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WomensHub Embarks on New Initiative to Promote Gender Equality in the ICT Sector
 
     
 
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Promoting Gender Equality in Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

by WomensHub Web Team


Project Activity 1: Policy Review to Build Gender and ICT Policy Indicators

A scanning of current ICT policies and government initiatives will be conducted to come up with an overview of the ICT policy environment in the Philippines. This review will look into the general national ICT policies and programmes as well as key offices and institutions that are critical in shaping national ICT plans.

The results of this research will be presented in a policy review workshop aimed at building Gender and ICT indicators that will be applied in the Philippine context. The Gender and ICT indicators will contain the following:

1. Technology Indicators. These indicators refer to gender differences in the access of ICTs as well as gender-based roles in the ICT industry and sector. The following questions will also be addressed:

* Do the current ICT policies address the differences in women and men's access to ICTs?
* How do the current policies stress stereotyped gender roles between women and men, specifically in the ICT sector?
* What roles do women play? What roles do men play?

2. Knowledge and Know How Indicators. These indicators refer to gender differences in access to information; content and language; education, training and skills development. The following questions will also be addressed:

* Do the current policies address the differences in women and men's access to information?
* Do the policies encourage women's access to information using ICTs?
* How do the current policies encourage women to generate their own information?
* How do the current policies encourage the development of content that is relevant to women?
* How do current policies define "women-focused content?

3. Gender, Democracy and Communication Indicators. These indicators refer to gender differences in access to power and decision-making in the ICT policy arena. The following questions will also be addressed:

* Do women have access to power and decision-making spaces in the ICT policy arena?
* Are women involved in the development of ICT policies?

The Gender and ICT indicators will inform the development of a Gender and ICT Policy Monitor. Initial specifications and plans for the development of the monitor will also be discussed in the workshop.

In order to build the Gender and ICT Indicators, WomensHub members will be participating in the Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) workshop to be held in Manila, from 1519 September 2002. Organised by the WNSP, the GEM workshop will focus on building skills in using GEM, a tool for assessing, analysing and monitoring ICT initiatives and policies from a gender perspective. WomensHub members will attend the workshop to learn skills to be able to develop Gender and ICT indicators that will be needed to plan and develop the Gender and ICT Policy Monitor.

Project Activity 2: Developing a Gender and ICT Policy Monitor

Continuous monitoring and evaluation is an important component of any serious effort to influence policy. The Gender and ICT Policy Monitor will look into how current ICT policies in the country will affect women. Specifically, the monitor will scan existing policies to assess if they have the following components:

* Incentives to encourage women's access to ICTs (i.e., IT licensing priorities given to applicants that target women)
* Specific programmes that increase women's access to ICTs
* Gender desks and focal points in government ICT programmes and offices

The Gender and ICT Policy Monitor will also provide relevant information for conducting gender and ICT awareness campaigns in the country. Using the results of the monitor, WomensHub aims to increase Gender and ICT awareness through reports and papers as well as engage in public awareness campaigns that promote gender equality in ICT.

The Gender and ICT Policy Monitor will be in the form of a web-based Database which will be built using open source software and applications and which will be made available on the WomensHub website as a resource to support other Gender and ICT advocates and organisations in influencing Philippine ICT policies.

Project Activity 3: Policy Research on the Status of Women in the ICT Sector in the Philippines

This research intends to map the current status of women working in the emerging information economy from a gender perspective. The research results will be used to influence legislators and other key people in government agencies to come up with legislation, policies, programmes and projects that will promote the participation of women in the information economy.

The proposed base line research will look into quantitative and qualitative indicators pointing to the practices in employment, work and human resource development in the ICT sector. The results of the research will inform the development of a draft policy and legislative framework which will be presented to members of Congress and other key executive agencies involved in ICT promotion and development.

The research will be implemented within a six-month period and will cover three main urban centers of the Philippines: Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao.

Project Activity 4: Developing Gender and ICT Awareness Modules

The Gender and ICT Awareness Modules will be aimed at increasing the awareness of ICT users in such issues as the digital divide and gender and generational digital divide. The modules will also include a skills build-up component aimed at developing the capacity of ICT users to process and synthesize information accessed through electronic networks.

The ICT Literacy Modules will target three main ICT users: non-governmental organisations, government workers and teachers. These three sectors are initially seen as having a great multiplier effect.

Promoting Gender Equality in ICT is undertaken with financial support from the Government of Canada through the Gender Equality Fund of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The project will end in August 2003.


Published on 14 September 2002

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