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Witt-project.net: crossing feminism and technology
Lin McDevitt-Pugh | 8 March 2005

Women’s Information Technology Transfer (WITT) launched today a portal site to link women’s organizations and feminist advocates for the internet in Eastern and Central Europe. www.witt-project.net is a website, providing strategic ICT information to all, and supporting, in a collective way, Central and Eastern European women in developing the web as an instrument in their social activism. WITT is committed to bringing women’s actions, activities and struggles into the spotlight, promoting the use of free software as a way to highlight women’s voices.

WITT is one of the first organizations of its kind to train women’s non-governmental organizations in Central and Eastern Europe to use Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) in their communication strategies. The WITT website has been developed for women to share their experiences with ICTs, to learn about training events provided by WITT, and to develop expertise in advocacy on gender and ICT issues. Women can publish on the website in their own language (eight languages are available to be used as the site develops).

During the annual WITT Trainers Exchange Event (TEE 2005), held in Ohrid, Macedonia from 12-15 February 2005, WITT trainers learned how to operate this collective website, how to write efficiently for the web and how to publish live using the GPL (General Public License) Publication software Spip (the site has been totally created by WITT members). Participants in WITT trainings will need only a few hours to be able to appropriate the technology for using the website effectively. This is a great strength both of the Spip system and the WITT philosophy: technology is a tool to be used, not feared.

The Trainers Exchange Event, hosted by Akcija Zdruzhenska, a Macedonian organization of feminist trainers, was attended by 16 women from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Moldova, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Poland and Serbia and Montenegro. All these trainers are active within the women’s movement or social movements in the region, many in the area of ICTs. The purpose of these events is to build powerful partnerships between the trainers and for WITT to maintain a pool of women who will not only promote ICT use but also promote a feminist analysis of ICT use.

WITT was initiated in 2002 by ENAWA – European North American Women Action as part of its training program. It will become an independent entity early in 2005, with its seat in Croatia and Focal Points throughout the region. Focal Points are women working within organizations who represent WITT and organize local WITT trainings.

To learn more about WITT you are welcome to visit www.witt-project.net or contact us at forum@witt-project.net.

WITT welcomes feedback and comments and encourages the distribution of this press release.

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