This information brief brings together the Beijing
Platform for Action, with the policy-making process that is "in
the making" for the World Summit on the Information Society
(WSIS). The WSIS process is a two part summit to be held in Geneva
in December, 2003 and in Tunis in 2005. Several reasons have prompted
us to bring together these two policy initiatives. First, the
outcome of WSIS is likely to set the over-arching framework in
which information communication technologies (ICTs) will be considered,
financed, developed and regulated at both international and national
levels. This fact, coupled with the extraordinary speed with which
ICTs are permeating virtually every aspect of the economic, political
and social lives of our countries, underscores the necessity to
ensure that women's voices, perspectives and concerns are heard
and given serious weight in the policy negotiation process.
In early 2001, women and women's groups, who
had worked together during the Beijing Plus 5 review process,
began mobilizing to engender the policy-making process for WSIS.
Comprised initially of women working in the fields of media and
ICTs, there is now an effort to engage women activists working
on all issues from human rights and gender-based violence to issues
of poverty and the environment.
This information brief supports that initiative
by linking discussions in the preparatory processes of WSIS to
the 12 "critical areas of concern" in the Beijing Platform
for Action. Each page focuses on a critical area of concern, examples
of how women are using ICTs in their programmes, and lobbying
efforts by women at the WSIS PrepComs.
The two sections provide information on WSIS
gender advocacy groups and resources and ways in which you can
We welcome your involvement!