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New Approach: ICTs to Help Violence Against Women
Christina Haralanova | 8 November 2005

ICTs help women from different countries who ask themselves: “How do I use my particular experience and specific knowledge from the region I come from, in order to make a global change in the area of violence against women?” This was the idea, raised by Lin McDevitt-Pugh at a session called: “New Tools for Changing Old Strategies in Combating Violence against Women” during the AWID Forum, held in Bangkok, Thailand between 27th and 30th of October 2005.

Internet technologies are a tool for women to mobilize globally, and to fight their rights and freedoms. They help them learn from each other’s experience, and not to repeat the same mistakes. This issue is particularly important when talking about violence against women (VAW), having in mind that there is no country in the world, in which women can proudly state that they never suffer from violence.

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VAW Session at AWID

An example, made by Lin McDevitt-Pugh in her presentation, was the development of a European network, called Women’s Information Technologies Transfer (WITT). “WITT has created tools to help women’s organizations to be more strategic in their struggles, and the use of Free Software in particular, makes them in the same time to become more independent from technologies., she said.

Violence against women as well as other problems related to women’s rights, can find their space online and they can help women to connect to each other when fighting the same battles. “However, we need to act locally in our women’s rights work. For this reason, WITT has created 4 focal points: in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro as well as Czech Republic, in order to research the local needs of women and make sure that these needs are respected within the global framework.”

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Lin McDevitt-Pugh

Another example of how ICTs can be an essential tool for women to make their voices heard by the government, was presented by Eleonora Delova, WITT country focal point coordinator in Macedonia. What they have achieved when joining the men-dominated working group of government officers in order to create the country strategy on the information society, was the inclusion of a strong gender aspect in it.

This is why, there is a need in the women’s movements to strengthen the online communication and use it for lobbying and advocacy for women’s rights. “Working together is very important, we just have to find each other!”, concluded Lin McDevitt-Pugh.

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