Women's Focus Group
September 30, 1999
Discussion Questions - Key Points Made
A key concern expressed was the reliance on volunteers to staff/manage CAP
sites/arrangements. Women are already stretched with volunteer work and a
program that will ultimately serve them but requires more of their
volunteer time may be unrealistic.
- Potential User community - Who are all the possible groups or
categories of women who currently do not have access?
- Poor women
- Housebound women
- Young women (high school +)
- Single mothers
- Women with physical and other disabilities
- Homeless women
- Women unaware of the benefits of the technology
- Those with active resistance to technology
- Those with fears around technology
- Unemployed women
- Underemployed women
- Workforce re-entry women (40+)
- Women in transition
- Women entrepreneurs
- Immigrant women
- EAL women
- Aboriginal women
- Black women
- Women volunteers
- Women activists
- Unskilled women
- "Rural" women of HRM - more isolated
What are the barriers to access? What are the particular IT needs
of women that are not currently being met?
- Training locations
- Bridging to the training
- Proximity to computers and then familiarity
- Support to get to training
- Skills needed for another project/interest
- No time
How might barriers be addressed?
- Find out what women's needs in general are not what their IT needs are and
work through them
- Relationship/familiarity with "computer helper/trainer"
- Women only training
- Self-help groups - women helping women
- Project or topic relevant training - leads to skills in computer/internet
What type of training/support do women need? Are their needs
different from other potential community users?
- Must meet needs
- Must be fun
- Need to know what the opportunities are - awareness of potential benefits
- Must meet needs of people who learn at different rates/speed
- Must use lay language - no techno babble
- Learn in "little pieces" - learn as you go
- Requires on-site support from volunteer/friend/mentor/trainer
- Must be hands on
- Time of day, child care and transportation must be addressed
- Online "women information" (e.g.: Webgrrls) meets needs of women
at higher knowledge level - those with keen interest not beginners
- Women need to know that CAP is:
- means or tool to getting more information and skills
- is a way to build community
- is a way to communicate
There are likely to be up to 30 access arrangements/sites in metro
HRM. Do you think there is a need for separate sites/arrangement for women
or do you think all sites need to be developed so that identified needs are
- See comments under #3 above
Where would you see the access being made available?
- Must be at places where women currently go naturally
- Must understand that schools/libraries are institutions of learning and may
not appeal to some of the target groups (environment too intimidating)
- Single parent/family resource centres
Who else do you think we need to consult with?
- People receiving service through service providers like single parent and
family resource centres
What are you thoughts about effective representation for women on
the Steering Committee?
- This question was not directly addressed due to time limitations. However,
several participants expressed interest in being on the committee.
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