INTERNATIONAL RADIO ENDEAVOUR
II Internet Governance Forum
After 4 years of analysis about Internet Governance, women´s perspective remains absent from the debate, regardless of the intense participation of women activists and organizations dedicated to informational technologies in different scopes of civil society.
For Chat García, who is in charge of the Gender Program of the Asociación para el Progreso de las Comunicaciones, the feminist analysis of TIC`s is not present in discussions, nor are the critical topics. She pointed out that "the participation of women in the forum, specially in plenaries is very small. That is why we are here, to bring more voices and perspectives to the discussions about the Internet. The challenge is for the women movement to be at the forums,. or our perspectives will not be incorporated."
An example of this is the discussion about the regulation of contents. Chat García uses the discussion about child pornography as an example, “where the feminist input of years has been left out."
The presence of women at the II Internet Governance Forum/IGF reaches one third of the participants, 610 women aproximately. However, this proportion in not equally divided between speakers and panelists, where the monopoly of words remains in the male voices, with mild exceptions, such as the space provided for the conformation of the Dinamic Coalition of Gender, where men did not get a chance to speak, due to their total absence. This could seem as merely superficial, however it is a repeated pattern of conduct that forces women to rethink their strategies, transform their achievements from paper into concrete actions, thus concentrating their energy to face new challenges and not in the implementation of the agreements and rights by those who formulated them.
In the workshops as well as in the central panels where the different scopes of Internet governance are being discussed, the advances achieved by the women movement are unknown, as well as the perspectives incorporated into the official documents of the United Nations, as constituted in chapter 12 clause J of the Beijing Platform of Action adopted in 1995 at the IV Women World Conference.
The activist Magaly Pazello pointed out to Feminist International Radio Endeavour that "taking into consideration our presence at the global forum under the wing of the United Nations, none of the accomplishments by women at the conference on social developments are being considered."
Until now this is a concept that does not seem to be defined. However, to the civil society and to the women movement its definition comprises the incorporation of the gender dimension, the inclusion and participation of all sectors, under the framework of human rights, the principles of access, open source, diversity and transparency in the process of decision making about the Internet, as those referred to the regulations framework, legislation and politics about the Internet.
According to Graciela Selaim, member of the civil society, Brasil`s government is committed with diversity, democracy, use of participation and representative processes of society in Internet governance, as expressed by the Minister of Long Term Planning, Mr Mangabeira Unger, during the inauguration of II IGF. Unger spoke about the necessity of an anti-hegemony principle in Internet gobernance and a principle referred to limit the influence of the State and the influence of money.
Axis that make up Internet gobernance
Access, diversity, critical resources, openship, and security are the five central themes that focus the attention of the 2100 participants from 109 countries, 550 representing governments, 700 from civil society, 100 of international organizations, 300 from businesses and 400 from diverse areas.
These axis have marked radically different opposite postures between the diverse actors participating in the forum.
Advances and disadvantages for participation
Among the advances provided by the II IGF are the major participation of civil society, as well as the incorporation of new participants in the debate.
For Anriette Esterhoysen, executive director of the Association for Communicational Progress - APC, the IGF “...is the only space where we can talk about the politics and the strategies to keep the Internet as a public space and good."
This position is shared by the civil society as well as some governments, but not by the private sector.
She added that the IGF is an intergovernmental space of the United Nations where various conversations between different actors, such as businesses linked to technological development, governments and others counterparts such as the media, researches, etc can take place.
However, Anriette Esterhoysen considers that in this meeting a classifications of participants took place by using identifications that distinguish those from governments, civil society, businesses, which in essence shows the power of each one.
Another obstacle pointed out by activist Magaly Pazello, is the presence of more organizations, participants and panelists of the north, who are more articulate and have more resources for their preparation, as opposed of those from the south, which expresses inequality during the participation and expression of perspectives. She also pointed out the absence of women at the panels and the lack of gender equality during the development of the II IGF.
Dinamic coalition of gender conforms at the igf
Diverse women organizations, academics and activists conformed during the II IGF the Dinamic Coalition of Gender to guarantee women participation in the construction and conceptualism of Internet gobernance.
of the objectives are:
India, Senegal, Brasil,
Ecuador, Costa Rica, Chile, New Zeland, Argentina, Uruguay, Pakistan,
Czech Republic, among other countries, this initiative hopes to obtain
achievements at the next Internet Gobernance Forum to take place
in New Delhi in 2008.
may use the images, text and audios citing FIRE as source.
Source: Feminist International Radio Endeavour/www.radiofeminista.net