The Beijing World Conference on Women, ICT Policy, and Gender

The Beijing World Conference on Women, ICT Policy, and Gender

J. Ann Dumas (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-949-6.ch032
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The 1995 Fourth World Conference on Women, Beijing, China, addressed gender equality issues in many areas of global society, including information, communication, and knowledge exchange and the associated technologies. The Beijing Declaration called for action to promote gender equality in human rights, economic autonomy, domestic responsibility sharing, participation in public life and decision making, access to health services and education, and the eradication of poverty and all forms of violence against women. The Beijing Platform for Action contained strategic objectives and actions for governments and others to implement to increase gender equality in 12 critical areas, including Section J, Women and the Media. Article 234 of the Beijing Platform Section J acknowledged the important need for gender equality in information and communication technology: advances in information technology have facilitated a global network of communications that transcends national boundaries and has an impact on public policy, private attitudes and behaviour, especially of children and young adults. Everywhere the potential exists for the media to make a far greater contribution to the advancement of women. (United Nations [UN], 1995, p. 133) Section J defined two strategic objectives that address issues of access to and participation in ICT and media development. J.1. Increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision making in and through the media and new technologies of communication. J.2. Promote a balanced and nonstereotyped portrayal of women in the media. (United Nations, 1995, pp. 133-136) Governments agreed to implement the Beijing Platform for Action and use gender-disaggregated data to report national progress on objectives during Beijing +5 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) in 2000 and Beijing +10 in 2005. This article reviews progress reported on ICT-related Section J strategic initiatives and trends for ICT and gender between 1995 and 2005.

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