As we’ve become aware of the many benefits brought by the information age and ICTs its pertinent to incorporate issues regarding gender in ICT policy. Thus, by integrating gender issues into ICT policy better ensures that women will have access to such benefits. As mentioned in class women often have the typical domestic responsibilities such as caring for children and the elderly among various other tasks depending on the individual situation and their respective culture. These domestic duties are particularly predominant in the developing world further separating women from access to ICTs. With less leisure time and little extra funds to spend outside the family needs reaching ICTs can hold infinite barriers for women in the underdeveloped and rural regions. Not to mention the majority of the worlds illiterate population is in fact female further depriving them from the benefits of ICTs.
I found an article online that was particularly interesting to me which addressed gender issues and efforts to incorporate them into ICT policy by proceeding on at least two fronts: (1) “sensitizing policy makers to gender issues, and (2) sensitizing gender advocates to information technology issues.”
I thought this was an interesting approach to addressing gender equality in ICT policy. The article provides insight to potential obstacles in the first front, such as the likelihood of policy makers in regions characteristic of great gender inequality being resistant to engendering the policy process. Furthermore, this is where gender advocates may be capable of producing greater results in engendering ICT policy. They put forth that since gender sensitive advocates, women organizations, and civil societies can be influential in the policy process, if they educate themselves on technologies and the importance of engendering ICT usages this could greatly contribute to the closing of the inequality gap. Obviously, addressing gender issues is not black and white and actually rather complex as is addressing most social issues, but I felt this was a unique and insightful approach to keep in mind in women empowerment in the ICT realm.