Gender and National IT Policy in Nigeria

Gender and National IT Policy in Nigeria

Wole Michael Olatokun (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-939-7.ch224
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Abstract

Information technology (IT) has become a potent force in transforming social, economic and political life globally (Hafkin & Taggart, 2001). Without its incorporation into the information age, there is little chance for countries or regions to develop. More and more concern is being shown about the impact of those left on the other side of the digital divide—the division between the information “haves” and “have nots.” Most women within developing countries are in the deepest part of the divide, further removed from the information age than the men whose poverty they share. If access to and use of these technologies is directly linked to social and economic development, then it is imperative to ensure that women in developing countries understand the significance of these technologies and use them. If not, they will become further marginalized from the mainstream of their countries and of the world. It is essential that gender issues be considered early in the process of the introduction of IT in developing countries so that gender concerns can be incorporated from the beginning and not as a corrective afterwards (Hafkin & Taggart, 2001). This article first gives a background to the Nigerian IT policy, followed by a gender analysis of the policy. It points out the gender issues to be incorporated in the policy and the strategies of ensuring women’s ability to take advantage of IT. It finally makes recommendations on the way forward for incorporating gender issues in the Nigerian IT policy document.

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