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:

Jac Smk representing APC along with other winners

“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]