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African Women and ICTs. Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment

By Ineke Buskens and Anne Webb


Zed/IDRC 2009
ISBN 978-1-84813-192-7
e-ISBN 978-1-55250-399-7
320 pág.

The revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs) has vast implications for the developing world, but what tangible benefits has it brought when issues of social inclusion and exclusion, particularly in the developing world, remain at large? In addition, the gender digital divide is growing in the developing world, particularly in Africa. So what do ICTs mean to African women?

African Women and ICTs explores the ways in which women in Africa utilize ICTs to facilitate their empowerment; whether through the mobile village phone business, through internet use, or through new career and ICT employment opportunities. Based on the outcome of an extensive research project, this timely book features chapters based on original primary field research undertaken by academics and activists who have investigated situations within their own communities and countries. The discussion includes such issues as the notion of ICTs for empowerment and as agents of change, ICTs in the fight against gender-based violence, and how ICTs could be used to reconceptualize public and private spaces.

Introduction Ineke Buskens and Anne Webb 2009

1. Doing research with women for the purpose of transformation Ineke Buskens 2009

Part 1. ICT tools: access and use

2. Women’s use of information and communication technologies in Mozambique: a tool for empowerment? — Gertrudes Macueve, Judite Mandlate, Lucia Ginger, Polly Gaster and Esselina Macome 2009

3. Considering ICT use when energy access is not secured: a case study from rural South Africa Jocelyn Muller 2009

4. Women’s use of cell phones to meet their communication needs: a study of rural women from northern Nigeria Kazanka Comfort and John Dada 2009

5. Egyptian women artisans facing the demands of modern markets: caught between a rock and a hard place Leila Hassanin 2009

Part 2. Female-only ICT spaces: perceptions and practices 6. When a gender-blind access policy results in discrimination: realities and perceptions of female students at the University of Zimbabwe Buhle Mbambo-Thata, Elizabeth Mlambo, and Precious Mwatsiya 2009

7. An alternative public space for women: the potential of ICTs Leila Hassanin 2009

8. Using ICTs to act on hope and commitment: the fight against gender violence in Morocco Amina Tafnout and Aatifa Timjerdine 2009

9. The names in your address book: are mobile phone networks effective in advocating for women’s rights in Zambia? Kiss Brian Abraham 2009

Part 3. Using ICTs: making life better?

10. Mobile phones in a time of modernity: the quest for increased self-sufficiency among women fishmongers and fish processors in Dakar Ibou Sane and Mamadou Balla Traore 2009

11. Women entrepreneurs in Nairobi: examining and contextualizing women’s choices Alice Wanjira Munyua Alice Wanjira Munyua

12. Internet use among women entrepreneurs in the textile sector in Douala, Cameroon: self-taught and independent Gisele Yitamben and Elise Tchinda 2009

13. ICTs as agents of change: a case of grassroots women entrepreneurs in Uganda Susan Bakesha, Angela Nakafeero and Dorothy Okello 2009

14. The mobile payphone business: a vehicle for rural women’s empowerment in Uganda Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo 2009

Part 4. Creating new realities

15. Professional women empowered to succeed in Kenya’s ICT sector Okwach Abagi, Olive Sifuna and Salome Awuor Omamo 2009

16. Reflections on the mentoring experiences of ICT career women in Nairobi, Kenya: looking in the mirror Salome Awuor Omamo1 2009

17. Our journey to empowerment: the role of ICT Ruth Meena and Mary Rusimbi 2009

Epilogue Ineke Buskens and Anne Webb 2009

Notes on contributors 2009

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