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Impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the Advancement and Empowerment of African Women

Impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the Advancement and Empowerment of African Women
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Author(s): Marian Pelletier (Saint Mary’s University, Canada)
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 19
Source title: Handbook of Research on Information Communication Technology Policy: Trends, Issues and Advancements
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Esharenana E. Adomi (Delta State University, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-847-0.ch023



During the past decade, global communications have changed dramatically, as a result of the increased use of information and communication technologies (ICT’s). ICT’s are becoming increasingly necessary if countries are to compete on a global scale. It has also been widely acknowledged that ICT’s have the potential to play an immediate role in the quest for sustainable and equitable development in Third World countries. ICT’s allow people to collect, store, process and access information and/or communicate with each other. How people in developing countries use these technologies to solve problems, organize their activities and realize their own objectives will determine the impact that these technologies will have in the course of their development. ICT’s are realities and concepts that have become unavoidable for anyone involved in issues of development and sustainability. However, access for women and especially rural women to ICT’s cannot be assumed to naturally occur. According to various authors and organizations most of the positive effect of the “information revolution” has bypassed women. It has not been easy to determine whether women have benefited from the information revolution. There is also the consensus that very little research has been done on women’s information needs and access to appropriate information in developing countries. It is therefore necessary to examine the impact that ICT‘s are having on women and whether or not they are serving women’s needs and preferences. It is also necessary to examine ways that policies can be put in place in order to assure that women have access to the technology, which is necessary to fulfill their information needs. This chapter, using case-studies from Africa, will examine the above issues.

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