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Africa's ICT Women Meeting
A three-day conference focusing on women in ICT is to be held in Arusha, Tanzania, from 20 to 22 October, to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing African women in this sector.
The conference is co-hosted by the World Summit of the Information Society Gender Caucus East Africa Sub-Region, the Tanzanian Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children, AITEC Tanzania and the Tanzanian Ministry of Communication and Transport.
Although an estimated 60% of Africa's population is female, only 2% of Internet users in Africa are women. An obvious situation of marginalization that will definitely affect opportunities in the information age. The social climate of illiteracy, poverty and bad governance certainly doesn't help matters.
The trailblazing meeting is expects participants from all sectors of society - private sector, education, civil society and development agencies.
theme of the event is "Women and ICT: Challenges and Opportunities on the Road to Tunis 2005".
To achieve the the UN Millennium Development Goals, ICTs should be used as tools and platforms for combating poverty and achieving sustainable development in Africa. ICT is not only about employment but empowerment - ability to create opportunities for sustainable development. This is on the other hand can only be achieved if ICT is affordable and sustainable for the many without access. ICT should provide opportunities to bridge the digital, gender access and wealth gaps. Statistics show that women are a major part of society that are excluded from these developments.
What are the challenges women face with respect to usage and access to ICT? Which policies, incentives and initiatives are available or can be developed for women? Deliberate efforts and political will is required.
Here are the objectives of the meeting:
* As stated in the theme, the overall objective of the conference is to develop a roadmap for the caucus that will enable effective participation by women in WSIS-Tunis 2005.
* Report back of the activities and agreements made at the Geneva-WSIS 2003.
* To draw up a detailed workplan through a participatory approach covering all major challenges that Women identified at the Geneva phase in readiness for Tunis 2005.
* To study the draft Geneva 2003 Draft Plan of Action and identify entry points for the caucus's further intervention.
* Develop continuity strategies, including funding, for ICT development programmes and activities for women in the region.
For sponsorship opportunities and more information, contact:
Lesley Millar on firstname.lastname@example.org
Mireille Davidson at Mireille@phoenix-international.co.za
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