Resources Section 3: Country-Specific Initiatives


The section on country-specific initiatives on gender and ICTs makes no attempt to be comprehensive. The projects have been selected in an effort to give examples of the variety of activities that are taking place around the globe. Individual modules in this toolkit contain details on many more country-level projects on gender and ICTs.

Country-specific initiatives

Brief description  

Association for Support and Assistance to Women Entrepreneurs (Association pour le soutien et l'appui 'agrave la femme entrepreneur), Cameroon


ASAFE has placed major emphasis on encouraging women entrepreneurs in Cameroon, including rural women operating agro-businesses to use ICTs to build their businesses. ASAFE was one of the first women's organizations in Africa to train its members in ICTs with specific application to business development (for example, training in ICT skills, including use of e-mail and Web surfing to locate possible business partners, and development of websites for marketing). ASAFE has acquired funds for a multistory building in Douala to serve as an ICT training center for women entrepreneurs in small, medium, and microenterprises and as an incubator to introduce ICTs to other women's organizations.

Datamation Foundation, VIMAL-SHREE, India

Datamation has developed an ICT strategy to support the "Save the Girl Child" campaign in India: an integrated ICT-led intervention to help sensitize the civil society including the government about the malaise of selective sex determination tests and abortions.

Digital Opportunities for Afghani Women

In December 2002, the Afghanistan's Women's Affairs Ministry opened its first computer training center to provide office productivity courses for Ministry staff and women at large.

Fantsuam Foundation, Nigeria


The Fantsuam Foundation in Nigeria has a project to improve healthcare and education, primarily for women, through shared access to ICT facilities. It conducts ICT training at community learning centers and mobile community telecenters in rural communities in the southern Kaduna area of Nigeria, using alternative power sources for the computers. The project aims to support rural communities in setting up their own community learning centers. It uses a mixture of new and traditional ICTs (Internet, Intranet, radio and books), with a focus on delivering health care information requested by rural women. A van visits rural communities on market days, training young girls.

Plan for National ICT Infrastructure Development, Guinea


Guinea is one of a handful of African countries with a national ICT policy that covers the inclusion of gender issues. It sees the importance of the full inclusion of gender issues for participatory, equitable human development. The national women's organizations and Guinean civil society are mandated to be involved in implementing the plan.


Inter-city Marketing Network for Women Micro-entrepreneurs, India

The Inter-City Marketing Network for Women Micro-entrepreneurs, being implemented by the Foundation for Occupational Development (FOOD) in rural Tamilnadu, India, is a project of infoDev, a multidonor initiative administered by the World Bank Group that promotes the use of ICTs for women's economic empowerment. Under the project community-based organizations in 100 villages are linked to a network by cellular phones. Members of the organizations are women who use the phones to market their products, determine demand and target the production to meet demand within the cellphone network. An evaluation is currently assessing the extent to which women and their families increased their income under the project.  

Project Rural Women, Senegal

The Senegalese telephone company Sonatel and Manobi, a French company, have provided rural women agricultural producers in Senegal with cellular phones with access to the Internet to help them get information about market prices of their inputs for their food-processing activities and for their produce.  

Santa Catarina Multipurpose Community Telecenter (Cape Verde)

A project of ITU and the Government of Cape Verde, the telecenter is run and operated by women, to serve students and women. It has begun e-commerce activities, and an evaluation of the impact on women in underway.

Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA)


Founded in Ahmedabad, India, in 1972, the Self-Employed Women's Association came into existence as a union of women working in the informal sector. In the last several years, SEWA has begun a series of activities to introduce ICTs to its quarter of a million members. It has trained poor women to use video cameras and audiovisual equipment. A team of SEWA women is now producing videos as a tool for learning, education, development, and policy action (

SEWA sees ICTs as a tool to increase the efficiency of microlevel rural enterprise activities in order to secure poor women's livelihood. Among SEWA's uses of ICT are:

  • Setting up communication centers that provide e-mail and Internet connections, satellite phones and very small aperture terminal (VSAT/a ground station) equipment to mitigate disasters (e.g. earthquakes, drought)
  • Designing customized software and training in local languages for poor, illiterate women to run their micro enterprises.
  • Training members as well as their children and youth in ICT use
  • Establishing an ICT-based "life education program" to increase literacy
  • Connecting members to global markets through e-business (through the SEWA Trade Facilitation Centre)

SEWA has also developed Technology Information Centres- distance-learning classrooms, to provide training to their "barefoot managers," build capacity of their women organizers and leaders and strengthen the microenterprises of their members.  

Sookmyung Women's University Republic of Korea

Korea's first private college for women, established in 1906, has excelled in computer education for young women since 1987. The entire campus is a highly advanced technological facility, featuring wireless networks. Computer-assisted teaching is used in all disciplines. Graduates of the major in Computer Science and holders of postgraduate degrees in Information and Communication are prized throughout the country.

Using ICT for Women's Economic Empowerment, Korea

Between 2000 and 2001 the Ministry of Education and Communication trained one million housewives in computer and Internet use. The Ministry of Labor runs computer training for unemployed women, especially those who are heads of households; and the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development has a project to enhance ICT skills of girl students from elementary through high school.

The Ministry of Gender Equality has organized programs at 12 Korean universities for women who want to work in e-business or to start Small Office-Home Office (SOHO) businesses. APWINC at Sookmyung University trains women to work in ICTs, including as freelancers and in their own businesses.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry encourages the use of ICTs by women farmers through on-site and mobile computer education and technical support services. Real-time information on market prices is posted on the web. The website also operates a shopping mall for agricultural products. Technical assistance is available to farmers in building personal websites.

Developed by the Kyonggi Women's Development Center in 1998, the Kyonggi Province Programme for women ICT professionals (http:/// provides training and lifelong education for women tailored to the different stages of women's lives. Unemployed women, women heads of households and handicapped women who want to enter the work force are trained in business incubation and capacity building (including gender training). About 600 women have completed the 10-12 month course as ICT specialists, of which nearly  two-thirds have either found employment or started their own businesses. The course makes numerous accommodations to meet women's needs and accommodate their daily schedules.


Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET)


WOUGNET is a nongovernmental organization started in 2000 by several women's organizations in Uganda to develop the use of ICTs among women as tools to share information and address issues collectively. Its website contains excellent links to information sources on women in developing countries. Although it emphasizes Internet technologies, WOUGNET is also interested in integrating these technologies with traditional means of information exchange and dissemination. WOUGNET provides an electronic discussion list for the exchange of ideas and information among subscribers; a website to profile women organizations in Uganda and to provide exposure to their activities; a monthly newsletter of national and international activities; and information and support on how to maximize the potential of ICTs within women organizations. WOUGNET also works closely with the WSIS Gender Caucus, serving as its electronic secretariat.

Women and Family Development Ministry's Gender Equity in ICT, Malaysia


The Ministry has started a project to set up ICT facilities at all its women's service centers nationwide. The centers will provide free computer access and training services to women to address the gender digital divide. A group of Malaysian government ministries also provides loans and grants for women entrepreneurs in ICTs in order to increase women's participation in the industry.

Women Operated and Managed Telecenters, Niger

Coordinated by SONITEL, local women's centers are operating two telecenters in Niger, with plans to start three others. The telecenters provide basic telecommunication services, telephone, facsimile, and Internet, and training in the operation of equipment and services.