Information and communication technologies and the "empowerment" of women in rural Uganda
Litho, Patricia K. 2007. Information and communication technologies and the "empowerment" of women in rural Uganda. PhD Thesis University of East London School of Social Sciences, Media and Cultural Studies
|Authors||Litho, Patricia K.|
Within development and feminist discourse, ICTs are increasingly presented as a solution to Africa's problems of poverty, conflict, corruption and gender inequality
Empowerment is considered a problematic concept because the concept itself is not clearly defined nor are parameters by which to identify and measure empowerment specified within development/empowerment projects. I argue for a need to go beyond the usual focus on project outcomes but identify and question the underlying contradictions in women's empowerment and relational issues of power at both the
This thesis uses an African feminist perspective as the overarching approach to challenge dominant discourses to recognise 'voices of others' in the construction of
A predominantly qualitative approach, supplemented by a limited amount of quantitative approach was employed to examine a case study of an ICT for women's economic empowerment project in Uganda. Using semi-structured interviews, focus group discussions, observation and a review of documents, this study established that
The findings revealed that women's exposure to ICTs may result in some changes and redefine how they view themselves and relate with those around them but these
Interaction with ICTs sometimes produced negative impacts rather than the promised benefits. It could also be argued that these challenges could just be experienced at the
Findings from the empirical work imply that empowerment is a circular process and not a linear hierarchical process as Longwe (1991) seems to suggest. It was found for instance that sometimes women had a high level of awareness and participated in political processes but their welfare and access situation was still wanting. In other cases women had political power and control over resources but still seemed unaware of their rights or did nothing to change the oppressive situations they lived in.
This study therefore contributes to feminist scholarship by providing insights into the unique experiences of women living in rural Uganda in relation to ICTs and its potential for women's empowerment.
|Keywords||African feminist perspective; Information and communication technologies; Gender related challenges|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||16 Jan 2014|
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