NGO GSWG at the Commission on the Status of Women....

ACTION ITEMS for Gender Equality in the Information Society

prepared by the CSWG

Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) have become a powerful and widespread tool for social development. An equitable Information Society needs to be based on sustainable economic and social development and gender justice. It cannot be achieved solely through market forces.

The existing human rights framework should be applied and integrated into the Information Society. ICTs, including traditional media, should be used to promote awareness of, respect for and enforcement of women's rights and gender equality.

Access to ICT Access to affordable ICT and the power to decide how to use technology contributes to women's economic and social empowerment and facilitates their full participation in shaping political, economic and social development.

ICT Training Develop capacity building programs on the strategic use of ICT by women, particularly in marginalized communities, to utilize ICT for their own economic and social empowerment as well as develop content, produce and disseminate information.

Women's Economic Empowerment Ensure that women gain equal access to new employment opportunities and in decision making positions in the ICT and media sectors, by increasing women's access to ICT literacy and skills.

Women's Social Empowerment Ensure that access to ICT tools and facilities enable lifelong learning for girls and women. Promote early intervention programs in science and technology that target young girls and increase the number of women in ICT careers. Promote the use of ICT as an effective tool in distributing information and advocating for gender equality. Prepare and disseminate accessible information that strengthens prevention programs that promote women's health.

Content Development Recognize cultural development as a living and evolving process, and foster linguistic diversity, cultural identity and local content. Access of women to expression through the media and ICT is crucial to ensure this process.

E-government Facilitate and promote the participation of women in public decision-making processes through the use of ICT.

Create an enabling policy environment ICT and media policy processes must integrate gender analysis at all stages of their development, from the initial design to implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The policy process itself needs to be inclusive and consultative through the participation of stakeholders groups representative of the full spectrum of society, including gender, media and ICT advocates. Ensure adequate financial resources for policy implementation.

Research, Monitor and Evaluate ICT for Development Promote the analysis of the current status of women and men's participation in and use of ICT, including a comprehensive analysis of sex disaggregated statistics and indicators and policy responses that target gender-based differences and inequalities.

Representation and Portrayal in the Media Create a media environment that promotes gender equality by fostering positive images of women and women's views and ensures freedom of expression.

Participation in National Delegations Set targets for delegations in all future conferences related to ICT to include at least 30 percent women, including gender and ICT advocates

Reaffirm Previous UN Commitments Reaffirm and commit (to build) on consensus and progress made at previous United Nations conferences and summits: on women in Nairobi in 1985, on children in New York in 1990, on environment and development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, on human rights in Vienna in 1993, on population and development in Cairo in 1994 and on social development in Copenhagen in 1995 with the objective of achieving equality, development and peace; (Article 10, Beijing Declaration, BPFA)