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Strengthening of a network of focal points on gender awareness in the African region

Background:

Due to the expanding reach of new communication technologies in recent years, the use of technology for the empowerment of women has increased significantly, including networking, advocacy, dissemination and exchange of information , as well as creative e-commerce initiatives designed to help local artisans and producers market their products globally.

Developing countries in Africa and the Middle east are, however, particularly affected by the digital divide, as information technology remains a minority privilege owing to limited access, connectivity and income. Within this context, women suffer from the typical gender disparities, which affect not only design and dissemination of improved technology , but opportunities. The project relies on existing structures such as national machineries to build the capacity of women, as well as their capacity to assist other women, to access and use information and communication technologies before the current gender gap widens further.

The project will strengthen existing networks at national and regional levels through the establishment of information technology capacities for gender focal points in 10 pilot countries (5 in Africa and 5 in the Middle East).

Objective:

The project aims to enhance the capacity of national machineries to use the information and communication technologies to strengthen their network and capacity-building programmes for the advancement of women in Africa and the Middle east.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Strengthened capacity of national and local mechanisms to collect, analyse and apply knowledge, information and expertise for the preparation of national sustainable development strategies, decision-making and national information processes in support of the implementation of chapters 8 and 40 of Agenda 21
  • Strengthened national capacities to undertake programme design, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects in support of the goals of the World Summit for Social Development as expanded by the twenty-fourth special session of the General Assembly
  • Strengthened national capacity for basic statement development, particularly in the areas of environmental, social and gender statistics and better sharing of statistical information at the regional and global levels
  • Strengthened national machinery for the advancement of women and an increased role for women in leadership and in public life
  • Transition of the entire community to the new technologies for information and communication (NTIC)-based global standards for research and communication. This will avoid the marginalization of research communities in the South, fill gaps in institutional preparedness and skills and enhance the capacity of research centres to participate in the development process, including in particular the implementation of major United Nations conferences.

Status:

The project has recently requested an extension