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

5. CONNECTING WSIS ICT POLICY WITH ARMED CONFLICT IN THE BPFA

BPFA STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES:

1 Include more women in decision-making aimed at resolving armed conflict, and
protect women living in situations of armed conflict or foreign occupation.

2 Reduce military spending and control the availability of war weapons.

3 Promote non-violent forms of conflict resolution and reduce human rights
abuses in conflict situations.

4 Encourage women's contribution to developing a culture of peace.

ICT POTENTIAL:

Women war survivors are using the virtual (safe space) offered by the internet to meet, communicate and share their experiences as a healing strategy as well as to access to information relevant to rebuilding their lives.

Women are using ICTs to access information from country records and fact finding missions, government plans, and policy proposals in order to identify opportunities for strategic intervention in the conflict resolution process and to better inform their participation.

Women are expressing their opposition to war through online organizing techniques, including virtual marches, campaigns and petitions. Such approaches increase the numbers of participants and intensify the volume of protests.

WHAT GENDER ADVOCATES ARE FIGHTING FOR IN THE WSIS POLICY DOCUMENTS

The current WSIS framework and premises do not address peace and security questions and the role of the information society in building an environment that enhances the possibility of world peace, human rights and democracy. Peace is inextricably linked to goals of equality and development.

We cannot hope for an information society that promotes the highest values of human kind if we do not address meaningfully the ways in which information and communications channels, including the media, can be harnessed in service of peace, and in strong opposition to wars.

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