In March 2008, The Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (Spider) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) gender help desk organized a workshop on gender, ICT and development. The aim of the workshop was to get an overview of actors and activities in Sweden in the area of ICT, development and gender. The workshop focused on areas where ICT could promote and create equality between men and women. Other points raised were how to empower women through ICT because women cannot achieve equality if they continue to have limited or no access to information and communication.
A crucial outcome of this workshop was a call for applications to Spider’s Swedish partner universities to submit concepts that would address gender, ICT and development. The Swedish partner universities were encouraged to collaborate with partners in developing regions. In addition, co-funding partnerships with other development aid organizations focusing on the same objective were explored with much success. The result was a number of projects that sought to empower women in the global south through the use of ICT.
There are several initiatives that focus on addressing the access and use gaps between men and women; much can be learned from the different approaches to gender and overall ICT for development (ICT4D) outcomes. This publication contributes to on-going work in gender and ICT4D. An account of the Spider supported projects is given, along with a gender analysis
of lessons learned.