Women and ICT in Africa and the Middle East

Changing Selves, Changing Societies

Edited by Anne Webb and Ineke Buskens


The most comprehensive analysis available on the link between ICT and women's empowerment.
What is the link between information communication technology and women's empowerment in today's development context? How can ICT facilitate the pursuit of a better world?

Exploring the rich complexity of the contexts in which they live and work, Women and ICT in Africa and the Middle East offers a multitude of perspectives and experiences, avoiding simplistic answers and solutions.

Based on analyses from twenty-one research teams in fourteen countries, this much-needed, human-centred contribution to the fields of gender, development and information communication technology questions, demonstrates and suggests what it takes to wield the emancipatory potential of ICT.

Author Bio

Ineke Buskens is a cultural anthropologist working internationally as research methodologist and gender consultant, currently residing in South Africa. Ineke has led several transnational, interdisciplinary and multi-method research projects, of which the GRACE Research Network, involving 28 teams in 18 countries in Africa and the Middle East, has been the latest.

Anne Webb focuses on the design and coordination of qualitative research and learning processes to address and reduce gender inequality in Canada and internationally. She is currently designing and coordinating a two-year multi-country research and learning process. From 2005 to 2013 she was the research coordinator of GRACE.

Both editors previously co-edited African Women and ICTs : Investigating Technology, Gender and Empowerment (Zed Books, 2009)

Table of Contents

  • Foreword - Matthew L. Smith
  • Introduction - Ineke Buskens
  • Part I: Agentic ICT Use: The Aspiration for Emancipation Versus the Power of Gender Traditions
    • 1. Healthy Women, Healthy Society: ICT and the Need for Women's Empowerment in Yemen - Ahlam Hibatulla Ali, Huda Ba Saleem, Nada Al-Syed Hassan Ahmed, Nagat Ali Muqbil and Abeer Shaef Abdo Saeed
    • 2. Computer Proficiency and Women's Empowerment: Gendered Experiences of ICT at the University of Khartoum - Amel Mustafa Mubarak
    • 3. Towards Non-Gendered ICT Education: The Hidden Curriculum at the National University of Science and Technology in Zimbabwe - Buhle Mbambo-Thata and Sibonile Moyo
    • 4. Equal Opportunities on an Unequal Playing Field: The Potential for Social Shange in the ICT Workplace - Salome Omamo and Edna R. Aluoch
    • 5. Can New Practice Change Old Habits? ICT and Female Politicians' Decision-Making in Senegal - Ibou Sané
    • 6. Personal Expansion Versus Traditional Gender Stereotypes: Tunisian University Women and ICT - Oum Kalthoum Ben Hassine
    • 7. Hiba's Quest for Freedom: ICT and Gender-Based Violence in Yemen - Rokhsana Ismail and Radia Shamsher Wajed Ali
  • Part II: Developing Critical Voice in and Through Safe ICT-Created Space
    • 8. ICT in a time of Sectarian Violence: Reflections from Kafanchan, Northern Nigeria - Kazanka Comfort and John Dada
    • 9. Disconnecting From and in the Public Sphere, Connecting Online: Young Egyptian Women Expand Their Self-Knowing Beyond Cultural and Body-Image Dictates - Mervat Foda and Anne Webb
    • 10. Teenage Girls' Sexting in Cape Town, South Africa: A Child-Centred and Feminist Approach - Jocelyn Muller
    • 11. Of Browsing and Becoming: Young Yemeni Women Enhance Their Self-Awareness and Leadership Capacities - Zahra Al-Saqqaf
    • 12. ICT in the Search for Gender Freedoms: Jordanian University Students Think, Talk and Change - Arwa Oweis
    • 13. Scheherazades of Today: Young Palestinian Women Use Technology to Speak Up and Effect Change - Vera Baboun
    • 14. Jordanian Bloggers: A Journey of Speaking Back to the Politics of Silence, Shame and Fear - Rula Quawas
  • Part III: ICT- Enhanced Relating and Becoming: Personal and Social Transformation
    • 15. Sex, Respect and Freedom From Shame: Zambian Women Create Space for Social Change Through Social Networking - Kiss Brian Abraham
    • 16. Ancient Culture and New Technology: ICT and a Future Free from FGM/C for Girls in Sudan - Einas Mahdi Ahmed Mahdi and Ineke Buskens
    • 17. Finding New Meaning, Creating New Connections: ICT Empowers Mothers of Children with Special Needs in Egypt - Nagwa Abdel Meguid
    • 18. Serving Self and Society: Female Radio Presenters in Uganda Effect Social Change - Susan Bakesha
    • 19. Challenging the Silence, Secrecy and Shame: Transforming ICT's Role in Increasing Pre-Marital Sex in Sudan - Ikhlas Ahmed Nour Ibrahim
    • 20. Reviving the Power of Community: How Radio Rurale Femme de Mbalmayo in Cameroon Became a Catalyst for Equality and Democracy - Gisele Mankamte Yitamben
    • 21. Transforming Relationships and Co-Creating New Realities: Landownership, Gender and ICT in Egypt - Saneya El-Neshawy
  • Part IV: Methodology
    • 22. Research Methodology for Personal and Social Transformation: Purpose-Aligned Action Research, Intentional Agency and Dialogue - Ineke Buskens
  • Notes on Contributors
  • Index


'This book, written by researchers from African and Arab countries, reveals new challenges regarding the decolonization of these regions and the liberation of both women and men.'
Nawal El Saadawi

'This remarkable book offers a diversity of rich case studies of women using ICT for empowerment in Africa and the Middle East. The book is a valuable antidote to both technological utopianism and dystopianism.'
Geoff Walsham, University of Cambridge

'A rich, challenging and rewarding read for anyone interested in better understanding the role of ICT in women's empowerment.'
Martin Scott, author of Media and Development

'A valuable book offering innovative new ways of approaching the impact of ICT on gender relations in the Middle East and Africa. The book opens up new avenues of personal and social transformation and uncovers challenging new female voices.'
Fatima Sadiqi, University of Fez

'Balanced and brave, realistic yet hopeful, and data-based while human-centered, this book epitomizes excellence.'
Michael Quinn Patton, co-author of Getting to Maybe: How the World is Changed

'In this welcome addition to the growing literature in the field of women, development and ICT, a range of case studies elucidate both the emancipatory nature of ICT and the formidable structural and cultural obstacles that remain.'
Valentine M. Moghadam, Northeastern University


Publication Date: 9 October 2014
336 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783600427
Hardback: 9781783600434
eBook ePub: 9781783600458
eBook PDF: 9781783600441
eBook Kindle: 9781783600465

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