NGO GSWG  
We thank the
Ford Foundation
for support in our ongoing work in this area.

The Beijing Platform for Action Meets the World Summit on the Information Society

10. CONNECTING WSIS ICT POLICY WITH MEDIA & THE BPFA

BPFA STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES:

1 Increase women's participation in and access to the media and new technologies of communication.

2 Ensure that women are shown in the media in a balanced and not stereotyped way.

ICT POTENTIAL:

Women are using online space to publish their own material and to create an alternative medium (other than TV, radio, newspapers) to discuss issues. E-mail, chats and other interactive tools allow women to participate and to control the communication flow.

Women have vans equipped with computers, digital radio stations, power generators, sound systems that can go from community to community for training, expositions and conferences on media and communications.

Women are beginning to use telecentres for "one-stop-shopping" to hear, read and learn about events both locally and globally.

WHAT GENDER ADVOCATES ARE FIGHTING FOR IN THE WSIS POLICY DOCUMENTS

Develop, consistent with freedom of expession, regulatory mechanisms that promote balanced and diverse portrayals of women by the media and international comunication systems and that promote increased participation by women and men in production and decision-making.

Develop solutions to the fact that the current burden of payingt for international bandwidth costs is unfairly weighted onto countries in Africa. Costs for internet access particularly discriminate against women who are the lowest paid in society and have the least resources.

Governments should work with all stakeholders to ensure Open Source software is available as a platform to engineer solutions that meet the needs of women at affordable prices.

Support the work of women and their organizations to integrate the use of ICTs in a way that strengthens their capacities, improves information flow, empowers individual members to do their work and improves their orgainzational capacity to achieve strategic objectives.

Support and facilitate the training of women in media management and content development, so that more women can become part of media decision-making processes at government, private sector and civil society levels.

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