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

6. CONNECTING WSIS ICT POLICY WITH ECONOMY IN THE BPFA

BPFA STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES:

1 Promote women's economic rights and independence.

2 Give women equal access to resources, employment, markets and trade.

3 Provide business services, training, and access to markets, information and technology, particularly to low-income women.

4 Strengthen women's economic capacity and commercial networks.

5 Stop all forms of discrimination in employment and occupation segregation.

6 Encourage harmony between work and family responsibilities for women and men.

ICT POTENTIAL:

Online resources on small business initiatives, how to get credit to start a business, and ideas for small and micro-enterprise activities are giving women a new support system to improve their economic well-being.

Cell phones with internet access are allowing rural producers to get information about daily market prices of their crops online. After they choose where to sell their products, they call their sales persons and direct them to the best market to go to.

Women are being trained to use the internet to promote local products and services (medicinal plants, music, artistic items) by putting them on a website.

Producers are using websites to compare their products' prices with other producers. They can learn about new techniques related to their activities and share their knowledge as well.

WHAT GENDER ADVOCATES ARE FIGHTING FOR IN THE WSIS POLICY DOCUMENTS

Allocate in the national budget resources to support strategies to increase women's participation in the information economy, including funding for NGOs to strengthen opportunities for women's empowerment throught ICT.

Take action to redress the concentration of women in lower-skilled ICT jobs.

Encourage more participation of women in the ICT industry by addressing gender-based inequalities and instituting gender-sensitive employment policies.

Increase funding mechanisms to support women's initiatives in ICT-based entrepreneurship and other economic activities.

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