1Name: - Prof. Shashikant BhagatInstitution’s Name: - National Institution of Mass Communication & Journalism,Address: - 4...
2Communication Technologies (CTs) are a diverse set of technological tools andresources to create-re-create, disseminate, ...
3Introduction:Communication, in the layman’s language means to convey a message, an idea, apicture or a speech that is rec...
4seclusion, mobilize resources and support, reach out new markets, and open upavenues for life-long learning.   •   WOMEN ...
5perspective, building up of greater understanding of their current situation andcauses of poverty, and initiation of inte...
6    6. Ability to learn skills for improving one’s personal or group power    7. Ability to change other’s perceptions by...
7    Methodology:    While designing methodology the study objectives, as specified in the conceptual    framework.    Bef...
8  Women and Education: 60% of the 130 million children in the age group of 6-11 years who do not go the school,  are gi...
9                     less than 4% seats in High Courts and Supreme Court                     less than 3% administrator...
10    women have equal status to men, women are powerless and are mistreated    inside and outside the home.Women in India...
11    television, to name a few, such exchange can more easily be extended to    regions and groups that cannot access com...
12  Human Resource Development and Ministry of Information Technology have  formulated a number of schemes, particularly i...
13  New Horizons of ICT for Women: Problems and Prospects  The ICT policy when looked at from a gender perspective must ta...
14  as the prime movers of ICT in the most economically backward and  geographically difficult terrains. CICs are supposed...
15  The Self Employed Womens Association (SEWA) has been organizing women  in the informal sector in India since 1972. It ...
16  Information and Communication Technologies are for everyone and women  have to be an equal beneficiary of the advantag...
17and their own local organizations. Give due recognition and representation toCommunityBased Organization, People Organiz...
18   10. www.sewaresearch.org   11. http://project.aed.org/techequity/India.htm   12. www.comminit.com   13. www.swayam.in...
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Women Empowerment & ICT

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  1. 1. 1Name: - Prof. Shashikant BhagatInstitution’s Name: - National Institution of Mass Communication & Journalism,Address: - 4th Floor, Shapath-1, Opp. Rajpath Club, S.G. Highway, Bodakdev,Ahmedabad-380015Ph./Fax: 079-26870443; Web: www.nimcj.orgMobile: - 09726098398E-mail: shashi_lc@yahoo.co.in;Reference: Dr. Shirish Kashikar (Director) – NIMCJ Topic “Women Empowerment & Communication”** A woman is a female human. It is usually reserved for an adult, with the term girlbeing the usual term for a female child or adolescent**** Woman is the base of humane”**** Women Empowerment” - As we know that the empowerment refers the spiritual,social, or economic strength of individual and communities. It also involves inwomen, the empowered developing confidence in their own capacities”**------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ AbstractThis paper explores the empowerment of women in the context of knowledgesociety is understood as building the ability and skills. Those ability and skills ofwomen to gain their insight of actions and issues in the internal and externalenvironment which influence them, and to build their capacity to get involved andvoice their concerns in these process of internal and external environment, and makeinformed decisions in a effective and better way. It entails building up of capacitiesof women to overcome social and institutional barriers, and strengthening theirparticipation in the economic and political process for an overall improvement intheir qualities of lives. The world is in the midst of a knowledge revolution, where the entire society tendsto becoming “knowledge society” which complemented by opening up of entirelynew spectrum in the areas of communication technology. Recent development in thefields of communication technology is indeed of a revolutionary in nature.Shashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  2. 2. 2Communication Technologies (CTs) are a diverse set of technological tools andresources to create-re-create, disseminate, store, bring value-addition and manageinformation. Contd…..They are for everyone and women have to be an equal beneficiary to the advantagesoffered by the technology, and the products and processes which emerge from theiruse. The whole revolutionary cycle accrued from the synergy of knowledge and CTsneed not be restricted to the upper strata of the society, but to freely flow of allsegments of the women population.The gamut of platform/areas in which CTs can put a greater control in the hands ofwomen is wide and ever expanding, from managing water distribution at the village-level of standing for local elections and having access to media and lifelong learningopportunities.“Women Empowerment and Communication” have played both in a way of act (law& order) and in a way of convergence with the other forms of technologies that havethe potential to those women who have been reached out by media or by any othermeans. Thereby, empowering them to participate in economic and social progress,and make informed decision on front-line issues that affect them. Lastly, I would say that the “women empowerment” is very much cognizant at alllevel that covers the totality of the following or similar capabilities with the help ofCommunication Technologies (CTs.) – • Having decision-making power of their own • Having access to information and resources for taking proper decision • Having a range of options from which women can make choices (not just yes/no, either/or) • Ability to exercise assertiveness in collective decision making • Having positive thinking on the ability to make change • Ability to learn skills for improving one’s personal or group power • Ability to change other’s perceptions by democratic means • Involving in the growth process and change that is never ending and self- initiated • Increase one’s positive self-image and overcoming stigmaShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  3. 3. 3Introduction:Communication, in the layman’s language means to convey a message, an idea, apicture or a speech that is received and understood clearly and correctly by theperson for whom it is conveyed. It encompasses a multitude of experiences, actionsand events, as well as a whole variety of happenings and meanings, andtechnologies too. • Further, the contemporary period has come to be labeled variously the ‘Information Age’, the ‘Communication Age’, and most recently the Cyber or Networking Age. The uses and understanding of communication have come a long way from its original association first with ‘means of transport’ and later with ‘transmission’.Telephonic message is more reliable because the person on the other side of thephone can immediately confirm that he got the message and understood it. However,he/she may forget after a little while unless reminded. Telephonic communication ispopular because it is instantaneous and cheaper. You can talk to a person andconvey a lot of message on telephone. But, picture cannot be sent on telephone.Large amount of data or message cannot be remembered if conveyed on telephone.It is in this context, that data communication containing messages, pictures andvoice, has assumed the importance. • WOMEN COMMUNICATION AND KNOWLEDGE NETWORK:Women stand to benefit tremendously from the inroads laid by ICT in the domain ofknowledge networking. At the very conceptual level, ICT have the potential todigitally link each and every woman in the world in star topology network whichopens up endless possibilities for information exchange.This mechanism could be used by women in creative ways, both to communicationwith other people who are online, and also to disseminate information to people inthe outside world who are not online through the use of convergence and hybridtechnology such as community newsletters, videos etc. This forms the skeletalprocess through which women communities could overcome the constraints ofShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  4. 4. 4seclusion, mobilize resources and support, reach out new markets, and open upavenues for life-long learning. • WOMEN EMPOWERMENT:The Constitution not only grants equality to women, but also empowers the State toadopt measures of positive discrimination in favor of women. Empowerment is oneof the key factors in determining the success of development is the status andposition of women in the society. We put a special focus on empowering womenand girls, because we believe they hold the key to long-lasting social change incommunities. Empowering women must be a united approach, a cause that requirescontinued attention and stewardship by all. We need to augment our efforts forempowering women and enhance their progress. It is our moral, social andconstitutional responsibility to ensure their progress by providing them with equalrights and opportunities. Today women with their smartness, grace and elegancehave conquered the whole world. They with their hard work and sincerity haveexcelled in each and every profession. Women are considered to be more honest,meticulous, and efficient and hence more and more companies prefer hiring womenfor better performance and result.Empowerment of women in the context of knowledge societies in every walks oflife whether they belongs to urban, semi-urban, rural and tribal. And theseknowledge societies understood as building the ability and skills of women to gaininsight of actions and issues in the external environment which influence them, andto build their capacity to get involved and voice their concerns in these externalprocesses, and make informed decisions. It entails building up of capacities ofwomen to overcome social and institutional barriers, and strengthening theirparticipation in the economic and political processes for an overall improvement intheir quality of lives.ICT however opens up a direct window for women to the outside world. Informationnow flows to them without distortion or any form of censoring, and they have accessto same information as their male counterpart. This leads to broadening ofShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  5. 5. 5perspective, building up of greater understanding of their current situation andcauses of poverty, and initiation of interactive processes for information exchange.Further, such forms of networking open up alternate forms of communication tothose offered by the conventional or the government controlled media sources, andtherefore catalyses the empowerment process.ICT makes the role of time and distance less significant in organizing business andproduction related activities. As a result of the technology, a high proportion of jobsoutsourced by big firms are going to women.Women therefore can work from anywhere and at anytime and raise that extraincome to become more financially independent and empowered.Lastly, one of the most powerful applications of ICT in the domain of knowledgenetworking is electronic commerce. Women over time have learnt the advantagesoffered by ICT and its potential in opening up windows to the outside world. Thishas put them in a grater control over the activities performed by them- laying thefoundation for entrepreneurship development.POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT:The marginalization of women in political processes and governance in general hasbeen both the cause and effect of slow progress made in the advancement of women.By their virtual potential to connect every woman in a network of informationexchange, it offers endless possibilities for women to play a pro-active role andimpact on governance processes at the local and global level.BACKGROUND:Information and communication technologies (ICTs) comprise a complex andheterogeneous set of goods, applications and services used to produce, distribute,process and transform information. They include the outputs of industries as diverseas telecommunications, television and software, computer services and electronicmedia (e.g., the Internet, E-mail, e-commerce, social networking websites andcomputer games, etc.).The entire research is involved in following parameters: 1. Having decision-making power of their own 2. Having access to information and resources for taking proper decision 3. Having a range of options from which women can make choices (not just yes/no, either/or) 4. Ability to exercise assertiveness in collective decision making 5. Having positive thinking on the ability to make changeShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  6. 6. 6 6. Ability to learn skills for improving one’s personal or group power 7. Ability to change other’s perceptions by democratic means 8. Involving in the growth process and change that is never ending and self-initiated 9. Increase one’s positive self-image and overcoming stigmaAnd now, the place of women in Indian societies: A (cultural) historical perspective:  The Goddess (Devi)  The Mother  The Sister  The WifeScope of the Study:Women are the equal beneficiaries to the advantages offered by technology, and theproduct and processes, which are by product of the technology use. However, itshould not be confined to elite group of society but to flow to the other segments ofwomen in Indian society. The study wanted to know about infrastructure (social,economical, educational, etc) available to different segments of the women andsocial freedom and opportunities in rural and urban areas. The applicability mayinvite government intervention to stop digital divide among women and also to moreempowerment for women with ICT usage.Objectives of the Study:  To assess ICT infrastructure in rural, urban vis-à-vis semi-urban areas for women empowerment.  To assess the impact of economic/social/academic background of women workforce in ICT.  To assess the status of ICT in education in terms of policies of scholarships, reservation, business development programmes for self-employment for women.  To assess social and health implication for ICT with reference to women workers.  To assess equal opportunities in other areas.Shashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  7. 7. 7 Methodology: While designing methodology the study objectives, as specified in the conceptual framework. Before starting to put categorically analysis on above mentioned points, let’s take a look the current status of India and Gujarat: Women Worldwide:  Women and Poverty 70% of the 1.2 billion people living in poverty are female.1  Women as a Workers: Women do more than : 67% of the hours of work done in the world. Earn only 10% of the world’s income. And own only 1% of the world’s property.2 The value of unremunerated work was estimated about $16 billion, from which $11 billion represents the invisible contribution of women.3 Women are paid 30-40% less than men for comparable work on an average.4 60-80% of the food in most developing countries is produced by women.5 Women hold between 10-20% managerial and administrative jobs.6 Women make up less than 5% of the world’s heads of state.7 Shashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  8. 8. 8  Women and Education: 60% of the 130 million children in the age group of 6-11 years who do not go the school, are girls.8  Approximately 67% of the world’s 875 million illiterate adults are women 3 out of 5 women in Southern Asia and an estimated 50% of all women in Africa and in the Arab region are still illiterate.9  Women and Health: Women account for 50% of all people living with HIV/AIDS globally.10 In the year 2000, there were a) 80 million unwanted pregnancies. b) 20 million unsafe abortions c) 5 lakhs maternal deaths Note: 99% of these cases were reported in developing countries11 1. Source: http://www.comminit.com/BaseLineArchives/sld-36.html. 2. Source: UN statics. 3. Source: The Human Development Report, 1995. 4. Source: The Human Development Report, 1995. 5. Sorce: http://www.comminit.com/BaseLineArchives/sld-818.html. 6-7: Souce: UN Statics 8-9: Sorce: http://www.undp.org.in/webbook/Enlarg-spc-wmn- india.htm. 10. Source: http://www.breakthrough.tv/teach_detail.asp? TeachId=9&id-5 11. Source: http://www.comminit.com/BaseLineArchives/sld-24.html. Women in India:  Child Sex Ration (0-6 years) The child sex ration has dropped from a) 945 females per 1000 males in 1991 to b) 927 females per 1000 males in 2001.12  The United Nations Children’s Fund, estimated that upto 50 million girls and women are ‘missing’ from India’s population because of termination of the female foetus or high mortality of the girl child due to lack of proper care.13  Women as Workers  Female share of non-agricultural wage employment is only 17% .14  29.9% in the rural sector.15  Women’s wage rates are, on an average:  only 75% of men’s wage rate and  constitute only 25% of the family income  Women Ocupy:  Only 9% of parliamentary seats Shashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  9. 9. 9  less than 4% seats in High Courts and Supreme Court  less than 3% administrators and managers are women17  Women and Education:  Close to 245 million Indian women lack the basic capability to read and write18  Adult literacy rates for ages 15 and above for the year 2000 were a) female 46.4% b) male rate of 69%.19  Women and Health:  The average nutritional intake of women in 1400 calories daily. The necessary requirement is approximately 2200 calories.20  38% of all HIV positive people in India are women yet only 25% of beds in AIDS care centers in India are occupied by them.21  92% of women in India suffers from gynecological problems.22  300 women die every day due to childbirth and pregnancy related causes.23  The maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 live births in the year 1995 was 440.2412. Source: Indian Census Report, 2001.13. Source: http://in.news.yahoo.com/040617/43/2dodv.html14. Source:: Human Development Report, 2003.15-17 Sources: http://hdr.undp.org/statistics/data/cty_f_IND.html. 18. Source: Women in India-How free? How equal?-Kalyani Menon Sen, A.K.Kumar19. Source: http://hdr.undp.org/statistics/data/cty_f_IND.html.20. Source: Gender and Women’s Health, publication by CHETNA, NGO.21. Source: http://breakthrough.tv/teach_detail.asp?TeachID-9&id-522. Source: Gender and Women’s Health, publication by CHETNA, NGO.23. Source: Women in India-How free? How equal?-Kalyani Menon Sen, A.K.Kumar24. Source: Human Development Report, 2003.Role of ICT in Women Development in India: - According India’s constitution, women are legal citizens of the country and have equal rights with men (Indian Parliament). Because of lack of acceptable from the male dominant society, Indian women suffer immensely. Women are responsible for baring children, yet they are malnourished and in poor health. Women are overworked in the field and complete the all of the domestic work. Most Indian women are uneducated. Although the country’s constitution saysShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  10. 10. 10 women have equal status to men, women are powerless and are mistreated inside and outside the home.Women in India now participate in all activities such as education, politics, media,art and culture, service sectors, science and technology, etc.The Constitution of India guarantees to all Indian women equality (Article 14), nodiscrimination by the State (Article 15(1)), equality of opportunity (Article 16),equal pay for equal work (Article 39(d)). In addition, it allows special provisions tobe made by the State in favor of women and children (Article 15(3)), renouncespractices derogatory to the dignity of women (Article 51(A) (e)), and also allows forprovisions to be made by the State for securing just and humane conditions of workand for maternity relief. (Article 42).The feminist activism in India picked up momentum during later 1970s. One of thefirst national level issues that brought the womens groups together was the Mathurarape case. The acquittal of policemen accused of raping a young girl Mathura in apolice station, led to a wide-scale protests in 1979–1980. The protests were widelycovered in the national media, and forced the Government to amend the EvidenceAct, the Criminal Procedure Code and the Indian Penal Code and introduce thecategory of custodial rape. Female activists united over issues such as femaleinfanticide, gender bias, women health, and female literacy.Since alcoholism is often associated with violence against women in India, manywomen groups launched anti-liquor campaigns in Andhra Pradesh, HimachalPradesh, Haryana, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and other states. Many Indian Muslimwomen have questioned the fundamental leaders interpretation of womens rightsunder the Shariat law and have criticized the triple talaq system.In 1990s, grants from foreign donor agencies enabled the formation of new women-oriented NGOs. Self-help groups and NGOs such as Self Employed WomensAssociation (SEWA) have played a major role in womens rights in India. Manywomen have emerged as leaders of local movements. For example, Medha Patkar ofthe Narmada Bachao Andolan.The Government of India declared 2001 as the Year of Womens Empowerment(Swashakti). The National Policy For The Empowerment of Women came waspassed in 2001. Role of the Government and the NGO Sector A number of women’s organizations have realized the importance of creating and participating in regional and worldwide information exchange which will enable them to share ideas, proposals, documents and information. Computer networks are a form of appropriate technology that makes this exchange possible. Combined with other media forms like printed material, radio,Shashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  11. 11. 11 television, to name a few, such exchange can more easily be extended to regions and groups that cannot access computer networks. Need of such networks has mainly arisen due to issues of concern to women, which do not preclude basic housekeeping, health & sanitation, children’s education, balancing resources and traditional chores. ICT is not at all aimed at breaking the traditional role of women. It rather aims at empowerment that will fortify the male bastions. In doing so, they often face obstacles like resource crunch (financial and technological), reduced access to training and technical assistance or non-gender sensitive methodologies, social and cultural barriers for women and girls to access technology, educational short- comings, misconceptions about technology, language barriers, etc., some of which have already been mentioned above. Since problems are inter-linked and solutions are diverse in nature, the endeavours also have to come from different quarters. There have been attempts to overcome the obstacles of women’s access to ICT in India. The major initiatives undertaken in the formal sector may be summarized as follows: • Repackaging of Internet-accessed information and combining Internet technology with ‘traditional’ or more established tools of communication like radio, television and print media. • Facilitating content development on the web-production and use of ICT resources in different Indian languages. • Government policies to ensure that women are brought to the mainstream through ICT programmes through accessible technology, relevant and useful to women.• Institution of scholarships and awards, with incentives, to promote the enrollment of girls and women in ICT programmes.• Continuing training programmes and awareness workshops on the use and potential of ICT throughout the country. These are significant openings created for women. Decentralisation and devolution of powers through Panchayats (these are smallest units of local administration) have included computerization, installation of kiosks for information and networks for dissemination. The elected women representatives can use these to interact with their constituencies and their colleagues in other parts of the country. ICT can influence changes and restructure in the prevailing power equations. The Department of Women and Child Development under the Ministry of Human Resource Development is the key agency for development and welfare of women and children. Most of the provincial governments also carry out women related activities through Social Welfare Departments. Ministry ofShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  12. 12. 12 Human Resource Development and Ministry of Information Technology have formulated a number of schemes, particularly in the area of education and training in ICT. These schemes can succeed with gender-sensitivity and removal of regional biases. Opportunities galore in ICT-enabled services in a country like India where there has never been a paucity of ideas or knowledgeable people. Political networks and advocacy groups have been formed due to proliferation of these technologies. Income generation is another area where ICT has been making headway. ICT can link women in various areas, help coordinate agenda, speed up communication, reaching a vast number of people in less time. ICT offers invaluable tools for dissemination of indigenous knowledge. Women’s effective participation in the information society needs to be assumed if countries are to successfully achieve their development goals and practices. While there have been lots of development efforts to increase the access and use of ICT in general, there is still a marked difference in their impact on the lives of men and women. That is precisely the reason why international agencies prefer to do their work in India through certain Non-government Organisations (NGO) and voluntary bodies. As the largest democracy in the world, India has a huge array of non- government organizations active in education and womens issues. There have been numerous experiments in India devoted to addressing the digital divide, particularly because of the high-profile domestic IT industry against an extremely poor and uneducated population. However, only a few are specifically targeted at women. State governments are also investing in IT training and infrastructure amply demonstrated by Andhra Pradesh. According to the Ministry of IT, “State and Central governments have instigated programs to increase the use of computers in poorer regions”. Although States like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan are prioritizing IT, the poor telecommunications infrastructure is still the major obstacle to broader access and application of IT in India. Intermediary organisations could also contribute to building capacities of women by providing them training in basic computer skills (like accessing the Internet), and other skills like desktop publishing, website creation, e- commerce, etc. To facilitate access for women from various classes and sectors, the intermediary organisations need to be strategically located in local institutions, such as health centres, women’s employment centres and studies departments, libraries, , community centres, etc, to which women have open and equal access. A large number of NGOs are showing genuine interest in this sector.Shashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  13. 13. 13 New Horizons of ICT for Women: Problems and Prospects The ICT policy when looked at from a gender perspective must take into consideration the various dimensions, including education, employment and empowerment. According to the 2001 census, female literacy is 54.16 % as against male literacy of 75.85 % in India. The enrollment of girls in educational institutions decreases as educational level goes higher. The enrollment of girls in Engineering/ Technology/ Architecture at the Bachelors level (in 1998) is 57,968 as against 285,137 boys. This imbalance is largely due to socio- economic reasons, and a very large concerted drive is required to remove this imbalance. Since the percentage of women enrolling for higher education is quite low, the benefit of ICT can go to a large section if more and more IT courses at 10+ or 12+ levels are introduced as vocational streams. The girls’ polytechnics are promoting some of these with preferences in jobs, and special incentives in the initial years. Keeping in view the plight of rural women, who are more unaware of new technologies than their urban counterparts, government is providing special packages for them, who are involved in home based or small-scale activities related to handloom, handicraft, sericulture, etc. From identification of projects to the marketing of products, these packages are helping women entrepreneurs to a great extent. Government of India is in the process of establishing Community Information Centres (CIC) at all block levels, which are designedShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  14. 14. 14 as the prime movers of ICT in the most economically backward and geographically difficult terrains. CICs are supposed to provide multipurpose information (on health, education, social welfare and small-scale industry, etc). This might prove to be a “shot in the arm” for the rural women that can boost their economic and social status. Information and communication technologies have created new types of work that favour women because the technology enables work to be brought to homes and allows for better accommodation of work and family schedules. Women have also been able to capture a large proportion of jobs in ICT- enabled services because of the worldwide shortage of skills necessary for work in this sector. Many women are software programmers, but very few are in hardware design. New ICT jobs for women especially in India are in the service industries in information processing, banking, insurance, printing and publishing. So far, the most promising potential for women is in the creation of new jobs at “Call Centres” and in work involving data processing. The International Labour Organisation reports that ‘telecentres and fax booths have created a quarter of a million jobs in India in the last four years alone, a huge proportion of which have gone to women’. While specific gender data on the networking profession in India were not available, fewer women are employed in networking compared to software occupations. This is attributed to the preconceptions that the physical aspects of the work are too difficult for women such as the long, erratic hours and traveling. The lack of mobility is cited as one of the major constraints to women’s ability to participate in the IT work force in India. If women want to work in the IT sector, they have to relocate themselves. However, living alone away from home is not the norm for young, single women because of security issues and the traditional view that womens role is in the home with the family. As a result, the current IT employment opportunities in large cities like Hyderabad or Mumbai are often not appealing or feasible for many women, particularly those from the other parts of the country. So, there are many cases where women have sufficient IT education and training, but do not work in the field because they lack the essential mobility to go to where the jobs are. Success Stories from IndiaShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  15. 15. 15 The Self Employed Womens Association (SEWA) has been organizing women in the informal sector in India since 1972. It was one of the first organizations globally to realize the potential of using IT for the productive growth of the informal sector. SEWA is establishing Technology Information Centres in 11 districts of Gujarat to provide computer awareness training and basic computer skills for their “barefoot managers”, build the capacity of women organizers and leaders, and strengthen their members’ micro-enterprises. Electronic networking is expected to strengthen the connections between the various cooperatives working in different sectors and areas. IT for barefoot managers (Source: http://www.sewa.org) Community radio in Andhra Pradesh has become popular due to development of Mana Radio, a community radio station run by members of the womens Self Help Groups (SHG) in Orvakal village, Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh. Realizing the role that Community Media can play in development, empowerment and the right to information. Budhikote Cable Radio Network is another example run by 36 womens self- help groups in the Indian village of Budhikote are running a cable radio network, first set up by UNESCO. With a contribution of 50 rupees every month from each woman, the network has grown to cover 250 of the 750 households of the village. The audio programs are narrowcast from the Budhikote Community Multi-media Center, where the women use computers to edit and produce the radio programmes on relevant issues, such as organic farming, sericulture, health, local electricity and water problems. There are many more cases of similar and different nature, which have encouraged the NGOs, the government and the funding agencies to expedite women’s development through ICT. From managing water distribution at the village-level to standing for local elections and having access to lifelong learning opportunities, ICT is opening up new vistas of development. TheShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  16. 16. 16 Information and Communication Technologies are for everyone and women have to be an equal beneficiary of the advantages offered by the technology. Moreover, the benefits accrued from the synergy of knowledge and ICT cannot be restricted to the upper strata of the society and have to freely flow to all segments of the women population.Further more, various types of training programme conducted by the UNDP underits project in Gujarat. The project will provide direct trainings to 3400 trainers.These trainers in turn will educate the community using the innovative approachesof community media. More importantly the indirect beneficiaries of the project willbe more than 2, 40, 000 members will be benefited through the project in 120villages, 52 blocks and 6 districts of Gujarat and Bihar.Let me draw your more attention that the ICT school for Empowerment of womenfocuses on:Vocational courses such as journalism, telecaller training, voice & voice editing,digital documentation, web designing, accounting with Tally, screen printing,computer hardware training and orientation, language training, advanced computertraining, DTP training and other technical training.Role of Global Agencies:However, in order to measure empowerment, there is major role for the World Bankand some of the International Agencies to play:  First and the foremost is to invest both time and resources in the process that lead to empowerment. It is a slow process, so do not rush with money. Have time, have patience.  To create infrastructure facilities with approaches that facilitate and strengthen the process of empowerment. For example, this is by way of setting up: a) Network of Barefoot Managers Schools-to enable the poor acquirethe needed management skills. This will help them reach the mainstream ofeconomic management. b) Network of Trade Facilitation Centres: that will act as a buffer, toenable the local poor reach global markets. It will prepare the poor to reach themarkets. At the same time help them absorb the shocks of the markets and thepressures and pull of the markets. c) Livelihood Security Funds –that helps poor identify their needs andplan for development. This fund strengthens and promotes livelihoods by supportingrural local employment through (1) Fodder Banks (2) Watershed Development. d) Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Centres.Finally, the most important is the recognition of the poor women’s efforts oforganizingShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  17. 17. 17and their own local organizations. Give due recognition and representation toCommunityBased Organization, People Organizations in the empowering processes, may it beat Project level or at policy level.  Another findings would like to share that recently an international organization APC (The Association for Progressive Communication) in recent research under the title “How Technology is Being Used to Perpetrate Violence Against Women – And to Fight it” founded the facts that: a) The WHO states that women are disproportionately the victims of violence worldwide25. b) The UN estimates that 95% of aggressive behavious, harassment, abusive language and denigrating images in online space are aimed at women and come from partners or former male partners26. c) Both men and women are affected by cyber stalking, but a survey in India found that victims aged between 18-32 were predominantly female27. d) Information and communication technologies (ICTs) like the internet and mobile phones are a double-edged sword-they can be used by abusers to deepen their control and by survivors of violence to connect to help and by women’s rights defenders to inform, denounce and strategies to end violence.25. World Report on Violence and Health, WHO. Whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2002/9241545615_eng.pdf.26. United Nations, deccessods.un.org/TMP/7121883.html.27. Xu, Weiting, www.genderit.org/es/node/2212.Reference: 1. www.indg.in 2. www.indiacurrentaffairs.org 3. Data Communication & Computer Network – Dr. Madhulika Jain & Mr. Satish Jain 4. Mass Communication in India – Dr. Keval J. Kumar 5. Communication Technology and Women Empowerment – Anita Stephen 6. www.wecindia.org 7. Women & Media – Pooja Kataria 8. http://www.articlesbase.com/womens-issues-articles/women-empowerment- in.india-1971013.html. 9. http://www.sewa.orgShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad
  18. 18. 18 10. www.sewaresearch.org 11. http://project.aed.org/techequity/India.htm 12. www.comminit.com 13. www.swayam.info/swayam_gi_leaflet_31mar.pdfShashikant_National Institute of Mass Communication & Journalism, Ahmedabad

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