1999 Asian Women's Electronic Network Training Workshop



Asian Women's Resource Exchange successfully hold 1999 Asian 
Women's Electronic Network Training Workshop in Seoul, Korea

by Mylene Soto and Chat Garcia Ramilo

source: http://www.isiswomen.org/ict/1999/com00009.html
related URL: http://www.jca.apc.org/aworc/went99/

Twenty three participants from national and regional women's 
organizations in Asia came together for the first Women's 
Electronic Network Training Workshop (WENT'99) on June 21-26, 
1999. WENT 99 was designed to "train participants on basic 
website development tools and other Internet-based group 
communication so that women's organizations may effectively use 
the technology to exchange and disseminate information on the 5-
year review of the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action 
(BPFA)." 

The training workshop was hosted by the Asia Pacific Women's 
Information Network (APWIN), a center specializing in training 
women in information technology based at the Sookmyung 
Women's University. WENT 99 was held at the university's campus 
in Seoul, Korea. Sookmyung University President Dr. Kyungsook 
Lee has been appointed as the UNESCO Chairholder in 
Communication and Technology for Women in the Asia and
Pacific regions from June 1998 to June 2001. 

The WENT 99 graduates were women from Cambodia, India, 
Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan and Thailand. 
Five of them represented regional women's organizations based in 
Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. Two other participants were 
from regional intergovernmental bodies. 

The training sessions focused on using and setting up group 
communications, web authoring, searching and organising 
information on women for the Web. Trainees were given a briefing 
about the global and regional Beijing +5 review process and 
activities to provide the training context. For five days, women 
collectively learned to build websites and to use mailing lists. At 
the end of the training, the participants came up with a website 
group project. The final output were 5 websites tackling issues 
along the 12 critical areas of concern of the BPFA. The titles of the 
websites captures what they are about. Asian Women [HAND-IN-
HAND] Against Violence featured information on women's human 
rights and violence against women. Voices of Women in Asia-
Pacific Region linked regional information on the review process. 
The Mango Stickey Rice's Domestic Violence Web Site, which 
was voted as the best website by the trainees, provided a 
comprehensive coverage of domestic violence from definition, 
resources, action and links to services. The Global Campaign 
2000: Honor and Justice to Comfort Women was dedicated to the 
December 2000 Tokyo Tribunal on Japan's military sexual slavery. 
Women in the Himalayan Ecosystem, jointly created by trainees 
from India and Mongolia, highlighted the critical environmental 
issues for women living in the Himalayas. 

All of the participants planned to use the skills and information they 
acquired from the training in their organizations' general information 
work and specific Beijing review activities. 

Technical skills were not the only learning that the trainees brought 
home with them however. In those five days, the participants 
shared experiences and developed a camaraderie that has gone 
beyond the Seoul workshop. The words of two of the trainees 
echoes the collective sentiment of the group. 

"Thank you very much for the friendships and support. I feel a real 
women's network among Went'99 participants. Women's network, 
it's my dream". Reiko Aoki of the Asia Japan Women's Resource 
Center. 

"This sort of personal sketches of our short time together are 
treasures of the human side that, interestingly, rose above anything 
else in our Seoul's supposedly techno-laden workshop. In the final 
analysis, my greatest lesson was that it is the human side of IT 
(Information Technology) that connects, the rest (technology et al) 
just gets connected along". -Nani Buntarian, moderator of 
"Perempuan" the first and biggest women's mailing list in Indonesia 

The WENT'99 training team was a multicultural and multilingual 
team composed of women from Asia Pacific Women's Information 
Network Center (APWINC), JCA-NET, Association for Progressive 
Communications-Women's Networking Support Programme(APC-
WNSP), Women's Information and Research Centre(WIRC)-
Mongolia, and Isis International-Manila. 

WENT 99 was organized by the Asian Women's Resource 
Exchange (AWORC), an Internet-based women's information 
service and network in Asia. AWORC develops cooperative 
approaches and partnerships in increasing access to and exploring 
applications of new information and communication technologies 
(ICT) for women's empowerment. It also expands existing regional 
networks in the women's movement, promotes electronic resource 
sharing and builds a regional information service to support 
women's advocacies, specifically those critical for women in Asia. 

WENT 99 is the first in a series of technical training workshops on 
website construction to support the global review of the 
implementation of the BPFA. An African women website building 
workshop is scheduled to take place from September 6 to 10, 1999 
in Johannesburg. This initiative is being implemented by SangoNet, 
Association for Proegressive Communciation (APC) partner in 
South Africa, on behalf of APC-Africa-Women, the regional network 
for Africa APC's Women Programme. 

On a global scale, the WomenAction network is organizing a 
workshop designed to build a global electronic network for the 
Beijing review will bring together women's organizations from 
various regions for a six day training and strategizing session. This 
global workshop will also be held at the Sookmyung Women's 
Unvierity from September 27 to October 2, 1999. WomenAction is 
a 16 member coalition that is launching a global network of 
websites to share information and track progress on the 1995 UN 
Fourth World Conference on Women. AWORC is a member of 
WomenAction. 

WENT 99 generated a lot of interest in the region, with a total of 40 
women applying to be included in training workshop. All WENT 99 
trainees are now part of an information network Asia for the Beijing 
review. The success of the course has prompted AWORC to 
seriously consider organizing another training next year. So, look 
out for WENT 2000! 

*This trailblazing initiative of AWORC was supported financially by 
Japan Foundation Asia Center, United Nations Development Fund 
for Women (UNIFEM) New York Office, East and South East Asia 
and South Asia Regional Offices, and Mama Cash. 

* Documentation of WENT'99 can be accessed from:
http://www.jca.apc.org/aworc/went99/

* Chat Garcia is manager of Isis Manila's Resource Center and 
Information Program. She is also coordinator of the Asian Women's 
Resource Exchange. 

* Mylene who also works in Isis Manila was one of the 21 
graduates of WENT'99.

=================================================
Copyright  1999 Isis International-Manila. Permission is hereby 
granted to use this document for personal use and for training and 
education activites of women's organizations provided that the 
article is used in full, the author and publisher are cited, and this 
copyright statement is produced. Permission is also given to mirror 
this document on WWW servers.

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