The WOWEM Team

January 8, 2016 by  
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Joan Kerr

As a skilled business woman, a serial entrepreneur with more than 30 years of managing, operating and innovating, while founding several not for profit organizations and philanthropic initiatives. Her business acumen, dedication to sustainable development principles, collaboration, and a flair for creativity have led her to achieved her goals thus far. An eternal optimist, whose infectious enthusiasm inspires and motivates her clients and colleagues.

Stacy Gildenston

For over two decades, Stacy Gildenston, M.A., has produced media for clients across universities, Fortune 100 corporations, national and tribal governments, and not for profits. She’s been interviewed as an expert in both Linux and virtual realities by the BBC, CNN, and Discovery Television Networks, as well as has spoken worldwide, including at a United Nations conference in Geneva, and at a ‘surprise’ press conference with the Vice President of Peru. She specialises in creative development around technology and education and is making robots with young girls.

Lady Murrugarra

I have the expertise as coordinator of Telemedicine / Telehealth, innovation and entrepreneurship. More 25 years in Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt. Lady have held the following positions:

  • Coordinator telemedicine and telehealth, actuallly
  • Webmaster Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, until 2014
  • Databases and Statistics until 2012
  • Criobank coordinator until 2013
  • Asociated Investigator. Instituto de Medicina Tropical Alexander von Humboldt, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia
  • Editor and Author, Book in ICT and AIDS for the schools.
  • Regional Coordinator. actually

WOWEM: Rises

March 12, 2015 by  
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In 2004, the WOWEM Project envisioned a civil society that cared about how Information, Communication Technologies (ICTs) could be used to promote equity, entrepreneurship and sustainable development.  A way to gage the specific struggles of women and how the community could respond through tecnological collaboration, empowerment and support with practical experience and hence woman’s intuitiveness and exceptional wisdom.

It gives us great pleasure in viewing this video, take a look.

It started in 2004 with a challenge!  How do we 1) find out how women faired in the IT world, and 2) what supports are needed to develop any skills, networks or marketplace to excel.  A simple ‘fact finding’ initiative.

The WOWEM Impact

Over 60 organizations across the globe shared, supported and offer wisdom to the members, resulting in achieving the United Nations Civil Society Award for the World Summit Awards Program.  The recognition for the ‘best in e-content & Creativity’

WSIS 2014

WSA Team

WSA Team

WSIS in Paris

Joan Kerr with Fadi Chehadi at WSIS 2014

Joan Kerr with Dorothy Gordon, Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT


WOWEM: History of vision & resilience

March 4, 2015 by  
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The Women’s Open World Empowerment Movement (WOWEM)

Open Source, gender equity, civil society engagement

Open Source, gender equity, civil society engagement


The WOWEM Project started in 2004 as an initiative to explore how women performed in the IT World and to encourage them to share stories of how they cope in the work atmosphere. It was a collaboration between Foundation for Building Sustainable Communities (FBSC), Lady Murrugarra of Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia  and Stacy Gildenston, formerly of Linux Professional Institute, now residing in Australia. The project focussed on encouraging women to share stories of struggle, resilience and wisdom.  To achieve this, we envisioned the following:

WSA graphic  Provide education to women who organize local community project

WSA graphic  Assist in setting up sustainable women-focused small businesses utilizing Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) as a tool

WSA graphic Promote market-ready products for international sales

WSA graphic  Utilizing profits for local enterprises led by the women including microloans by and from the women who earn them

WSA graphicEducation: topics to include organic farming, permaculture, health & wellness, making, arts.

WSA graphicDevelopment of online portfolios

WSA graphicUsing profits for both personal and community sustainable development

WSA graphicResearch of gender and F/OSS development around the world

WSA graphicEvaluating successes and failures

2004 Vision

A future ‘Marketplace’ to assist women in making dreams come true, by :
1.  Creating a Free and Open Source site to promote women who are making products wearing/using/displaying their work and telling their stories;

2.  Running beta test with products from Indonesia, Mexico, Palestine, Niger, Jamaica, and Peru; and

3.  Supporting a social enterprise to enhance the activities of the WOWEM Project and women around the world.

2005 – 2014

Because the project was embraced by civil society with such enthusiasm, the project won the UN World Summit Information Society (WSIS) Award digital content and creativity.
Following this tremendous acclamation, the site and domain name was hijacked for more than 7 years.  A blow to enhancing the participation and development of gender equity solutions from a local to global level.  It took much time to realign and re-establish the presence we achieved as the digital environment advanced.

2015 Onward: WOWEM, A Story of Resilience

After many attempts to revive the WOWEM Project, Stacy, Lady and Joan, the three original Founders of WOWEM, have come together to relaunch and engage women in digital world. Recognizing the dedication to support open source and gender equity with the shared vision to educate and collaborate, they have agreed to continue the contribution to the global success of WOWEM in the digital space once again.  As we move forward, the primary goal is to focus on learning by offering workshops that encourages designing and making, capturing the ‘Do It Yourself’ (DIY) spirit to advance the technical skills in the digital environment.

We look forward to our continued collaboration and success in the coming years

ICT, gender equity and WSIS

March 3, 2013 by  
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The World Summit on Information Society held in Paris France 

WSIS in Paris

Joan Kerr and Fadi Chehade, President and CEO of ICANN


Dorothy Gordon, Director, Kofi Anann Centre of Excellence

WSA Team

WSA Team

UN: A Foundation Built for Peace

October 24, 2012 by  
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On October 24th, 1945 delegates from around the world went to San Francisco to discuss an international peacekeeping organization.  That Organization is now known as the United Nations with its headquarters in New York City.  The world still sends representatives to meet and discuss world developments and collaborations to resolve conflict with long term results.  Although there have been many wars since the United Nations was founded, there has not been another World War. This was a great fear in the era of nuclear weapons and Super Powers, such as the United States and the former Soviet Union. Surely, just having a meeting place where people could talk instead of fight has helped to prevent a major war.  The United Nations also reminds us of the rights of the oppressed, the rights of women, and the rights of children. It is an organization that makes it possible for us to get into countries to feed the hungry and help the sick.


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