Women’s Health & Empowerment

When working with ICTs in developing countries and employing various projects and initiatives, emphasis needs to be placed on marginalized groups and minorities, including women. Overcoming gender inequality in health should be placed on the forefront of National ICT plans as ICTs have the potential to transform gender roles and relations, increase the access of health services to women, and improve the psychological, physical, and emotional well being of women in LDCs. Although ICT projects face many challenges in regards to women’s health, many countries in West Africa, Uruguay, and Uganda have worked towards overcoming these obstacles and have contributed to the “integration of ICTs into health initiatives”.

In Western Africa for example, female circumcision has affected over a hundred million girls and women. Organizations in the region have taken a stand against this harmful practice and have been harnessing ICTs to educate on the damaging effects of female circumcision, to intervene, and to prevent its continued widespread practice.

Original Post by Lana Abdulsamad

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One response to “Women’s Health & Empowerment

  • jessicarschofield

    The topic of female circumcision is continually examined when considering women’s health practices and potential development. From the perspective of Western development it is hard to justify the importance of female circumcision in local, non-Western cultures. However, I think that this view is too narrow, and simply defining all female circumcision as a negative practice is problematic and socio-centric. Simply bombarding a country with ICTs that are used to deny this traditional practice do not consider the importance that circumcisions play in the local culture. For example, many circumcision practices (for boys and girls) play a vital role in the education process of maturation rights and rights of passage. Thus simply eliminating the practice will not be sustainable in a country that has historical values places on female circumcision. I think the article does not address this fully. Importantly, many ICTs can be used as an educational resource (especially the negative implications for female circumcision) that may alter how a society addresses maturation, and thus impact the rate of female circumcision on female health.

    Original Comment by Emily Swietlik

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