Critical Issues on Gender Equality and ICTs in Latin America

Critical Issues on Gender Equality and ICTs in Latin America

Aimée Vega Montiel (UNAM CEIICH, Mexico)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1862-4.ch016
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Abstract

In the context of the new media environment, several social, political and economic divides are being produced. As the effects of those changes are not neutral, because of gender inequality, the status of women's human rights in the digital age are precarious. To what extent does the new media environment promote women's human and communication rights or contribute to sustaining the oppression of women in society? Based on the feminist political economy perspective, the aim of this paper is to analyze some of the critical issues on gender equality and ICTs in Latin America.1
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Introduction

The Beijing Platform for Action (1995) drew attention to the importance of communication and information technologies to encourage gender equality and women’s human rights. The Strategic Objective J1 emphasized the urgency to increase participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media, as well as in the call that women and girls should be empowered by enhancing their skills, knowledge and access to information technologies.

In 2003, the WSIS Declaration of Principles and Plan for Action, stressed specifically the importance of ICTs in reaching that goal:

We affirm that development of ICT provides enormous opportunities for women, who should be an integral part of, and key actors in, the Information Society. We are committed to ensuring that the Information Society enables women’s empowerment and their full participation on the basis of equality in all spheres of society and in all decision-making processes. To his end, we should mainstream a gender equality perspective and use ICT as a tool to that end (WSIS, 2003).

However, in the context of the new media environment several social, political and economic divides are being produced. As the effects of those changes are not neutral, because of the gendered division of power, the status of women's human rights in the digital age - particularly, their human right to communicate - are precarious.

At this point though the question is: To what extent does the new media environment promote women's human and communication rights or contribute to sustaining the oppression of women in society in Latin America?

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