Questions of Empowerment of Women in Africa
I am a student, Women's Studies major at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon, USA. I am also a Special Education minor with plans to go to graduate school to become a Special Ed. Teacher. My class load this quarter has my mind bouncing from one topic to another while realizing everything is more connected than it first appears. Some of our readings have been about African Women and Information & Communication Technology specifically use of mobile phones and internet access in certain countries in Africa.
Each article in our book (African Women & ICTs by Ineke Buskens & Anne Webb) approaches a different part of the topic while bringing light to some concerns and challenges the women face with the potential empowerment they gain by access to technology.
Our class is small, 15 people, mostly white women, but all acknowledging our privilege and position in the world as both students and US Citizens. In conversation about empowerment, it has come up that some of us feel the women we read about are not fully empowered because at the end of the day, they may be subordinate to their husbands or that because the husbands often control the money flow and therefore control how easily the women have access to technology. My question is directed more at women outside the US. If gender equality isn't a reality, is empowerment through technology beneficial and successful or does gender equality need to be achieved before true empowerment can exist?
Thank you for your time. I appreciate your input look forward to this conversation.
With love & respect,