ICTization beyond Urban Male Elites: Issues of Gender Equality and Empowerment
In the past few decades, the information and communication technology (ICT) “revolution” has promised a variety of benefits to society, including material progress and subsequent empowerment for women and men in the developing world. However, there are parallel discourses that question the promised benefits of ICTs and the extent to which the rhetoric of “empowerment,” particularly for women in traditional and rural settings, is being transformed into practice on the ground. This chapter analyses the efficacy of ICT “empowerment” projects targeted at women, especially in rural Africa. The chapter discusses two ICTs, computer-based Internet and cellular telephony, assessing mainly their political—as well as social and economic—impacts with regard to “empowerment” of rural women in Uganda and Zambia, because of the similarities in respect to women’s experiences of ICT in as far as empowerment is concerned in both these countries.
KeywordsCell Phone Gender Equality Short Messaging Service Cellular Telephony Economic Empowerment
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