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Gender IS Bulletin, October 2008

Gender IS Bulletin, IT for Change, October 2008

In this issue:
  1. New IT for Change Website Launched!
  2. New Publication: Gender Equality through ICT Access and Appropriation: Taking a Rights-Based Approach
  3. New Publication: Cake for the North and Crumbs for the South? Challenging the Dominant Information Society Paradigm
  4. Announcement: IT for Change organises the next meeting of the Feminist Network on Gender, Development and Information Society Policies at the forthcoming AWID Forum
  5. Information Society (IS)-Watch

1. New IT for Change Website Launched!

We are excited to announce the launch of our website with a new look and structure. The site has been redesigned to provide visitors with in-depth information on the thematic areas of IT for Change's work. Through an easy to access design, we present our analyses from the political economy perspective that guides the breadth of our work, covering engagements in the areas of:

  • Community Informatics through the Centre for Community Informatics and Development (CCID);
  • ICTs, Development Theory and Practice, with a focus on gender, governance and education;
  • ICT Governance and Policy, through advocacy on Internet governance and Open Source software

As an acknowledgement of the great importance that IT for Change attaches to analysing information society changes through a gendered lens, all our work that explicitly integrates a gender perspective also can be accessed from our home page with one easy click.

All IT for Change publications are available on the site. Do visit us at www.ITforChange.net. We encourage you to send feedback and suggestions to ITfC(at)ITforChange(dot)net

2. New Publication: Gender Equality through ICT Access and Appropriation: Taking a Rights-Based Approach

This paper explores the meanings of women's empowerment and gender equality in the information society, looking at the opportunity for progressive change and critically unpacking the ICTD discourse on gender and development. It also seeks to articulate a rights-based framework to policy and action that takes on the specific question of what models of access and connectivity will work for marginalised peoples and countries, in a manner that promotes gender justice. The paper was written for a United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development (UN GAID) report tabled at the GAID meeting on "Global Forum on Access and Connectivity in Least Developed Countries and Small Islands Developing States in Asia/Pacific and Innovative Financing Mechanisms for ICTD", held in Kuala Lumpur in May 2008.

3. New Publication: Cake for the North and Crumbs for the South? Challenging the Dominant Information Society Paradigm

This paper argues that, with its neoliberal agenda and market-centred approach, the dominant discourse of Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD) has yet to build an information society paradigm that harnesses these technologies for the goals of development and gender equality. The paper deconstructs the debates between old and new ICTs, as well as between the benefits of mobile telephony versus computer-Internet infrastructure, to make the case for a political economy analysis of gender, development, and ICTs. Through such an understanding of the structural changes wrought by the new ICTs, gender advocates and development actors alike may engage with policy making to actually realise the transformative potential of the information society.

The paper is Chapter 4 of the first volume of IT for Change's 'Information Society for the South' series. The series is an attempt to build a body of critical work that offers analytical and conceptual tools to understand and engage with the structural changes that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) are bringing about in society. To see the other papers in the volume, click here.

4. Announcement: IT for Change organises the next meeting of the Feminist Network on Gender, Development and Information Society Policies at the forthcoming AWID Forum

IT for Change is currently involved in organising the next meeting of the Feminist Network on Gender, Development and Information Society Policies (GDISP), to take place during the Association of Women's Rights in Development (AWID) Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, from 14 to 17 November 2008. The GDISP Network will meet to discuss the paradigmatic changes of the information society that are in danger of being instrumentalised and co-opted by dominant ideologies, especially those of market fundamentalism and patriarchy, and to look at how they can be shaped by a vision of gender equality. More particularly, the meeting hopes to open up the space for feminist activism around global and sub-global policies on the information society, especially policies which shape the Internet. We will keep you updated!

If you are interested in joining us for this meeting, do contact us at ITfC(at)ITforChange(dot)net.

5. Information Society (IS)-Watch

IS Watch is IT for Change's online resource portal that attempts to provide an institutionalised critique of dominant information society perspectives and offer alternate visions for an equitable and just information society.

Earlier this year, we launched Information Society Watch - India as part of our online presence for South-centric discourse on development and technological possibilities. Given the ever evolving nature of the information society and the accompanying policy implications that India has been witnessing in recent times, there is a specific need for an India-specific knowledge portal to better understand the imperatives of these changes on Indian society. IS Watch-India intends to cater to the information needs of policymakers, civil society organisations, the media, researchers, educators and others who are trying to understand the complexities of the emerging information society. IS Watch-India consists of multiple categories each catering to emerging information society themes, and an editorial space in the form of blogs/commentaries on information society issues from an Indian view point.

Latest on IS-Watch India (Gender):

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