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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 13, No. 3 (2017) open journal systems 


Digital gender divides and e-empowerment in the UAE: A critical perspective

Mohamed Ben Moussa, University of Sharjah, UAE
Joanna Seraphim, Canadian University Dubai, UAE


Abstract
Despite enjoying phenomenal economic successes in the last years, the UAE continues to occupy a low rank in women’s economic participation and opportunity. Against this backdrop, the phenomenal diffusion and adoption of ICTs in the country are widely viewed as a huge opportunity that can help address this situation. The small body of research produced so far on the subject, however, has been both inconclusive, overtly optimistic, and insufficiently theorized. Addressing these lacuna, this study draws on Kabeer’s (2001; 2005) work, namely her interpretation of empowerment as the ability to make choices and act on them. This allows us to better interpret the surface “contradictions” in the data on ICTs and gender, identifying multilayered experiences in women’s interventions seeking equity and justice. This perspective permits us also to draw attention to the local cultural, political and societal contexts shaping the adoption and appropriation of ICTs by Emirati women.


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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556