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African Women and ICTs: Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment
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African Women and ICTs: Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment (Paperback)

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The revolution in information and communication technologies (ICTs) has vast implications for the developing world, but what tangible benefits has it bought, 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 does ICT 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 a extensive research project, this timely books 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 re-conceptualize public and private spaces.

ICT policy is currently being made and implemented all over Africa, but the authors argue that this is happening mostly in the absence of clear knowledge about the ways gender inequality and ICTs are impacting each other and that by becoming alert to a gender dimension in ICT developments at an early stage of the information revolution, we may be able to prevent greater scaled undesirable effects in the future.

Ineke Buskens is a Cultural Anthropologist with a passion for research methodology and women's empowerment and a deep appreciation for cultural diversity and individual human uniqueness. Graduated in Leiden, the Netherlands, she has lived in Ghana, India, and Brazil and since 1990 she has lived in South Africa. After having been Head of the Centre for Research Methodology at South Africa's Human Science Research Council for 5 years, she founded Research For the Future in 1996. Ineke works as an independent international research and process facilitation consultant. In her research she focuses on emancipatory approaches that envision a sustainable, just and loving world; in her research training on bringing out the genius in every participant; in her facilitation work, on gender awareness and authentic collaboration. Ineke is a student of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment in Yelm, Washington, USA and this learning journey inspires her to become all she can be. Anne Webb's commitment to feminist qualitative research is rooted in participatory action research approaches. She has worked with communities and research teams for the past fifteen years pursuing the reduction of inequalities. Trained in sociology, adult education and gender studies in Toronto (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education) and Den Hague (Institute for Social Studies), her education has involved people from all walks of life and locations, formally and informally, in Canada, Europe and Southern Africa, and is a continually enriching process. Anne currently resides in Hull, Quebec, Canada.

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