Direct Link to Full 2012 7-Page Text:







GenderIT.orgi emerged from the Association for Progressive Communicationsi Women's Networking Support Programmei's advocacyi work in information and communications technologies (ICTis). The need to have examples of national policyi, gender-sensitive language, tools for lobbyiing, and an understanding of the impact of poor or positive policy all within easy access has been expressed by ICT advocates and policy makers alike.

The APC WNSP also developed the Monitor for gender iadvocates - women's organisations and movements across the world who are just beginning to explore gender issues in the deployment and application of ICTs, and need to understand the intersections with key women's issues such as violence against womeni or economic empowermenti.

GenderIT.orgi is the result of months of researching, classifying, interpreting and monitoring ICT policies which affect women around the world, but specifically in four regions – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The Monitor has three main objectives:

* To develop an information resource/knowledge sharing site for gender and ICT advocates, civil society organisationsi and policy makers that wish to be active in gender and ICT policyi.
* To raise awareness among civil society organisations, specifically in women’s movements, regarding gender and ICT policy issues.
* To empower women’s organisations and networks in collaboration with other civil society actors to take action on ICT policy issues and develop ICT policy that meets their needs. To encourage them to lobby for an information society ithat builds social justice and human rightsi, at the national, regional and global level.

The gender and ICT policy monitor is integrated with other ICT policy monitoring initiatives of the Association for Progressive Communications, including APC's national ICT policy portalis, and regional ICT policy monitors in Latin America, Africa and Europe.








International Center for Research on Women - ICRW


"In much of the world a cell phone is not only a way to make calls; it is the sole connection to critical services. Imagine not being able to consult a doctor when your baby has a fever because you live too far from the hospital and don't have a cell phone. This is the case for so many of the world’s women, who lag behind men by as much as 60% in their having access to cell phones and other technologies."


Website Link gives overview and click to download report. http://www.icrw.org/publications/bridging-gender-divide











By James D. Wolfensohn*

June 15, 2012 - As world leaders gather in Brazil for the Rio+20 Summit meeting on sustainable development, poverty fighting will be high on the agenda. Gender inequity should be, as well. In a world where women hold less than 20 percent of all legislative seats, 70 percent of the poorest people — those who live on less than $1.25 a day — are women, and 4 million more women die each year than men, a result of poor families’ preferences for male infants and underinvestment in women’s and girls’ health.

These numbers are unconscionable. And while we know that investments in women’s education, health and economic participation are necessary to bridging the gender gap, it can take a long time for those changes to happen. What can be done for all the women who struggle with inequalities right now?

Start by giving every woman a cellphone.

For people around the world, the spread of mobile technology has been a boon, allowing them to seize new economic opportunities, share information more quickly and organize public action. But women in low- and middle-income countries are 21 percent less likely to own a cellphone than men — that’s 300 million women who have missed out on most of the opportunities that having a cellphone brings. In rural areas, this lack of connection with others is even more isolating.

Do cellphones really make a difference? Yes, they do, in more ways than we perhaps could have imagined. Among women who own cellphones in low- and middle-income countries, 41 percent have increased their income or economic opportunities as a result, 85 percent feel more independent and 90 percent feel safer and more connected with friends and family.

In 2008, the leaders of newly independent Kosovo began the work of building a new state and drafting a constitution. Hamide Latifi, the country director for Women for Women International, a nonprofit group that helps women who have survived violent conflict rebuild their lives, realized that the voices of women, particularly those of rural and marginalized women, were not represented in the process. Ms. Latifi argued for days with the constitutional commission, pushing for greater women’s participation. The commission finally gave in, but the delay meant that Ms. Latifi had less than 48 hours to reach out to women in rural areas and transport them to Drenas, a town in central Kosovo, to join in a key public forum for drafting the constitution.

The staff at Women for Women International took to the phones, contacting graduates of their program across the country and encouraging them to spread the word in their communities. In less than two days, they were able to gather 250 women to participate in the forum. Most of these women were survivors of the war in Kosovo; many had lost husbands and family members in the violence. They spoke about the need to address gender equality in the new constitution and to make provisions for the many women who were widowed during the war.

The constitution included an article that guaranteed women’s equality in the new republic and protected women’s participation in all aspects of public life. Without the power of mobile technology, the Constitution of Kosovo might very well not have included those protections.

 The capacity of new technologies, like cellphones, to bridge the gender gap is enormous, and we are only just discovering this potential. Technology — from smokeless cooking stoves that save women time collecting firewood to treadle water pumps that allow women to irrigate fields more effectively — can improve productivity and allow women to participate and compete in an interconnected world.

Financing for cheap and widely available cellphones can be provided by the telecommunications companies themselves, with money from private donors, including nonprofit groups and development banks that are committed to long-term poverty alleviation. Continued investments in education, health and social services, coupled with technological investments in women themselves, can mean a whole new level of impact.It will take all of us to make this happen: governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations and private citizens.

We can no longer afford to let investments in women fall to the bottom of our list of priorities. When half the population suffers from the lack of economic, political, health and education opportunities, we all suffer.

*James D. Wolfensohn is a past president of the World Bank.