Women’s Net – South Africa

Women’sNet is a feminist organisation that works to advance gender equality and justice in South Africa through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). We provide training and facilitate content dissemination and creation that supports women, girls, and women’s and gender organisations and networks to take control of their own content and ICT use.
Our website is a hub for information by women, about women and gender, and has a focus on South African and African content. We help women to find the people, issues, resources and tools they need for social activism. (Homepage).

Staff; Intersections; GIST’s Newsletter; Research on ICTs; History; Forums;
Physical Address: 31 Quinn Street, Newtown Johannesburg, South Africa;
Postal Address: PO Box 62577, Marshalltown, 2107, South Africa;
Contact.

About: Vision: To use ICT’s strategically to create a society where women and girls are equal participants and agents of social change.

Mission: Women’sNet is a South African based non-governmental organisation that works to advance gender equality. Our work focuses on the intersection between gender and information and communication technologies (ICTs). We recognise that ICTs are a gendered tool and aim to address imbalances in women and men’s access to and meaningful use of ICT’s.Women’sNet achieves this through:

  • Providing training that supports women, girls, women’s organisations and networks to develop content and harness the technologies that support their social and organisational objectives
  • Creating content platforms and processes that amplify women and girl’s experiences and stories
  • Using ICTs to support gender-aware programming, advocacy and networking for collective action
  • Conduc ting research and undertaking advocacy initiatives to integrate gender perspectives into ICT policies and programmes

Women’sNet Approach:

The Women’sNet model rests on three pillars, information/content generation linked to networking and capacity bui lding. Examples of how content development has gone hand-in-hand with capacity development of women’s organisations include the work done in preparation of the Violence Against Women site, the human rights site, and the governance site. In the context of building networks for action, this is a tried and tested developmental model for ICT work, and has underpinned all Women’sNet capacity development and content generation activities.

This model en sures Women’sNet’s sustainability and the sustainability of South African women’s organisations in the long term. Without the engagement with women’s organisations and efforts to build their capacity, content flow to the Women’sNet site will be impeded. As it is, most women’s organisations lack the capacity and resources to use and engage with ICTs without some facilitation by Women’sNet. Furthermore, without women’s organisations’ active participation in content generation, Women’sNet loses its authenticity and uniqueness.

Four years after its establishment, Women’sNet has developed a regional and international profile and a reputation as a project that both disseminates relevant information and supports other gender-aware organisations in their work to advance gender equality. Much of this profile rests on our networking and capacity development activities. Women’sNet is an active partner within an Africa-wide network of women in ICTs that have taken on the challenge of promoting ICTs for social development and gender transformation.

Women’sNet has been an active participant in regional gender and ICT advocacy and training through its membership within APC Africa Women and the global network, APC WNSP. Where ICT circles would not norma lly include gender issues, Women’sNet has been identified as a gender and ICT advocate and invited to these fora to make presentations. Women’sNet staff participated in the preparatory processes of the World Summit on the Information Society (2003, to 2005) and remain active in advocating for principles and action areas for the information society that are both gender-inclusive and sensitive to the specificities of Africa contexts.

Since its inception , Women’sNet has successfully implemented a number of projects as part of its mandate to support South African women in harnessing ICTs to facilitate women’s empowerment through networking and specia l projects.

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