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Gender and ICTs for development

S.J.R. Cummings, H. van Dam, M. Valk

Around the world new information and communication technologies (ICTs) have changed the lives of individuals, organizations and indeed, entire nations. No country and few communities are being left untouched by the ‘information society’ and, given the state of recent inter-governmental and multi-stakeholder policy debates, there is still a long way to go before civil rights are entrenched in this new society. This book is a collection of case studies about women and their communities in developing countries and how they have been influenced by ICTs. As this chapter and the following cases explain, ICTs and policies to encourage their development can have profound implications for women and men in terms of employment, education, health, environmental sustainability and community development. Policy is needed to ensure that investment in ICTs contributes to more equitable and sustainable development as these technologies are neither gender-neutral nor irrelevant to the lives of resourcepoor women.