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Eastern European ICT for women initiative goes European
Lin McDevitt-Pugh | 13 July 2005

Participants in WITT, a three-year project to train women’s organisations in Eastern Europe in using information communication technologies in their information strategies concluded not only that their project was successful but that the initiative should grow and encompass women throughout Europe. This was one of the outcomes of a recent meeting of key participants in ENAWA’s Effective E-Feminism training project, held in Amsterdam from June 24-27 2005.

Eleven women attended the last core group meeting of WITT, Women’s Information Technology Transfer. WITT is the name participants chose for ENAWA’s Effective E-Feminism training program. And while ties will still be held with ENAWA, the WITT initiative will become independent in 2006. The women attending the meeting were from Serbia and Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Spain and the Netherlands. Together they are responsible for the achievements of WITT, which include four ‘focal points’, or language-bound centers of training, a website – www.witt-project.net, research into how women in Croatia use Internet and a pool of WITT trainers.

The focal points in Bulgaria and Macedonia are completing their agreements this month. Reports on the needs assessments done prior to the trainings and on the trainings themselves are published on the WITT website. The Serbian regional focal point and the focal point in the Czech Republic will begin their needs assessment work in July 2005.

The WITT website serves two specific purposes and will serve a third. It is a portal of information on women and ICTs in Eastern Europe (and this will expand to the whole European region). It has the potential for providing this information in each language in which a training is provided. The website is also a learning tool, and an integral part of each WITT training is teaching women how to upload their information onto the site, which operates on open source software (SPIP). Thirdly, the web site itself will become a template that women’s organisations in the region may use in setting up their own websites – or running them from the WITT server.

WITT will have a Board and a structure in the future. An interim board was established to prepare this transition, with Christina Haralanova, director of Internet Rights Bulgaria Foundation, as chair.

See images from the meeting here.

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