Case Study X. Modemmujer - ICT literacy and women’s citizen participation in Mexico

Modemmujer is an NGO in Mexico that strategically uses ICTs to train and sensitize people about subjects of gender inequality. Modemmujer provides basic ICT literacy through workshops, online courses and CDs. It combines ICT literacy with information on gender (e.g., combatting female stereotypes), citizen participation (e.g. the exercise of fundamental rights), and how to access and request public information. Modemmujer´s workshops feature collaboration by local governments and other NGOs. Since 2004, these workshops have been conducted in schools, cybercafés or ICT community centers.

Inputs

  • Modemmujer works with local civil society organizations and local government institutions.
  • Multimedia content and workshops are designed with the target audience in mind, using simple and straightforward language. Workshop participants receive a CD that can be used to replicate the workshop in their communities.
  • Workshops are held in schools, cybercafés or ICT community centers.
  • Funding has mainly come from the public budget of the National Social Development Institute (Instituto Nacional de Desarrollo Social). Modemmujer has to apply for this funding annually. Also, it has also received some private funding for certain projects (e.g. Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung).
  • Modemmujer is in contact with other womens' issue networks and is part of the Mexican feminist movement. This has helped it to identify which women should participate in their workshops.
  • For the workshops, Modemmujer employs trainers with different professional backgrounds (e.g. in computer science, design and communications) who are involved in activities related to women’s empowerment through ICTs.

Process

  • Modemmujer has conducted several presentational workshops for women leaders in rural areas.1
  • ICT literacy by Modemmujer includes training courses in the different elements of a computer and how they are used (e.g. a monitor, mouse, keyboards, how to turn the processor and monitor on and off, etc.)
  • The Modemmujer website provides information on gender, sexual diversity and the right to a life free of violence.
  • The workshops have included presentations by the organizers, readings by participants, interactive games, and practical computer exercises to learn how to use computers and to access the Internet.2
  • The organizers have used examples of situations faced by the participants in their daily lives and in the activities of their communities and organizations, as well as highlighting the importance of women participating in politics, accessing public information and strategically using ICTs.3

Outcomes
Rural women leaders that attended Modemmujer workshops learned:

  • Basic ICT skills.
  • The importance of women’s participation in politics, and their access to public information through ICTs.4
  • How to use the Internet to request public information from the government.5

1Modemmujer worked together with local civil society organizations and local government institutions to contact these rural women leaders. Participants were women of civil society organizations from a wide range of areas, including those that work to protect women from violence, that foster food production projects, that assist girls with malnutrition, and traditional medicine.

2See modemmujer.org/monitoreo.

3See www.modemmujer.org/mujerrural/animacion.htm

4See www.modemmujer.org/mujerrural/animacion.htm

5Women that attended the workshops were impressed of their ability to request governmental information through the Internet. They requested a wide range of information such as regarding public budget for women issues, scholarships, information on how government spends money, etc.