Gender and ICT Policy for Development and Empowerment: A Critique of a National ICT Policy

Gender and ICT Policy for Development and Empowerment: A Critique of a National ICT Policy

Kutoma Jacqueline Wakunuma-Zojer (De Montfort University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0882-5.ch510
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Abstract

This chapter pays attention to the role that ICT policy and gender play in the drive for development and empowerment. Particular focus is on Zambia and its National ICT Policy. The chapter analyses how notions of ‘gender’, development and empowerment are routinely incorporated into the ICT policy rhetoric and the strategies put in place. It assesses whether the goals of the National ICT Policy encourage social and economic development as well as empowerment for women. The chapter makes the case that as much as ICT policies are being developed and adopted in order to be incorporated into the development agendas of countries like Zambia, mere adoption without adequately addressing gender concerns within the policies themselves may not necessarily achieve the desired development and empowerment. The analysis subsequently brings to the fore some short comings within the policy that have not been addressed with the adequacy they deserve and which as a result, can potentially impact negatively on women’s overall development and subsequent empowerment. The chapter particularly focuses on Government claims which suggest that women are important actors in ICT use for sustainable development without whom the successful diffusion and use of ICTs in the country cannot be a reality.

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