Digital Gender Divide or Technologically Empowered Women in Developing Countries? A Typical Case of Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Resource type
Report
Author/contributor
Title
Digital Gender Divide or Technologically Empowered Women in Developing Countries? A Typical Case of Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Abstract
The discussion about women’s access to and use of digital Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in developing countries has been inconclusive so far. Some claim that women are rather technophobic and that men are much better users of digital tools, while others argue that women enthusiastically embrace digital communication. This article puts this question to an empirical test. We analyze data sets from 12 Latin American and 13 African countries from 2005-08. This is believed to be the most extensive empirical study in this field so far. The results are surprisingly consistent and revealing: the reason why fewer women access and use ICT is a direct result of their unfavorable conditions with respect to employment, education and income. When controlling for these variables, women turn out to be more active users of digital tools than men. This turns the alleged digital gender divide into an opportunity: given women’s affinity for ICT, and given that digital technologies are tools that can improve living conditions, ICT represent a concrete and tangible opportunity to tackle longstanding challenges of gender inequalities in developing countries, including access to employment, income, education and health services.
Report Number
ID 2039116
Report Type
SSRN Scholarly Paper
Place
Rochester, NY
Institution
Social Science Research Network
Date
2011/11/01
Language
en
Short Title
Digital Gender Divide or Technologically Empowered Women in Developing Countries?
Accessed
02/06/2020, 13:23
Library Catalog
Citation
Hilbert, M. (2011). Digital Gender Divide or Technologically Empowered Women in Developing Countries? A Typical Case of Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics (SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 2039116). Social Science Research Network. https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2039116