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Gender IS Bulletin, March 2011


Greetings from IT for Change !


News from the CITIGEN research programme

The Gender and citizenship in the information society (CITIGEN) research programme has grown with the addition of two new research teams from India and Bangladesh. The former will work on the empowerment of women political leaders at the local level, exploring the role of ICTs in effecting their substantive representation in local institutions in Kerala (India). The latter will work on the influence of new media on women's political decision-making in Bangladesh. The teams from China, Thailand/Taiwan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines are currently undertaking their action research field work. Preliminary findings promise interesting outcomes for building the ground for the articulation of a theoretical framework, as well as of recommendations for appropriate policies and contemporary feminist practice. More information available on the CITIGEN website and in our CITIGEN bulletin.


'Gender equity policies - New scenarios, actors and articulations' (Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 2010)

Anita Gurumurthy took part in the conference on “Gender equity policies - New scenarios, actors and articulations” organised by the Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO) in Buenos Aires (Argentina) on 9-12 November 2010. Her presentation, titled 'Gender equality and the knowledge society' asked epistemological questions about gender equity policies through the lens of the knowledge society, considering issues of production/reproduction, public/private and global/local. It concluded with a new theory and praxis of global justice. The general aim of the Conference was to provide an environment for brainstorming of innovative approaches. The goal was to encourage a comprehensive, in-depth exploration of gender-equity and gender-parity policies and institutions in light of challenges and opportunities both for today and the future. Read her presentation here.

'Logging into (in)security: a seminar on ICT and gender violence'

On 10 December 2010, IT for Change was part of the panel on 'Logging into (in)security: a seminar on ICT and gender violence' which was held in Chennai (India) and closed Prajnya's 16-day campaign against gender violence. Chloé Zollman spoke about how, beyond narratives of fear, ICTs could be empowering tools to build ownership of the digital space, and enable thereby to challenge violence and power in constructive ways. Read the full presentation here.


Understanding gender in a digitally transformed world (forthcoming)

Drawing upon discussions between IT for Change and Vimochana at the Daughters of Fire – India Court of Women on Dowry and Related Forms of Violence (July 2010, Bengaluru, India), Anita Gurumurthy wrote a think piece which explores how the questions of gender and violence intertwine in the ‘new media’ context. Beyond the widespread economic and access-centred approach to ICTs, it addresses the need to think about ICTs as a social phenomenon which impacts each of us, whether we actively use ICTs or not. ICTs have an important emancipatory potential for marginalised populations, especially for women, as they allow the breaking of traditional gender boundaries. The article argues for politicisation of the network society in order to build a new feminist framework of resistance to work towards greater gender justice. The full article is available here.

Responding to the learning and developmental needs of out-of-school adolescent girls

This commentary discusses the background, strategies, outcomes, challenges and learnings of Kishori Chitrapata, a joint project of IT for Change, Mahila Samakhya Karnataka, SSA and UNICEF. The project addresses the learning needs of out-of-school adolescent girls through innovative uses of ICTs, such as video, radio and computing technology. It takes a constructivist approach to learning and the adolescent are encouraged to explore, question and redefine their social and cultural universe through these technologies. The full article is available here.

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