Gender IS Bulletin, January 2009
In this Issue:
Call for Papers: Special Issue on Gender of the Journal of Community Informatics
Advocacy Update: IT for Change's Gender Advocacy at the Internet Governance Forum
Advocacy Update: IT for Change at the 11th AWID Forum, Cape Town, South Africa
New Publication: Examining the 'People's Communication for Development' Approach: Retrieving the Baby from the Discarded Bathwater
Vacancy: Research and Advocacy Officer - Gender
1. Call for Papers: Special Issue on Gender of the Journal of Community Informatics
The Journal of Community Informatics is a focal point for the communication of research of interest to a global network of academics, Community Informatics practitioners and national and multi-lateral policy makers. The field of Community Informatics seeks to explore the potentials of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and their applications for economic and social development efforts at the community level. It seeks to ensure that individuals and communities that are marginalised in this world, too, can take advantage of the opportunities that these technologies can provide.
IT for Change is guest-editing a special issue of the Journal on 'Gender and Community Informatics'. We invite submission of original, unpublished articles for a forthcoming special edition of the Journal that will focus on Gender and Community Informatics. We welcome research articles, case studies and notes from the field. All research articles will be double blind peer-reviewed. Insights and analytical perspectives from practitioners and policy makers in the form of notes from the field or case studies are also encouraged. These will not be peer-reviewed.
2. Advocacy Update: IT for Change's Gender Advocacy at the Internet Governance Forum
IT for Change played a leading role in organising two meetings of the Gender Dynamic Coalition at the third meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Hyderabad, India, 3-6 December 2008, and in formulating a statement to the IGF on behalf of this Dynamic Coalition. The statement highlighted a number of pressing gendered concerns with regards to Internet Governance. While it acknowledged the various gains that have been made over the years in this respect, it urged the stakeholder groups in the IGF to build on the beginning that has been made and to fully integrate gender concerns in its work. The statement was presented to the IGF during the last day of the Forum, at the 'Taking Stock and Looking Forward' plenary session. To read the full text of the statement, please click here.
3. Advocacy Update: IT for Change at the 11th AWID Forum, Cape Town, South Africa
As a build-up towards the IGF, IT for Change took a leading role in organising the next meeting of the Feminist Network on Gender, Development and Information Society Policies (GDISP). This event took place during the Association of Women's Rights in Development (AWID) Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, on 14 November 2008. The GDISP Network met in Cape Town to discuss the paradigmatic changes of the information society that are in danger of being instrumentalised and co-opted by dominant ideologies, especially of market fundamentalism and patriarchy, and to look at how they can be shaped by a vision of gender equality. The meeting aimed to open up the space for feminist activism around global and sub-global policies on the information society, in particular with regards to policies that shape the Internet. In order to kick-start the debate on these issues, IT for Change prepared a briefing note titled 'Seeking Feminist Engagement with Internet Governance' in anticipation of the meeting. Please click here to read the briefing note.
To read Anita Gurumurthy's contribution to a session on 'Politics, Power and the Internet' at the AWID Forum, please click here.
4. New Publication: Examining the 'People's Communication for Development' Approach: Retrieving the Baby from the Discarded Bathwater
This paper, commissioned by Isis International – Manila, is a critique of the 'People's Communications for Development' (PC4D) framework that has been developed by Isis. PC4D seeks to rightly challenge the tendency of the dominant 'ICT for Development' (ICTD) frameworks to pull all existing development practice into a monolith that is centred on what may be called the 'revolutionary organising power' of the new ICTs, and attempts to put people back into the centre of development practice. Where PC4D is mistaken, this paper argues, is in taking the new ICTs as the main target of its critique. The new ICTs trigger powerful forces that are in fact having a far-reaching impact on many or most of our social institutions. Due to the continuous flux, however, definitions are difficult to settle on. In such a context, the paper maintains, claims made within the PC4D discourse that traditional ICTs are more appropriate than new ones are therefore problematic, misleading, and potentially dangerous to development thinking and practice. To read the full paper, please click here.
5. Vacancy: Research and Advocacy Officer - Gender
IT for Change is looking for a Research and Advocacy Officer with strong expertise in the field of gender and development, to support its current and future research and advocacy work. This is an exciting opportunity to combine research and project management and be at the fore front 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 researching and writing outputs relevant to policy and advocacy – whether independently or as part of a larger team – while ensuring that such outputs are appropriate for the audience they seek to address. It also involves project management, including planning and supervising fieldwork, data collection and preparation; organising national and international meetings and workshops; leading or supporting broader communications work in the field of gender; and planning and executing specific advocacy campaigns. The latter will require the Research and Advocacy officer to strategically engage in global fora and platforms. To read further particulars and information on how to apply, please click here.