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Conference on Asian Women

The 14th Kitakyushu Conference on Asian Women(’03 KFAW)

KFAW held “14th. Kitakyushu Conference on Asian Women” on 12/10/2003.

Our societies are experiencing great changes in the realm of information communication as we are flooded with a wealth of information brought to us by newly developed communication technologies. How can we utilize these Information and Communication Technologies for the empowerment of women? When considered from the standpoint of gender equality, what possibilities and challenges do advancements in Information and Communication Technologies hold? Is the spread of these technologies being carried out in a way that gives women equal access? With gender as our starting point, we will analyze the issues related to Information and Communication Technologies at the local, national, and global levels. We will also discuss challenges posed to the empowerment of women and prospects for the future.
In December 2003, the United Nations and the International Telecommunication Union will be holding the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva. Preparatory meetings for the summit are underway, and we will set our sights on the possibility of connecting the Kitakyushu region with these international conferences.
Please note that we use the term “Information and Communication Technologies” (ICTs) to refer not only to the latest in technologies but also to include more traditional means of communication as well as things such as the mass media that target the public at large.

  • Topic: Women’s Empowerment and ICT (Information and Communication Technology)
    We will analyze information, communication, and technology from a gender-based perspective. We will also discuss how to acquire and utilize the communications capabilities that are necessary for the empowerment of women and propose goals to be attained by doing so.
  • Organizer: Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women
  • Date: Sunday, October 12, 2003
  • Venue: Kitakyushu Gender Equality Center “MOVE” Large Hall, others
  • Program: (Simultaneous Translation)
    Keynote Discussion 10:30 am -12:30 pm
    Breakaway Sessions 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

  1. Empowerment through Improved Information Communication Literacy
  2. Women’s Empowerment through Networking
  3. Economic Empowerment for Women through Information and Communication Technologies

    Plenary Session 4:15 pm ~ 5:00 pm

  • Panelist: Ms Susanna George ; Executive Director, Isis International Manila
    Ms Kio Chung Kim ; Executive Director, Asian Pacific Women’s Information Network Center (APWINC)
    Ms Nazneen Sultana ; Managing Director, Grameen Communications (Village Telephone Project, Village Computer and Internet Project)
    Ms Hiroko Hara ; Professor, The University of Air (KFAW Chairperson)
    Ms Yasuko Muramatsu ; Professor, Tokyo Gakugei University
    Ms Chika Sekine ; President, Universal design Research Institute on Information
    Ms Keiko Higuchi ; Critic
    Ms Yoshiko Haga ; Representative, Committee for Education on Child Sexual Awareness and Wellbeing/ CESA
    Mr Ikuo Murakami ; Representative, Pasobora (Personal Computer Support Volunteer) Network in Kitakyushu
    Ms Michiyo Shimaru ; President, With Corporation. LTD (SOHO Worker)
  • Admission Free
  • Concurrent Events
    Workshops (organized by local citizens) October 12 (Sunday)
    Asian Bazaar (organized by local citizens) October11 (Saturday), 12 (Sunday)
    Asian Cinema October 8-9 (Wed-Thu)
    Pre-event showing of Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s Kandehar
    Pre-event showing of Rory B. Quintos’s Anak
    Ms Yoshino Oishi Photo Exhibition October 8-12 (Wed-Sun)
  • Related Events
    Kitakyushu Forum on Asian Women 10th Anniversary Event of Foundation establishment

Recommendations (PDF file: 22KB)

The 14th Kitakyushu Conference on Asian Women
“Women’s Empowerment and ICT (Information and Communication Technologies)”

We envision an information society in which all its members, women and men regardless of age, socio-economic or political status, and abilities/disabilities, can disseminate, access, and share information and communicate as equal actors in the development of their societies. Equal and just society is possible only when people’s rights to communication, information and development are guaranteed as human rights.
The participants in the 14th Kitakyushu Conference on Asian Women discussed the issue that ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) has the potential to become an opportunity for the empowerment of women, but that various problems must be resolved in order for this to occur.
Among many benefits of ICT is that it facilitates the participation in public communication of women and marginalized people and communities. It also increases networking and contributes to the social and political empowerment of women. Furthermore, new ICT creates new jobs and opens possibilities for new working styles and new forms of entrepreneurship, thereby accelerating the potential for women’s economic empowerment. New ICT also has great potential in enhancing processes of democratization and strengthening freedom of expression.
On the other hand, access to ICT greatly differs between nations, ethnic groups, rural and urban, women and men, amongst ages, different abilities and as a result of other socio-political factors. If this situation remains unaddressed, it could further exacerbate existing social, political, economic, and cultural gaps amongst people and amongst nations. Moreover, attention must be given to the misuse of ICT, in that it may be used to expand commercialization of sex, including pornography, as well as women’s and children’s trafficking worldwide, both of which violate women’s and children’s human rights. ICT has also enhanced the possibility of surveillance and has been an adverse tool in increased militarism globally. However, attempts to codify and control the use of the Internet must not be at the expense of fundamental human rights and freedoms, and the pursuit of peace.
Following these discussions, the participants made the following recommendations for the current and future generations regarding the information society:
1. We should pursue an information society that is based on the principle that the human rights of all people be recognized, respected, and promoted.
2. Citizens and NGOs, central and local governments, international organizations, and ICT-related industries should all make efforts to eliminate the digital divide that exists between nations, ethnic groups, rural and urban, women and men, and between people of all ages, different abilities, and other socio-political factors. Moreover, efforts must be made to ensure that people who are unable to effectively access ICT be engaged in all aspects of social, economic, and political life.
3. Improved information and communication literacy should include not only technical aspects of ICT, but more importantly, critical thinking on the information received, to be able to discern socio-political and cultural implications of information, media, and communication channels. Education on human rights, including women’s human rights and children’s rights, is also a fundamental element of increased information and communication literacy.
4. By assuming the role of key actors in this new information society, we should work to improve information and communication literacy and ensure that ICT is made available and used in ways that enhance gender equality, the pursuit of social justice and peace, and the empowerment of women.

October 12, 2003
All Participants
The 14th Kitakyushu Conference on Asian Women

About Concurrent Events
  • Asian Bazaar
    KFAW held the Asian Bazaar 10/11-12/03 on Kitakyushu Gender Equality Center “MOVE” 1F.
    Admission Free
  • Asian Cinema
    We screen “Kandehar” from 6:30pm 10/08/03 on Kitakyushu Gender Equality Center “MOVE” Large Hall
    “Anak” from 6:30pm 10/09/03 on Kitakyushu Gender Equality Center “MOVE” Large Hall. Tickets will be sold on the day of screening.
    Admission 500yen (Single); 800yen (Pair)
    * Holders of Pair tickets can both see or can see the two films.
  • Ms. Yoshino Oishi Photo Exhibition
    KFAW held Photographic Exhibition 10/08-12/03 on Kitakyushu Gender Equality Center “MOVE” 1F.
    Admission Free