The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) South Africa, a locally-based international organisation which helps disadvantaged communities get access to internet, has won an award at the Gender Equality Mainstreaming – Technology (GEM-TECH) Awards for its women’s rights campaign.
Hosted by United Nations Women and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the GEM-TECH Awards recognises organisations and individuals working to improve women’s access to, and engagement with ICTs, enhancing women’s involvement in ICT policy-making and promoting the power of ICTs.
The awards ceremony was held yesterday at the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference currently taking place in Busan, Republic of Korea.
The APC, which has been investigating the connection between ICTs and violence against women since 2005, won the award in the “efforts to reduce threats online and building women’s confidence and security in the use of ICTs” category for its Take Back the Tech campaign which is hosted alongside South Africa’s annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.
“The campaign calls on all ICT users – especially women and girls – to take control of technology and strategically use any ICT platform at hand (mobile phones, instant messengers, blogs, websites, digital cameras, email, podcasts and more) as part of their activism against gender-based abuse,” the ITU says.
The winners in the other categories are:
- United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Ethiopia- ICT Apps, content, production capacities and skills for women’s social, political empowerment and women’s empowerment linkages with sustainable development.
- iMerit Technology Services, India – ICT Apps, content, production capacities and skills for women’s social, political empowerment and women’s empowerment and poverty reduction.
- BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, UK – Initiatives aimed at attracting, retaining and promoting women in ICT
- Research Center for Feminist Action (CIPAF), Dominican Republic – Initiatives aimed towards enabling girls to become ICT creators
- Telecentre.org Foundation, Philippines – Closing the ICT gender gap
- Federal Ministry of Communication Technology, Nigeria – ICT and broadband strategies policies, framework that promote women’s digital empowerment.
“We need all of you to join our efforts, so that these inspiring GEM-TECH winners and others working at the forefront of digital inclusion are leading a turning point for women’s digital empowerment through technology,” said UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.[Source – ITU, Images – CC 2.0/ ITU]