Gras sroots Charter for WSIS II PrepComII

Palais des Nations, Geneva, February 17-25, 2005

The Grassroots Women’ Delegation representing civil society organisations* in India that are part of the OneWorld South Asia (OWSA) network, present the following recommendations as their Grassroots Charter for WSIS II PrepComII





Representation of grassroots in WSIS Process

To ensure that the views, needs and concerns of the grassroots are adequately represented and reflected in the WSIS processes and outcomes, a Grassroots Caucus should be created for the PrepComII.


The existing caucuses should include two representatives each from the grassroots and one of these should be a woman. This is key to creating two way communication and awareness among the vast mass of rural and urban poor of the issues linked to WSIS.



ICTs to include other technologies as well

The Information Society charter should take a broader definition of ICTs than at present. In addition to Internet and computer, other technologies, such as community radio, video, phones/mobiles and wireless should be given equal importance, as they are more accessible to the poor.



Local languages for Internet and communication

Information and communication in local languages on the Internet should be given top priority so as to enable the people to access information in their local languages. They have a right to access this information available on the Net and elsewhere for their use.



Financial Mechanisms should be guided by local ownership and control

Any financial mechanism to finance ICT4D should take into account the local ownership and control of ICT4D initiatives. Local communities and governments and private sector should finance these initiatives and outside funding should be confined to specific areas of support and expertise such as training and capacity building. This will ensure that the funding from outside does not come with control and the local people own the process.



Equal opportunity for Women

Women, who have traditionally been on the fringes of the technology and its use, should be at the center stage of the Information Society and ICT4D initiatives.


The OWSA partner organisations include Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), M.S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), Rural Litigation and Entitlements Centre (RLEK), Prerana and Drishtee Foundation.

Speaker: Ms.P Pakkialatchoumy