Recently for class we were asked to read an article called “Gender Assessment of ICT Access and Usage in Africa” written by Alison Gillwald, Anne Milek & Christoph Stork. It was very interesting and had a large scale of data that states among many thing that because of unequal access (due to differences in income and education) women usually have less access to ICT’s. Coupled with the constant expansion and innovation with technology more and more income as well as education is required to access and operate technologies, two things that women are disproportionate to in comparison to men, women have less of a chance and the needed skills to use ICTs effectively and efficiently. There have been many efforts from different organizations to educate females in ICT usage, some successful but also many not. A UNESCO project called “Networking Rural Women and Knowledge” in Nabanna India is a great case study of a successful project. According to their write up they “explored innovative uses of databases, intranet portals and web‐based partnerships in the local language for the benefit of poor women”. Here is a break down of the purpose, members, and results:
Purpose: Build women’s local information networks by providing facilities and training at five ICT centers in Baduria, Rudrapur, Taragunia, Arbelia and Punda.
Members: 60 women aged 20‐40
• More respect in their local communities as a result of ICT skills
acquired at the center
• Younger women felt more comfortable in the job market and achieved higher incomes
• Women became more creative after learning from programs like Paintbrush in Windows
• Women have achieved an increase in income as well as enhancement of solidarity
among women in the community
These results were not only limited to positive female empowerment economically they also created a sense of unity between the community members who participated and developed leadership qualities. Although these results were very positive the project could not include the greatest number or the largest marginalized women (illiterate or indigenous) who have the greatest difficulty accessing ICTs.