examining what they mean for gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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Exploring the Promise of Information and Communication Technologies for Women Farmers in Kenya

Exploring the Promise of Information and Communication Technologies for Women Farmers in Kenya

This case study examines the information channels and use of ICTs by men and women farmers around Nakuru and Thika in Kenya. It contributes to a growing body of literature that aims to understand how ICTs can close gender gaps in agriculture and lead to more equitable opportunities for farmers.

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Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets

Unlocking the Potential: Women and Mobile Financial Services in Emerging Markets

Mobile financial services (MFS) are emerging rapidly in the developing world, with over 150 mobile money deployments live and over 110 more planned worldwide at present. Markets such as Tanzania, Bangladesh and Pakistan are realizing success and are potentially able to replicate the widespread adoption of Safaricom’s M-PESA service in Kenya. Others are still works-in-progress, finding mass adoption and scale elusive. Meanwhile, mobile operators, financial institutions, governments, and other service providers are figuring out how to build attractive and user-friendly services, distribution networks and marketing approaches to embed MFS into their national infrastructures with viable, long term business models. A consistently overlooked theme in these discussions has been women, including their wants and needs for and use of mobile financial services, as well as their critical role in the success of any mobile financial services deployment. This is not a surprise: as the GSMA mWomen Programme notes, there is a gender gap in terms of women’s ownership and use of mobile services generally. Despite the proven role women’s financial inclusion can play in advancing economic development and empowerment, and despite the role mobile might play (in 2012, an estimated 1.7 billion people had a mobile phone but not a bank account), the linkages between women’s financial inclusion and mobile financial services thus far have not been illuminated and elevated for discussion. The objective of this report is to connect these dots in the context of the developing world, based on findings and insights from the experience of women in five countries at different stages of MFS market development: Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, and Tanzania.

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Empowering Women Entrepreneurs through Information and Communications Technologies - A Practical Guide

Empowering Women Entrepreneurs through Information and Communications Technologies - A Practical Guide

The promotion of micro and small-scale enterprises (MSEs) has been recognized as an important strategy for advancing the economic empowerment of women while reducing poverty and gender inequality. Women entrepreneurs are offered new opportunities by ICTs to start and grow businesses. Through new as well as traditional forms of ICTs, women entrepreneurs are reaching out to customers, becoming more efficient and building businesses in ways they could not do before. This guide has been produced by UNCTAD in collaboration with the ILO to help bring clarity to some of the key underlying ICT dynamics that are of relevance for women's entrepreneurship and to set out a method for conducting an assessment which integrates these dimensions. It aspires to serve as a comprehensive and valuable resource to support the formulation of evidence-based policies empowering women entrepreneurs through ICTs and to make possible the full leveraging of the potential and capacities of women entrepreneurs in particular in developing countries.

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Information and Communications Technologies - An Agent of Social Change for Rural Women in Odisha

Domestic responsibilities, cultural restrictions on mobility, lesser economic power as well as lack of relevance of content to their lives, marginalize women from the information sector. The present paper focuses on key questions and concerns on the use and accessibility of ICT and the potential that it possesses to transform the position of women in the Indian society, more specifically in Odisha. The questions range from who are the ‘real’ beneficiaries of ICT? Who is monopolizing the course of ICT? Is there an opportunity (or possibility) to bind ICT to dole out bigger and definitely significant goals of equality and justice? More importantly, the prime concern that this paper raises is the issue of gender and women’s equal right to access, use and shape ICT.

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Effects of Education and ICT Use on Gender Relations in Bhutan

Supporting gender equality in the deployment of and access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) involves accepting that gender relations and ICTs within any given community are continuously being shaped by one another. There is a growing body of research on gender and ICTs in the developing world. However, little empirical evidence exists on how certain aspects of gender relations can influence the ways that ICTs are perceived and used, framings which can, in turn, reinforce or reshape existing gender norms and practices. This article examines the relationships that exist between gendered access to education and the ways in which mobile phones, fixed phones, and the Internet are perceived and used in a rural and an urban Bhutanese community. The findings, organized by levels of literacy, reveal similar patterns in ICT perceptions and use across the two communities.

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Empowering Women Through ICT-Based Business Initiatives: An Overview of Best Practices in E-Commerce/E-Retailing Projects

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been increasingly promoted as a key solution for comprehensive development, poverty eradication and the empowerment of historically disadvantaged groups, such as women and minorities in the Global South. ICT-based business initiatives, and e-commerce projects in particular, have been hailed as “potential goldmines" for women’s empowerment. However, research and experience show that to be successful, projects must balance the need to overcome structural barriers to women’s advancement with sensitivity to the limited space within which many women in the Global South navigate. In this paper, we review literature on ICT and empowerment of women, drawing upon several e-commerce/e-retailing projects as case studies to identify a set of best practices that underlie a successful project. We anticipate that the insights generated by this study will be useful both for purposes of effective program development and policy design.

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Voices from digital spaces: Technology related violence against women

The purpose of this paper is to assist women’s rights groups working to end VAW to understand some of the implications of the intersection between these violations and ICTs. It also aims to encourage these groups and other key actors to invest in policymaking processes and advocacy work in this area. This paper draws on the experiences and findings of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) MDG3: Take Back the Tech! project. MDG3: Take Back the Tech! worked with women’s rights organisations in twelve countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America between 2009 and 2011. The project supported these organisations to research and respond to technology related VAW and strengthened their capacity to use ICT tools in their responses to violence. The paper also builds on other APC Women’s Networking Support Programme (WNSP) work in the area of VAW, women’s rights, sexual rights and ICTs.

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Gender Equity and the Use of ICT in Education

This essay on gender equity and the use of ICTs in education looks at how ICTs are being used by girls and women in the education space in the focus countries. Gender disparity is a critical issue in all focus countries, except perhaps the Maldives and Sri Lanka to an extent. Most countries in the region are characterized by low female literacy levels, lower participation in the labor force, and lower representation in the administrative and political arena. This essay discusses the potential of ICTs for ensuring gender equity as well as the policy level decisions required to mainstream gender in the initiatives and schemes formulated by the government. It profiles a few initiatives in the different focus countries where ICTs are being used either to promote education among girls and women or to improve their livelihood chances.

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Women and The Web

From activists in Egypt to coffee farmers in Colombia, the Internet has transformed the lives of billions of people. It functions as a gateway to ideas, resources, and opportunities that never could have been realized before. All around the world, the Internet is helping people to imagine new possibilities—and then, to make them happen. But women and girls are being left behind. On average across the developing world, nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet, and the gender gap soars to nearly 45 percent in regions like sub-Saharan Africa. Even in rapidly growing economies the gap is enormous. Nearly 35 percent fewer women than men in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa have Internet access, and nearly 30 percent in parts of Europe and across Central Asia. In most higher-income countries, women’s Internet access only minimally lags that of men’s. Bridging the Internet gender gap represents an opportunity of immense proportions. Internet access is fast becoming an indispensable entrée to a hyper-connected world. Without access to the Internet, women lack access to its tools, resources and opportunities. The findings from this study demonstrate that Internet access and usage boost women’s income and income potential, increase women’s sense of empowerment and increase women’s sense of equity.

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Empowering women through ICT

From 2007 up until early 2011 Spider supported various gender-focused initiatives that sought to uplift women particularly in the rural regions of the global south. This report offers an analysis of the impact on the lives of the women that participated in the projects. The publication covers five different projects carried out in six different locations. There were two projects in Bolivia, one focusing on empowering female indigenous leaders and the other provided female victims of domestic violence with a safe virtual environment where they could receive support and exchange experiences and information. Another project was carried out in two separate countries on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The project focused on ecological sustainability, diversification of livelihood, basic training in ICT and focused primarily on women’s self-help groups in Kenya and India. In Rwanda the project focus was on integrating ICT into women’s basket weaving practices in order to explore the opportunities of an online presence as well as the preservation of traditional practices. A research project in Vietnam focused on the consideration given to gender in the development of ICT.

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A Scenario on the role of ICT in Governance And Education System

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) have become common place entities in all aspects of life. Across the past twenty years the use of ICT has fundamentally changed the practices and procedures of nearly all forms of endeavor within business and governance. Within education, ICT has begun to have a presence but the impact has not been as extensive as in other fields. Education is a very socially oriented activity and quality education has increased. The use of ICT in education lends itself to more student-centered learning. India has made impressive strides in the application of ICT in recent years and this is reflected in its vibrant and fast growing economy. Here, we will find out the awareness about the ICT among people and the impact of IT on students. Highlight the factors prevents reaping the benefits of ICTs and technological innovations to access them. Also identifies the bottlenecks in system.

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The Role of ICT in Social Capital Construction of Rural Female Entrepreneurship

In this paper, ICT is proposed to create or strengthen social capital of rural female entrepreneurs. A model of the impact of ICT on rural female social capital and self-employment was founded under the framework of social capital theory and entrepreneurship theory. A field survey conducted in Liaoling province was reported to support the propositions by the author. The result indicated that the implement of ICT encouraged female rural entrepreneurs to create, maintain, and extend their bonding, bridging, and linking forms of social capital, and to impulse the entrepreneurs during self-employing, finally. Some suggestions on how to build social capital with ICT implementing and how to impel rural female to self-employ were put forward as the conclusion.

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GenARDIS 2002-2010: Small Grants that Made Big Changes for Women in Agriculture

GenARDIS 2002-2010: Small Grants that Made Big Changes for Women in Agriculture

This report discusses the work of the Gender, Agriculture and Rural Development in the Information Society (GenARDIS) small grants fund, which was initiated in 2002 to support work on gender-related issues in ICTs for the African, Caribbean, and Pacific regions. The small grants fund was disbursed to diverse projects in order to counter barriers to women living in rural areas. This document records the process and results, and is intended to contribute to more gender-aware ICT policy advocacy.

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Women & Mobile: A Global Opportunity: A Study on the Mobile Phone Gender Gap in Low- and Middle-Income

Women & Mobile: A Global Opportunity: A Study on the Mobile Phone Gender Gap in Low- and Middle-Income

This study analyses data, surveys, a market sizing model, and expert interviews to report on mobile phone use among women in low- and middle-income countries. The study finds that women are 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than their male counterparts, a figure that rises slightly in the Middle East and Africa and rises to 37% in South Asia.

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Bridging the Gender Divide: How Technology Can Advance Women Economically

Bridging the Gender Divide: How Technology Can Advance Women Economically

In this study, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) examines technology initiatives – ICT initiatives in particular - that have enabled women to develop their economic potential, become stronger leaders and more effective contributors to their families, communities and domestic economies. Specifically, these efforts helped women increase their productivity, create new entrepreneurial ventures and launch income-generating pursuits. The report also offers innovators practical recommendations on how to design and deploy technologies that are critical to women’s economic advancement.

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ICTs and Gender

This report provides an overview of the gender distribution of ICT and ICT-related employment in OECD countries, and ICT employment patterns are contrasted with overall employment to highlight differences. The authors discuss participation in ICT-related education and training, and differences in ICT access and use by gender. In ICT-related employment, women have low shares of ICT-specialist employment and these shares rarely show an increase. Among ICT-using occupations women tend to have higher shares of office and secretarial occupations and lower shares in scientific and professional ones.

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The Impact of the BBC World Service Trust's Afghan Woman's Hour: Results from a National Survey in Afghanistan

This report is an evaluation of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) World Service Trust (WST) radio project Afghan Woman's Hour (AWH). Broadcast since January 2005, AWH seeks to empower women by broadcasting programming on gender issues in the two main languages of the region, Dari and Pashto. The report includes the results of a quantitative national survey conducted to measure the awareness and reach of AWH as well as to measure changes in knowledge, attitudes, and self-reported behaviours (practices) regarding key programme issues including gender equality, education, women and work, governance-related issues, and family life (e.g., forced marriage, domestic violence).

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Recasting the Beijing Platform for Action through the Information Society Lens: A Conceptual and Action Framework

This paper aims to use the powerful lens of the 'information society' to defiine the emerging priorities for analysis and action towards gender justice.It offers a conceptual framework that takes from Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA) the critical concerns articulated around issues of Media and Access to Technology. This paper also goes a step further to flag two more issues for women's empowerment (not grasped by Section J) - i) Violence Against Women, that the BPfA addressed as a central concern, and ii) Access to Knowledge, which at the time of Beijing, was not anticipated to transform so profoundly the very basis of power in society.

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ICT awareness for women in rural villages: Amader Gram ICT4D project

The Amader Gram ICT4D project started its activities in 2001. These activities focused on 12 villages and many schools of Rampal upazila in Bagerhat district in the south west of Bangladesh. This project was targeting both women and their children through awareness-raising activities. It aims to eliminate the difference between city and village women through computer training. Armed with this knowledge, women’s opinions are getting higher priority when decisions are taken about their children.

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Developing Women’s Entrepreneurship and E-business in Green Cooperatives in the Asian and Pacific Region

Developing Women’s Entrepreneurship and E-business in Green Cooperatives in the Asian and Pacific Region

Through the formation of women’s cooperatives and development of their capacity in entrepreneurship, women can become better equipped to enter the market for green products and gain access to vital resources needed for businesses. With dramatic growth in ICT innovation, women’s green cooperatives in the region can benefit from the use of e-business practices. This guidebook provides policy makers and entrepreneurs with background information in this niche area, with guidelines on developing women’s cooperatives, entrepreneurship and e-business. Some good practice cases are illustrated that can be replicable in some countries.

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Gender and ICT

Gender and ICT

This e-Primer looks at information and communications technology (ICT) for development through a gender lens. It provides a gender perspectives to issues of ICT policies; access and control; education, training and skill development; and content development, and introduces a framework to integrate gender in ICT for development and empower women.

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Gender in the information Society: Emerging issues

Gender in the information Society: Emerging issues

This publication is a collection of 13 papers developed for a pre-World Summit on the Information Society seminar, developed in partnership with UNIFEM and IT for Change. It showcases perspectives that critique the engagement with new technologies in various development sectors such as the media, work and economy and governance. An edited video of the seminar was also produced.

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Digital Dangers: Information & Communication Technologies and Trafficking in Women - APC Issue Paper

This paper asks if new technologies are re-shaping or facilitating trafficking, and/or if the use of ICTs in trafficking will change the way we understand other issues. For example, how should we think about the distribution of women’s images against their will; can we talk about trafficking in images, and what relation does this have to the debate about pornography? It explores government responses and the tension between the right to privacy and the right to freedom from violence in the context of ICTs.

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Entrepreneurship and e-Business Development for Women

Entrepreneurship and e-Business Development for Women

Competitiveness of businesses owned by women is usually constrained by limited access to information and resources to support the development and marketing of their products. e-Business can address this limiting factor. It promotes innovations by creating new products, new markets and even new industries. Moreover, it can help empower women by facilitating women’s entrepreneurship. This publication reports the outcomes of the International Workshop on Entrepreneurship and e-Business Development for Women that was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea on 3-8 July 2006. The Workshop was organized by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Bank Institute, International Telecommunication Union and Asian Pacific Women’s Information Network Center.

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Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) for Internet and ICTs: A learning tool for change and empowerment

Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) for Internet and ICTs: A learning tool for change and empowerment

GEM for ICTs and internet initiatives is an online guide for conducting gender evaluations of initiatives that use ICT for social change. The guide provides users with an overview of the evaluation process (including links to general evaluation resources) and outlines suggested strategies and methodologies for incorporating a gender analysis throughout the evaluation process. GEM is not simply an evaluation tool. It can also be used to ensure that gender concerns are integrated into a project planning process.

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Women 2000 and beyond: Gender equality in information and communication technologies

This report provides a summary of critical gender equality issues related to ICT and development and outlines potential opportunities for women’s economic, social and political empowerment. Key strategies and tools to address the gender digital divide in national and international contexts are presented. Examples of good practice on gender equality and ICT are elaborated throughout the report.

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Gender and ICTs for Development: A Global Sourcebook

This book is a collection of case studies about women and their communities in developing countries and how they have been influenced by information and communication technologies (ICTs). It notes that ICTs and policies to encourage their development can have profound implications for women and men in terms of employment, education, health, environmental sustainability and community development.

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Gender Perspectives on the Information Society

Gender Perspectives on the Information Society

The video provides snapshots of the critical issues discussed at the Gender Perspectives on the Information Society: South Asia Pre-WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society) Seminar. This seminar took place in Bangalore on 18-19 April 2005. It was organized by IT for Change in partnership with Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era and Centre for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, with support from UNDP's Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme and UNIFEM.

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ICT Initiatives, Women and Work in Developing Countries: Reinforcing or Changing Gender Inequalities in South India?

This paper argues that ICTs as a form of new technology are socially deterministic, with varied implications for women in terms of employment and empowerment dependent on the context within which the ICTs are utilized. The paper presents findings from two ICT initiatives in South India showing significant impacts on women's employment, income and social roles. One ICT initiative - 'gender-blind' and pursued within the globalized, competitive context of an increased role for markets and 'flexibility' - has generally reinforced gender inequalities. By contrast, a gender-focused ICT initiative involving significant state intervention has brought about positive changes to livelihood outcomes and empowerment of poor women.

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Gender Issues in the Information Society

In Section 1 the evolution of the international debate on gender and information technology is sketched out. Section 2 contrasts the impact of infrastructural and gender-specific constraints on women’s capacity to exploit the potential of the new information and communication technologies in different world regions. The cross-cutting role of gender in determining participation in the information society, and the issues this raises, are explored in Section 3. Strategies, initiatives and best practices aimed at addressing these issues, and at bridging the gender divide, are considered in Section 4. Finally, Section 5 puts forward a range of actions to be considered by the various stakeholders involved.

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Engendering ICT Toolkit: Challenges and Opportunities for Gender-Equitable Development

The purpose of this toolkit is to identify opportunities, highlight innovative projects and activities, and suggest how development agencies can help realize the potential for gender equality. The toolkit can help these agencies assist developing countries in improving the efficiency and equity of their ICT policies and programmes by ensuring that they respond to the needs of both women and men. The toolkit is divided into 10 sections and it contains checklists, evaluation tools, examples of good practices, and resources that can be used to incorporate gender into ICT projects and project components. The toolkit has been designed for general distribution to researchers, educators, and development practitioners.

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National ICT Policies and Gender Equality: Regional Perspective - Asia

This paper prepared for the Expert Group Meeting on “Information and communication technologies and their impact on and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women” in Seoul, Republic of Korea from 11 to 14 November 2002, contains suggestions from the Asian perspective about possible points of intervention from which to build up the gender and ICT agenda in the national policy terrain, including developing gender and ICT indicators, integrating gender analysis in national ICT policy frameworks and policies, building government’s commitment to the advancement of women for their ICT platform, and promoting gender responsive e-governance.

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Resources for Women Trainers and Learners

This webpage offers links to resources specifically targeted at women. The resources are divided into two categories: general women- and gender-related training resources, and women-focused ICTs resources grouped by topics. Topics include strategic Internet use, online collaboration, web design and knowledge management.

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