|Women Encounter Technology: Changing Patterns of Employment in the Third World (UNU, 1995, 356 p.)|
We should like to acknowledge a number of debts. First of all to Judy Wajcman whose book Feminism Confronts Technology ( 1991) inspired the title of our own. We wanted to pay homage to her contribution and, at the same time, wished to highlight our differences. The essays in this book bear testimony to the fact that the relationship between women and technology is not always, or necessarily, confrontational.
We are immensely grateful to our contributors who, in the midst of their many other professional commitments, produced on time the papers for the workshop 'Information Technology and Women's Employment'. The papers submitted for the workshop, which took place on 26-29 April 1993, were subsequently edited to provide the material for this book.
Professor Peter Dronke of Cambridge University generously spared his time to go through most of the papers and gave suggestions as to how to avoid making too many alterations to the writing of the non-English-speaking contributors, in order to retain their individual style as well as clarity.
Jane Williams, of UNU/INTECH, has made a significant contribution to the book by liaising with the contributors on the one hand and with the publisher on the other. Without her shared excitement, we could not have completed the editing work so swiftly.
We also take this opportunity to thank Sen McGlinn for his superb copyediting. His commitment to perfection, in the case of language as well as in the citation of references and tables, has made it possible for the publisher to meet the deadline without agony.
Professor Charles Cooper, Director of UNU/INTECH, has been a pillar of strength in lending us all possible encouragement and financial support for reducing the labour involved in preparing the manuscript. It was heartening to know that he shared our conviction that a gender focus was essential for formulating appropriate technology policies.
Some of my other colleagues, inside and outside the Institute, likewise deserve a special mention. Dr RenPittin, of the Institute of Social Studies at the Hague, gave valuable comments on the papers as a discussant at the workshop. Rohini Banaji offered useful reflections on the Slovenian paper. The paper was read by Miriam Pandel in the absence of Maja Bucar, who could not travel to Maastricht at the last stage of her pregnancy. We are grateful to Anneke van Luijken of IRENE (International Restructuring Education Network Europe), who provided a critique of the paper by Cecilia Ng and Carol Yong. Irene Santiago, from UNIFEM, New York, provided her expertise and advice in shaping the book. As a discussant, Hedva Sarfati, from the International Labour Organisation, Geneva, lent ILO's own perspective on women's opportunities in new white collar employment in less developed countries. Dr Ludovico Alcorta and Dr Maria-Ines Bastos of UNU/INTECH commented on some of the papers. Professor Gu Shulin of UNU/INTECH suggested ways of taking the work forward in China.
Finally, Swasti is grateful to Rana, Pamina and Partha for providing her with a home environment where the limits of postmodernism in the study of technology are discussed with just as much gusto as the next evening meal; Sheila is more evasively relieved that the case for or against 'pomoism' has not yet crossed her threshold.