Public information technology, as a term, implicitly suggests universal access by citizens to information through the use of technology. The concepts of social capital and the digital divide intersect in access to public information technology. Social inclusion or exclusion occurs as a consequence of the ways in which societies are stratified according to race, gender, (dis)ability, ethnicity and class. This chapter focuses on one aspect of stratification, gender and theorizes the gendering of differential access and use of information technologies. An understanding of gendered participation relevant to access to public information technology within the policy contexts for electronic government and social inclusion is important to inform public information technology policy, and service planning and delivery that are premised on the notion of universal access.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Gender Parity: Equality among women and men.
Universal Access: All citizens in information enabled societies will have access to information and communication systems.
Social Capital: Intangible value aggregated from social and organizational networks which can result in social and economic benefits to individuals and communities.
Differential Access: Access to information technologies will occur differently for according to categories of stratification like, gender, age, ethnicity, and race.
Public Information Technology: Information online available to the public and is a term used by governments to refer to online and universally accessible information.
Digital Divide: A metaphor for social exclusion relevant to ICT access and use or, specifically, exclusion from infrastructure and services to which people have rights as citizens in a democratic, information-enabled society.
Eco-Feminism: Feminist theories that explore interrelationships between women and nature, interrelationships between men and nature and gendered dynamics between women and men in relation to nature and technology.