After leaving class on Wednesday, I began to research how the digital divide in gender has been tackled. Specifically, I found a report that was published in 2005 by the UN titled, “Gender equality and empowerment of women through ICT.” The link is here.
After reading through the beginning pages, an example of a project in Brazil was highlighted. CEMINA, which stands for Communication, Education, and Information on Gender (once translated to English), aims to improve education on gender equality, health and environment issues and strengthens poor women’s rights and citizenship through the use of radio. The organization was created in the 1980’s and in 1988 a radio channel called “Women Speak Up” was up and running. This channel provides women with information on how to access technology and a higher education, as well as, comments on women issues. By 1995, CEMINA’s Women’s Radio Network included 400 women’s radio programs distributed across Brazil reaching thousands of listeners located in the poorest communities. Since the 1980’s, CEMINA has grown tremendously. The channel is now streamed online, the organization provides women across Brazil access to the Internet to help promote digital inclusion, and they are using their model to start radio programs in other countries. They state, “It is our commitment to ensure that women will not, once again, be left behind and lack access and opportunities to this important tool for social development”(CEMINA, 2012). If this type of organization was promoted in other countries culturally applicable, it may be easier for poorer communities of women to get information, and therefore close the ICT gap categorized by gender.