Women and ICT: Going beyond the ‘usual [digital inclusion] suspects'

What are the perspectives of ICT held by women in marginalised communities? What is the nature of their digital adoption approach? Do traditional societal gender norms have any impact on them in the digital space? What are their ‘mental models’ of gender and ICT?

Quantitative information undoubtedly plays a pivotal role in the advancement of digital inclusion of South African citizens. However it is via a qualitative approach whereby deeper reflection and understanding of the digital landscape may be gained. This is particularly useful in bringing to the fore the nuances of ICT activity of specific groupings, in this case marginalised women.

This research study investigates ‘the usual suspects’ in digital inclusion discussions – i.e. access and skills - but allows for exploration into the less commonly considered, more elusive and perhaps less expected issues in the ICT usage patterns of women in marginalised communities.

Greater understanding of such underlying issues may be instrumental in implementing digital inclusion strategies specifically targeting marginalised women.

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