Gender Assessment of ICT Access and Usage in Africa
Work data:ISSN: 2073-0845
Type of work: Working Paper
Categories:e-Readiness | Gender | ICT4D | Usage & Uptake
What does gender have to do with the development of a sustainable information society in Africa? This policy paper represents a continual exploration and analysis of ICT access and usage inequities, which is furthered here by viewing them through a gender lens. It was produced by the Research ICT Africa (RIA) network, which monitors, reviews and builds support for ICT policy and regulatory design processes. The study gives a descriptive statistical overview of women’s and men’s access to ICT, which is supported by data from focus groups formed in 17 east, central, south and west African countries. This study’s findings include that women generally have less access to mobile phones due to decreased likelihood of employment, education and other factors. Another difference noted is that women tend to listen to the radio less, though they are at home more than men. Although other such gendered inequities were found, the greatest commonalities regarding ICT access and usage were based on income and geographic locale, rather than gender. To increase African women’s use of ICTs, this paper recommends policy interventions and programmes for educating girls (particularly in maths, science in engineering), focusing on extending services to lower income groups, as well as targeting women and girls for increased internet usage.