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    184912

    The new information technologies and women: essential reflections. [La nueva tecnología de la información y la mujer: reflexiones fundamentales]

    Bonder G

    Santiago, Chile, United Nations, Economic Commission for Latin America [ECLAC], 2003 Jul. 56 p. (CEPAL - SERIE Mujer y Desarrollo No. 39)

    Although in Latin America and the Caribbean there is growing concern to take into account the issue of gender in public policies, this process is still embryonic and fragmented in the case of economic and technological policies. The Women and Development Unit of ECLAC is therefore implementing the project "Institutionalization of gender policies within ECLAC and sectoral ministries". The objective of this project is to strengthen technical policies, strategies, tools and capacities, both within ECLAC and in selected countries of the region, in order to encourage equity between men and women in the process and benefits of development, especially with regard to economic and labour policies. One of the activities of the project, organized by the Women and Development Unit together with the International Trade Division of ECLAC and the Centre for Women's Studies and Social Gender Relations of the University of São Paulo, was a meeting of experts on "Globalization, technological change and gender equity" in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, on 5 and 6 November 2001. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the most relevant aspects of the opportunities and restrictions imposed by the processes of globalization and technological change, with the aim of proposing areas for research, as well as an agenda of public policies that would help to achieve equity. This document was presented as a background study for the discussion at the meeting of experts. It is clear from the text that the new technologies are taking us into a dizzy time of new exclusions, and that in addition to being a material reality they are also a discursive product with effects on institutions, public policies and individuals. The study reviews an extensive amount of theoretical literature, as well as most of the research concerning the inclusion and relationship of women in connection with the new information technologies and skills. This review identifies the major obstacle to reinforcing the potential positive impacts of the new technologies as the lack of information on how they, and especially computers, can help policies, and also individual women, to achieve their goals. It is also shown that we are dealing with two disconnected concepts: the information society and the information economy, and the gender perspective is presented as a means of linking them. As for the impact on social and gender equity, and the current digital divide, according to this document research is needed on more than access alone. There is patently a need for policies to regulate and democratize the new information and knowledge technologies, and it is important to analyze the collective imaginary that is being constructed around them and the different forms of subjectivity that the Internet is encouraging, within a perspective of the future and of changes in social relations. (author's)
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