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Longwe Framework for Gender Analysis
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Understanding GEM: Gender Evaluation Methodology for Internet and ICTs promoting social change and gender justice.
by Sara Hlupekile Longwe
It expounds on a framework using gender analysis developed by Sara Hlupekile Longwe, a gender expert from Lusaka, Zambia. It argues that women's empowerment can be achieved by enabling women to wrest control on the factors of production, allowing them to equally participate in the development process of an activity or a project. (For purposes of this manual, we edited Longwe's paper.) Longwe is a grassroots organiser, critic and author of the "Longwe Framework for Gender Analysis. She has pioneered the use of international human rights laws in the fight for women's rights in domestic courts. Since her first battle with the Zambia government as a young secondary school teacher for her maternity leave, Longwe has become a prime mover in a lobby group that successfully pushed the government to introduce, in 1974, a provision for maternity leave in the teaching service.
Sara Longwe of Zambia is a lawyer, grassroots mobiliser, critic and author of the "Longwe Framework for Gender Analysis.
Ms. Longwe serves as chairperson of FEMNET, the African Women's Development and Communications Network that aims to strengthen the role and contribution of NGOs focusing on women's development, equality, and rights and to provide an infrastructure for information and empowerment.
apcwomen | Feminist Mix With A Tech Fix
Sara Hlupekile Longwe is a Zambian, a grassroots mobiliser, critic and author of the Longwe Framework for Gender Analysis.
She has contributed greatly towards the women's movement in Africa, as well as to the feminist movement globally. She sees herself as a radical feminist activist and she believes that ICTs can be used to win gender struggles in Africa. "The majority of the population in the rural areas are women and they have a smaller chance of having access to new technologies. Looking at Africa, ICTs can be used to fight these technology-related gender imbalances," said Sara in an interview with ENAWA in December 2003. One of the gender and ICT issues that Sara considers important is that of infrastructure that contributes to the huge gender gap existing in access to communication in Africa. If the technology is not available it cannot be used. She was recently awarded the 2003 Africa Prize for Leadership. This annual award of the Hunger Project recognizes the "vital importance of emerging women's leadership for a new future for Africa". Her articles and gender framework were read worldwide once e-mail and websites started being used for feminist activism. "Without these new technologies I could not have been picked for the Hunger Project award since people could not see my work for themselves," Sara observed. Sara has been rooted in the struggle for gender justice for many years. In 1984, she was a founding member of the Zambia Association for Research and Development (ZARD), which was instrumental in pushing the government to ratify the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). Sara is involved in many communication initiatives that recognise the importance of ICTs for improving the lives of women in Africa. For six years, she was chair of FEMNET, the African Women's Development and Communications Network. Established in 1988, FEMNET aims to strengthen the role and contribution of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) focusing on women's development, equality and rights, and to provide an infrastructure for information and empowerment. Sara was also a prime force behind the Flame network of African sisters online committed to strengthening the capacity of women through the use of ICTs to lobby, advocate and participate in the Beijing +5 process regionally and globally. Nowadays, Sara is part of a recently-formed network called GRACE - Gender Research in Africa on ICTs for Empowerment. This project will explore the question of how the lives of African women are being transformed by the use and appropriation of ICTs. On a voluntary basis Sara coordinates the Southern Africa Social Forum, which held its first event in Lusaka, November 2003. Significantly, Sara mobilised the event solely through e-mails and a temporary website created with the assistance of the local chapter of One World (http://earth.hosting.com/sasf2003). This year Sara will be at the centre of the coordination of the Third African Social Forum to be hosted in Zambia, December 2004. One of the sub-themes will be African feminist perspectives. For the past four years Sara has been part of an international feminists dialogue that has been held at the World Social Forum, thanks to the fact that its main mobilising tool has been internet (e-mails, online-chats and websites). "All communication facilities cost money and this is expensive in Africa. Operating from the business centres is expensive and when it involves paying for information access, women are less likely to be able to pay. I have access at my home and in my office. This has helped me manage to publicise my work. Sara believes it is crucial to make positive efforts and provide the necessary support to document the history of women using ICTs. She observes that local content on African women is missing. She encourages all efforts underway to document the experiences and realities of women in every region. PULA salutes the work of Sara Hlupekile Longwe.
Women's Human Rights | APC WNSP | Women's Networking Support Program
Profile of an ICT Champion: Sara Hlupekile Longwe
Sara Hlupekile Longwe is a Zambian, a grassroots mobiliser, critic and author of the Longwe Framework for Gender Analysis. She has contributed greatly towards the women's movement in Africa, as well as to the feminist movement globally. She sees herself as a radical feminist activist and she believes that ICTs can be used to win gender struggles in Africa.
Women's Human Rights | apcwomen
Profile of an ICT Champion: Sara Hlupekile Longwe Sara Hlupekile LongweSara Hlupekile Longwe is a Zambian, a grassroots mobiliser, critic and author of the Longwe Framework for Gender Analysis.She has contributed greatly towards the women's movement in Africa, as well as to the feminist movement globally.She sees herself as a radical feminist activist and she believes that ICTs can be used to win gender struggles in Africa.Read more