Conferences and Meetings

Conferences and Meetings

The Pan-Arab Regional Conference on World Summit on Information Society

The Pan-Arab Regional Conference
on  World Summit on Information Society
Cairo, 16th -18th June 2003

Prepared by: Hamsa Abd El-Hamid Genedy

In the course of developments and progress the world faces in knowledge revolution and Information technology, the contemporary mass media has become a necessity to follow up every events at once. Also the electronic revolution has its continuous impacts in all aspects of life like the societal, economical, political, other fields.

The WSIS aims at establishing information society in order to provide opportunities of progress and developments for states and societies. As information and knowledge form the main basis of this summit, therefore, it is very important to engender its agenda.

Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization (AAPSO) participated at the 47th Session of the “Commission on the Status of Women” at the UN in March 2003. One of its themes was on providing access and participation of women in mass media, information and communication technology, and their impact and use as an instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women. Participants agreed on the importance of measuring what women could really achieved of “Beijing resolutions” and “Millennium Development Goals”. It was noticeable the lackness of women’s usages of information and media tools. Also participants agreed on the requirement of integrate “Beijing resolutions” with “WSIS” to empower women and to achieve gender justice. They emphasized on the active participation of civil society institutions and on the coordination between them and the governmental organizations, specialized agencies and private sector to increase women’s use of communications technologies. Changing the routine image of women in media should be guaranteed and to be replaced by a balanced and parallel  image of men.

The civil society institutions have to analyze the present status of women and men using information and technology in all fields. Then to determine obstacles stand against their participation in the information society either economical, political or societal obstacles. Presenting alternatives guarantee gender in technology and information is a must for helping both women and men.

Arab Preparatory Conference to this international summit aims at approaching Arab Women together by paying attention to their similar and different aspects. AAPSO calls upon them to take the following into account:

   1. The necessity of engendering the policy and programs of this summit.
   2. Support researches into all aspects of the impact of media and technology on women. And to review the existing media whether its programs support women or not.
   3. Provide equal opportunities for women and men in information technology- based on economic activities, as well as directing them with the latest knowledge and information means.
  4.  Respect the privacy of societies in spite of information and knowledge globalization.
  5.  Take effective measures, which guarantee the freedom of expression.
  6.  The message of media should be directed to eliminate violence against women rather than accusing her for any guilt in society. Media should highlight the humanity and civilized aspects of women.
  7.  Dedicate programs to know the needs of people and to handle its results to media policy-makers.
  8.  Use TV serials that attract a large number of viewers from all classes of socities to change their bad habits and traditions by new studied and aimed ones for the enhancement of women.

Finally, AAPSO asks those working on the preparation of the international summit to use all previous Human Rights Conventions and the next Millennium Development Goals as a framework to ensure the basic necessity of both sexes. In addition, AAPSO calls on the necessity of the WSIS resolutions to be integrated and addressing gender dimensions, not addressing women as her own sex only.