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Books: Redressing the gender ICT gap PDF Print E-mail

By Esther Opade

ImageAlthough the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) is increasing the world over, the gaps between the users is also on the rise.
Evidence of this gap, among gender, although widely known in Africa, had never been documented until recently when fourteen African women research teams, gathered information that could be used to shorten the gender digital gap through the use of ICTs.

In a book ‘African Women and ICTs: Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment’ launched at Makerere University, women are encouraged to exploit and use ICTs, the Internet and mobile phone to facilitate their businesses and for empowerment.“The potential of ICTs to enhance our lives in an equitable society is tremendous. Yet for this to occur, the rapid spread and pervasiveness of these technologies needs to be regulated in the interests of pursuing the development of a non-discriminatory society, and to be accompanied by efforts to reduce disparities”, the book states.“ICTs are an essential factor to overcome the digital gap affecting women, especially women survivors of violence, and as a step towards breaking the silence that surrounds this practice,”

Prof. Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo, head of Women and Gender Studies department, Makerere University. For the welfare of women in African countries to improve, the writers say that there is need for change in societies where women struggle for survival to over come the digital gap between men and women.“Women’s main concern now should be the use of tools that increase their capabilities and assets in the short term, by enabling them to work efficiently, save time and costs, and achieve economic self-sufficiency for themselves and their households,” said Beatrice Lamwaka, member of Uganda Women Writer’s Association (FEMRITE).

The book shows and explorers the work of African women worldwide. The researchers explored external or structural barriers, which prevent and enable women to use ICTs.

Prof. Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo said that they were inspired to write this book because of the UN declaration that the world has to go digital by 2015.

Therefore, the women researchers agreed that unless they start the empowerment process to introduce other women to the new trend of development in ICT, they would lag behind.

The book costs Ushs. 50,000 and the topics covered address various themes ranging from accessibility and passive use to ICTs, perceptions of and practices in women-only ICT spaces, women’s use of ICTS their empowerment as well as creating new realities in ICT with respect to professional women and mentoring.

The Ugandan team included, Prof. Grace Bantebya Kyomuhendo, Susan Bakesha who worked as a consultant with Development Alternatives Consult (DAC), Dorothy Okello a coordinator of Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), and Angela Nakafeero a Ugandan gender activist. 
The information used in the book was from Uganda, Egypt, South Africa, Morocco, Mozambique, Cameroon, Tanzania, Senegal, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia and Zimbabwe. 

Hon. Alituma Nsambu, state minister, ICT ministry launched the book and promised to support women in ICTs. Ms. Lillian Ekirikubinza the 1st Deputy Vice-Chancellor Makerere University congratulated the women researchers.

To get a copy of this book contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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