January 22, 2015 – The Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA) is pleased to announce our new partnership with the World Wide Web Foundation. “Women’s Rights Online” is a global research and advocacy initiative on women’s empowerment and the web, sponsored by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Why is this new project needed:

Women and girls are being excluded online. It is estimated that 25% fewer women and girls use the Web in developing countries, with this gap widening to 45% in sub-Saharan Africa. Almost 40% of the Philippine population are online. Women account for about 50% of social media usage in the Philippines.

Even though the Internet enables women to exercise freedoms of expression and association, censorship, surveillance and violence and harassment against women perpetuate online. Many have recognised the need for change, with the ITU Broadband Commission Working Group on Broadband and Gender calling on policy makers to integrate gender and national ICT broadband policies, and to initiate action plans to achieve gender equality in access to broadband.

What we’re doing to drive change:

We’re highlighting the key challenges and opportunities for women’s empowerment through the web through primary research. Already, we’re collaborating on a 10-country survey which will shed new light on vital areas such as how urban poor women are using the Web across the world. The research is taking place in 10 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America (Kenya, Uganda, Mozambique, Nigeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Colombia, India, the Philippines and Indonesia).

Second, we’ll develop workable solutions. By combining fresh insights with proven techniques, we’ll make policy recommendations tailored to countries and regions.

Third, we’ll advocate. We’ll target politicians, policy makers and influencers directly – through engagement events, workshops and roundtables. We’ll use the Web and the media to amplify our messages. And we’ll tell personal stories from real women around the world to make the importance of these issues come to life.

Digital Rights are Women’s Rights

We must ensure the digital revolution is a revolution for women and girls. Women must be able to participate fully online, with their rights respected and enhanced through the web. Join us in supporting #womensrightsonline


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