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Gender IS Bulletin, April 2009

Gender IS Bulletin, April 2009

In this Issue:
  1. New Publication: An Empowerment Approach to Gender Equality in the Information Society - Regional Analyses from Asia
  2. New Publication: Broadening the Policy Debate on ICTs and Violence against Women - Some Considerations
  3. Advocacy Update: IT for Change Contributes to Gender Advocacy at the IGF Open Consultations
  4. New Publication: Girls' Economic Rights and Empowerment
  5. Vacancy: Research Assistant - Gender

1. New Publication: An Empowerment Approach to Gender Equality in the Information Society - Regional Analyses from Asia

This collection of papers comes out of a project undertaken as part of the regional activities of the World Summit on the Information Society's (WSIS) Gender Caucus. To strengthen gender advocacy during the WSIS processes, it was felt necessary to analyse in detail whether and how ICTs do, and can potentially, bring about structural transformation in gender relations, and therefore the conditions framing such access needed to be explored. This volume seeks to address this policy advocacy imperative in the Asian context. Containing contributions from Angela Kuga Thas, Deborah Wheeler and Mridula Swamy that examine the situation in East, West and South Asia respectively, this collection offers an analytical framework for women's empowerment in the information society, grounded in the particularities of the Asian region. It captures the question of the 'opportunity structure' for gender equality in the information society while problematising the notion of 'access to ICTs'.

This document is the second in the series of publications from IT for Change under the 'Information Society for the South' research umbrella. To read the volume online, please click here. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the document, please write to us at ITfC@ITforChange.net.

2. New Publication: Broadening the Policy Debate on ICTs and Violence against Women - Some Considerations

This note is an IT for Change input into the Sakhi-Jagori Consultation on 'New Technologies and New Forms of Violence against Women and Girls' that took place in Trivandrum, Kerala, on 27th and 28th March 2009. The note identifies emerging debates around personhood and privacy, on the one hand, and normative structures in emerging spaces,on the other, as two important vantages of inquiry to understand the challenges and possibilities thrown up by digital technologies as these become increasingly pervasive. In order to address the key questions in these areas, the note provides a broad overview of the emerging information society context and its redefinition of the public sphere; the policy context that has emerged in relation to the social-structural nature of ICTs; and considerations that are important for a feminist response to the policy context. To read the note, please click here.

3. Advocacy Update: IT for Change Contributes to Gender Advocacy at the IGF Open Consultations

On 23 and 24 February 2009, consultations open to all stakeholders in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) were held to take stock of the Hyderabad meeting in December 2008 and to prepare the IGF review process. IT for Change was one of the contributors to a statement of the Dynamic Coalition (DC) on Gender and Internet Governance of the IGF that was read out during these consultations. The statement sought to impress upon participants the crucial significance of strengthening the policy role of the IGF and of integrating gender perspectives in all Internet governance-related work if the ideal of gender justice in the information society is to become a reality. The statement also stressed the importance of a rights-based approach to Internet governance to realise this goal. The statement was received well by various stakeholders during the open consultations. To read the full statement, please click here.

4. New Publication: Girls' Economic Rights and Empowerment

This paper is a special feature on girls and IT from a Southern perspective, that was written for Plan International's forthcoming Annual Report entitled 'Because I am a Girl'. For girls and young women, especially in the global south, ICT access and its effective use provide new avenues in their journeys towards economic empowerment. Getting girls to become active participants in the information society and enabling them to continue shaping and gaining from new ICTs therefore is an important development goal. But the empowerment of girls in the emerging information society context also relates to complex interactions between the local and the global and is shaped in relation to gendered socio-political processes. This paper unpacks some typical myths about ICTs, gender and empowerment in order to explore these complexities, and strongly argues for a citizenship and rights-based approach to ICTs to promote individual and collective empowerment of girls in the information society context. To read the full paper, please click here.

5. Vacancy: Research Assistant - Gender

IT for Change is looking for a Research Assistant with strong interest and some expertise in the field of gender and development, to support our current and future research and advocacy work. This is an exciting opportunity to combine research and project management and be part of a fast growing area of work and network of experts. The position requires passion and skills to interpret information society changes through a gender lens. It involves supporting research and writing outputs relevant to policy and advocacy, both independently and as part of a larger team. It also involves project management, including supporting fieldwork, data collection and preparation; organising national and international meetings and workshops; and leading or supporting broader communications and advocacy work in the field of gender. To read further particulars and information on how to apply, please click here.
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