Women's ICT-Based Enterprise for Development
Manchester Workshop Page


This page gives details of the workshop on "Gender, ICTs and Development" held in Manchester on Tuesday June 6th 2006. Its aim was to bring together contemporary field evidence from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean on the relations between ICTs and socio-economic development from a gendered perspective.

 

Link to speaker abstracts and presentations:

      "Role of Agencies in Genderising ICTs for Development Goals"; Shoba Arun; Manchester Metropolitan University

Abstract

Presentation

      "Tasting Success in Electronic Commerce: A Case of Disintermediation in Women's Small Businesses in Tanzania"; Faustin Kamuzora; University of Bradford

Abstract

Presentation

      "ICTs, 'Empowerment' and Women Living in Rural Uganda" ; Patricia. K. Litho; University of East London

Abstract

Presentation

      "Knowledge Process Outsourcing to India: Bridging the Gendered Divide?"; Martina Mettgenberg; Manchester Business School

Abstract

Presentation

      "Carving a Niche: Tanzanian Women's use of ICT in the Vinyago Export Trade"; Thomas Molony; Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh

Abstract

Presentation

      "Studying Gender, ICTs and Development Using New Institutionalism"; Sharon Morgan; IDPM, University of Manchester

Abstract

Presentation

      "Gender and ICTs: Empowerment of Women in Jamaican Telecentres"; Satoko Nadamoto; Gender Institute, LSE

Abstract

Presentation

**4MB**

      "The Internet and Mobile Telephony: Implications for Women's Development and Empowerment in Zambia"; Kutoma Wakunuma; Coventry University

Abstract

Presentation

**21MB**

 

Issues summary:

Evidence was presented showing all facets of the relation between ICTs and women's livelihoods. There were signs of negative impacts: increasing violence against women as their use of technology was perceived as a threat to a male-dominated status quo. There were signs of neutral impacts: reproduction of existing patterns of genderised norms and relations within new ICT-related environments. And there were signs of positive impacts: new jobs, new skills, and social empowerment achieved through ICTs.

 

The notion of "gender" in practice seemed to be interpreted largely as relating to women, with little if anything being done to address men's attitudes and behaviour. This may increase the danger that ICT introduction creates or is perceived to create a zero-sum game between men and women.

 

Evidence from the workshop supported a more general feeling that "supply-led" initiatives such as telecentres, which have been largely driven top-down by international and national agencies, face difficulties in comparison to more "demand-led" usage of ICTs by women, such as take-up of mobile telephony, which is spreading rapidly. As well as being more sustainable, mobile telephony also seems to be generating innovative developmental applications for women, such as the use of airtime as a form of savings and credit.

 

Finally, one might expect a typical attitude curve with women's use of ICTs, beginning with an overdose of hope or hype, leading to disillusionment. Two things emerged. First, that there are few signs of the disillusionment women do seem to be keeping faith with the power of ICTs. Second, that we know little about the value of hope for women from poor communities ICTs do seem to provide women with a belief (whether realistic or not) that they have a route to empowerment, and it may be that belief and hope are themselves an empowering force for women's development.

 

Financial support for this workshop was provided by UK Department for International Development, and the UK Development Studies Association.


The "Women's ICT-Based Enterprise for Development" project is coordinated by the University of Manchester's Institute for Development Policy and Management. The project is funded by the UK Department for International Development's Knowledge and Research programme.

 

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 http://www.womenictenterprise.org/manworkshop.htm June 2006