NGO Gender Strategies working group at the WSIS Intersessional. ....

Call to governments
Prepared by the NGO GSWG
Spanish version here >>

WSIS Intersessional, July 15-18, 2003 Paris:

Dear friends,

The following call was developed by the NGO GSWG during the WSIS Intersessional. It was translated into Spanish and French and distributed widely on various lists.

We have received almost 150 endorsements already for our call and encourage gender and ict advocates everwhere to support our call. Please send endorsements to Karen Banks

For notes on governments positions on the main paragraphs concerned, please visit here:

Karen Banks - APCWNSP Coordinator
on behalf of the NGO Gender Strategies Working Group:
APCWNSP, ISIS International Manila, FEMNET Africa, ALAI, IWTC

Call to governments to follow through on their commitments to gender equality

We are concerned that all references to gender, particularly paragraphs 11-A and 15, have been struck from the current draft of the Declaration of Principles of the World Summit on Information Society

We face the danger that if gender concerns, and women's empowerment, are not addressed, the WSIS process will fail in addressing the development needs of women, who constitute more than half of the world's population, and will miss a real opportunity to contribute to gender equality.

We therefore reiterate our support for paragraphs 11-A and 15 which state:

"A focus on gender dimensions of ICTs is essential not only for preventing an adverse impact of the digital revolution on gender equality or the perpetuation of existing inequality from discrimination, but also for enhancing women's equitable access to the benefits of ICT and to ensure that they can be a central tool for the empowerment of women and promotion of gender equality."

We also call on all delegates to retain the text on empowerment and inclusion that are stipulated in paragraphs 13 and 14.

We also respectfully request the Chair to form a Working Group to deliberate on the lack of provisions on gender concerns in the current draft of the WSIS Declaration and Action Plan.

Draft Declaration: English (V4 Revision 3) | Spanish V4 Revision 1) | French (V4 Revision 1)

Endorsed at the WSIS Intersessional by:
NGO Gender Strategies Working Group | Women's Net - South Africa | WSIS Gender Caucus | Global Knowledge Partnership |