Gendering Information and Communication Technologies in Climate Change

Gendering Information and Communication Technologies in Climate Change

Sam Wong (University College Roosevelt, The Netherlands)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3479-3.ch096

Abstract

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have long been seen as a solution to problems associated with climate change. Their effectiveness has, however, been questioned for not taking gender seriously. This paper tries to explain why, and how, women are more constrained than men from using ICTs in tackling climate change. Women have less access to technology information and finance and suffer greater deprivation in terms of land rights. Intersected with the analysis of class, this chapter also examines why poor, working class households are less represented in decision-making in policy design and resource allocations. To address the gender inequalities, this paper calls for a need to contextualise the process of gender mainstreaming and to scrutinise the interplay between old and new institutions in gender inclusion. Apart from advocating gender-sensitive funding mechanisms for needy women, and men, it also suggests a deeper understanding of the agency-structure dynamics and the gender-class interactions in tackling digital exclusion.
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Background

Rashid (2016) point out that ICTs are not a new phenomenon in developing countries. Many not-so-poor communities already have television, telephone and radio for communication and entertainment. That said, the latest ICTs, such as mobile phones, internet radios, emails, blogs and videos, are potentially interactive and participatory. With these, information can be shared faster and more efficiently between individuals and communities. They reach a wider range of audience and help develop wider networks. In light of this, Kalas and Finlay (2009) suggest these new ICT developments can improve governance by ‘empowering the poor and marginalised to raise their voice for political accountability and concrete action’ (p9).

Gender is defined as the socially constructed roles and socially learned behaviours and expectations of women and men in a particular society (World Bank 2014). Gendered relations involve difference, inequality and power, and that shapes access to, and control over, material and symbolic resources (Phan et al. 2019). Gendered relations are ‘contextually specific and often changing in response to altering circumstances’ (Moser 1993, 230).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mitigation: Mitigation focuses on the processes to reduce CO2 emissions.

Adaptation: Adaptation underlines the importance to help poor communities adapt to changing climate.

Gender: Gender is defined as the socially constructed roles and socially learned behaviours and expectations of women and men in a particular society.

Information and Communication Technology: ICTs include television, telephone, radio, mobile phones, internet radios, emails, blogs. and videos for communication, entertainment, activism and control.

Gender Mainstreaming: The process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in all areas and all levels.

Disaster Management: Disaster management touches on how climate-related disasters, such as floods and droughts, are prevented or alleviated.

Poverty: It does not simply mean a lack of money, but it also focuses on empowerment, autonomy, and dignity.

World Bank: Named as the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank was set up in 1945 with the aim of promoting the post-Second World War reconstruction. It has since evolved and become strongly focused on worldwide poverty alleviation.

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