2017 APSIG‎ > ‎

Gender and the Internet

Class Title: 5.3 Gender and the Internet  

Class Description:

The gender digital divide has been the most popular concept  to analyse the nature of women's exclusions from the benefits of connectivity. The lecture will commence with a demonstration of how this heuristic may be outdated and no longer an appropriate entry point into this debate, using data from a ten country research study conducted by the WWW Foundation in 2015 with urban poor women in the global South. Further, using research done by different scholars in the region, the following questions will be examined in depth - what kinds of connectivity models can overcome gender barriers to meaningful use of the internet? what types of digital literacy models can strengthen women's digital capabilities? what are the features of a gender-responsive governance framework for the Internet? Laws  and development programmes for gender equality in the Asia-Pacific region will be examined with a view to discern what works and what does not, in terms of creating a supportive environment for women's empowering use of the Internet.

Presentation Material: [to be added] 

Speaker's Bio: 

Anita Gurumurthy is a founding member and executive director of IT for Change (ITfC).  Through her work, Anita has attempted to promote conversations between theory and practice. At IT for Change Anita leads research on information society studies with a focus on governance, democracy and gender justice. She also directs ITfC's field resource centre that works with grassroots communities on 'technology for social change' models.

Anita currently provides leadership to a multi-country research project examining the conditions under which ICT-enabled citizen engagement can produce transformatory outcomes for democracy, with support from the Making All Voices Count programme. She has recently completed a 5-country research project on e-government and gender equality in the Asia-Pacific, in collaboration with United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) with whom she is now building training modules on egovernment and gender, for government officials.

Anita has coordinated and led inter-country research studies in the past that have explored the connection between women's rights and ICTs from a policy perspective. She set up the CITIGEN research network in Asia in 2010, which made pioneering contributions to building concepts on gender and citizenship in the information society. More recently, Anita mobilised practitioners, activists and scholars to debate the idea of Inclusion in the Network Society

Anita is actively involved in the SDGs related discussions globally and regionally in the Asia Pacific. She is an active member of the Science and Technology Constituency of the Asia Pacific Regional CSO Mechanism. At the national level, Anita has forged lateral connections with key social movement –  the Right to Information movement, the national platform of women farmers – to build a strong social justice oriented agenda on digital rights that straddles traditional debates on democracy, development and rights with emerging issues related to data governance, net neutrality, community led access models and women’s rights.

Anita has worked in the past as Research Consultant for ten years with the Centre for Public Policy at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB), where she was project leader on a national level research study on Public Private Partnerships in Health. She also coordinated a course at IIMB for NGOs, on Globalisation and Development.

In the mid-90s, Anita was part of a team that set-up the 'Women's Policy Research and Advocacy' unit at the National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS).

References: [to be added]