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Dr Dorothy Okello, Keynote, HELTASA13, Bridging gender gap in ict4 education - 29 november 2013
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Dr Dorothy Okello, Keynote, HELTASA13, Bridging gender gap in ict4 education - 29 november 2013


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The keynote of Dr Dorothy Okello, (Women of Uganda Network, WOUGNET), during the HELTASA13 conference at Unisa, Pretoria, 26-29 November 2013

The keynote of Dr Dorothy Okello, (Women of Uganda Network, WOUGNET), during the HELTASA13 conference at Unisa, Pretoria, 26-29 November 2013

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  • 1. Bridging the Gender Gap in ICT4Education Higher Education in a shifting landscape: emergence, fragmentation and convergence HELTASA 2013 Conference, UNISA
  • 2. Brief Bio Senior Lecturer, Department of Electrical and Computer Eng, Makerere University • Telecommunications/ICT Founder, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET) • Women and ICT Non-Google Info ?
  • 3. Globally, women are 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than men In sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that only half the number of women are using ICT compared with men 200 million fewer women than men are online, and the gap could grow to 350 million within the next three years if action is not taken By 2015, it is estimated that 90% of formal employment across all sectors will require ICT skills Even in developed economies, women now account for fewer than 20% of ICT specialists Broadband Commission. Doubling Digital Opportunities. Enhancing the Inclusion of Women & Girls In the Information Society, September 2013
  • 4. A Gender-Sensitive Approach to ICTs for Education?
  • 5. Presentation Outline • Introduction to Gender • Addressing Gender Concerns • Gender Equity in Science and Technology (GEST) • Gender Gap in Science and Technology • Gender Mainstreaming in ICT • Gender-related Challenges at African Tertiary Institutions • Gender and ICT Support Programs for Faculty and Students • Concluding Remarks
  • 6. Introduction to Gender Gender Women’s Needs Sex Gender Issues Key Concepts to Understand Gender Concerns
  • 7. Introduction to Gender …/2 • Sex is the biological difference between men and women • Gender is used to describe those characteristics of men and women which are socially determined, in contrast to those which are biologically determined People are born female or male but ... learn to be girls and boys ... who grow into women and men
  • 8. Introduction to Gender …/3 • Men and women are taught their appropriate behaviour, attitudes, roles and activities, and how they should relate to other people – This learned behaviour is what makes up gender identity, and determines gender roles and responsibilities • Gender roles vary greatly from one culture to another, and from one social, political, and economic group to another within the same culture – Sex is a fact of human biology and is the same throughout the world
  • 9. Introduction to Gender …/4 • Gender issues arise from differential treatment due to social expectations about men and women – Gender discrimination in families and at the workplace • Gender does not mean women! – Gender is often associated with women’s empowerment – In many societies, women do not have the same opportunities and personal freedom as men do • Gender gaps are the differences in the scores between men and women – on attitudes, interests, behaviours, knowledge and perspectives on particular issues such as policy preferences and voting preferences
  • 10. Addressing Gender Concerns Women’s Needs • Needs that arise from biological or sex differences • Maternity wards, antenatal care facilities, etc. • Need for academic and economic advancement (as men do too) Gender Concerns • Needs that arise due to division of labour between men and women • Might arise from women’s more domestic location and their concern with childcare, food preparation/ production and taking care of the elderly (women’s reproductive roles) • Can cut across all sectors and social settings
  • 11. Addressing Gender Concerns …/2 • School drop out rate is higher for females than males at all levels of education Academic Advancement • Higher illiterate levels are recorded among women than men across all age groups and areas in Africa • Females end up in the less prestigious and hence less paying jobs Implications • To access and apply ICT, for example, one needs to have some basic literacy levels. Women are therefore left behind in many development issues
  • 12. Addressing Gender Concerns …/3 Meeting Women’s Needs • Provision of services such as university housing, internet access, and health care. • Involving women in decision making • Availing women training in new areas Addressing Gender Concerns • Legal rights to eliminate sexual discrimination • Protection from sexual harassment • Increased decision making and increased opportunities for scholarships
  • 13. Gender Equity in Science and Technology (GEST) • GEST envisions a transformed science and technology (S&T) – S&T connected to lives of the poor, especially women – S&T deployed in the service of human rights, gender equity, and social and economic development goals • GEST should transform lives of women through connecting women to S&T thereby enabling: – Improvement of women’s education in S&T – Fair treatment of women and men so that all people develop their innovation capacities and contribute to their society – A society which values women and men equally, their creativity, aspirations and freedom to make choices
  • 14. Gender Equity in Science and Technology (GEST) .../2 • Many societies are organized in gendered ways – Difficult to organize and plan for simple and mechanical equality in inputs and quantities of resources • Gender Equity: Regardless of differences in gender divisions of labour, resources, opportunities, treatment and potential, etc. – Rewards accruing to men and women for similar work, skills and knowledge • Should be of the same quality • Should reflect the inputs contributed
  • 15. Gender Equity in Science and Technology (GEST) .../3 Case for gender equity in science and technology – Social and economic justice: The gender gap in social and economic development is growing – and hence the need for social and economic justice and poverty alleviation – Women’s rights: The right to benefit from and contribute to S&T development – Empowerment: Women have different needs, interests, and perspectives on S&T – Sustainability: Securing women’s knowledge is essential for survival and for sustainability – Participation: Women’s voices must be heard in S&T decision-making – Connectivity: Without S&T empowerment, women risk losing out in processes of globalisation
  • 16. Gender Gap in Science and Technology • Women account for a minority of the world’s researchers in science (UNESCO Institute for Statistics, July 2011) • Average percentage of women in science research in Africa is 34.5% Female researchers as a percentage of total researchers (2009 or latest available by 2007) 50 40 30 20 10 0
  • 17. Gender Mainstreaming in ICT • Gender mainstreaming in ICT brings a gender perspective into the activities of organisations/institutions that contribute to ICT development • Gender mainstreaming in ICT means: – Recognising that ICT involves diverse processes that are open to the influence of gender – Being aware that ICT organisations have a key role to play in creating gender equitable societies – Developing mechanisms to ensure that ICT is responsive to women as well as men’s needs, perspectives and concerns – Mainstreaming a gender perspective in all ICT organisations’ processes and activities • Policy making, R&D priority setting, budget allocation, HR management, community engagement, evaluation and identification of benchmark indicators, etc.
  • 18. Gender Mainstreaming in ICT .../2 • Gender mainstreaming is a process – Makes concerns/issues of women and men an integral part of the designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating of an institution’s initiatives, policies and programs – Calls for understanding the implications of an institution’s initiatives, policies/programs for men and women • Provision of equal opportunities & benefits • Addressing risks based on socially constructed roles If gender mainstreaming is not done… – Risk of widening inequalities between men and women – Risk of hindering full equitable development
  • 19. Gender-related Challenges at African Tertiary Institutions Typical gender-related challenges include: • The near-exclusion of women, poor students and minorities in ICT education and development • Reluctance of men to participate in gender education and activities • Poor development of science/ICT education for girls, women and the poor in Africa
  • 20. Gender-related Challenges at African Tertiary Institutions .../2 • Very few women heading and managing HEI • Notable absence of women as students and as teachers in scientific and technological areas – Shortage of role models • Lack of recognition of gender dimensions of development within science and technology fields
  • 21. Gender and ICT Support Programs for Faculty and Students • Need to improve the gender climate in institutions of higher learning – Contributes to teaching & learning being relevant, useful and democratic • Strategies – Train and support staff and students • understand gender issues and their relevance to academic and vocational life in the institutions of higher learning – Increase the interest, understanding and appreciation of the relationship between gender, science, technology and development
  • 22. Gender and ICT Support Programs for Faculty and Students …/2 • Leadership of HEIs should recognize and legitimize gender issues and their relevance to resolving development challenges • Establish a gender policy to synchronize programs and activities for gender mainstreaming • Conduct a gender audit on teaching, research and community service at the institution – A gender audit should assess the situations of women relative to those of men. It may focus on the gender gaps in enrolment, retention and achievement. It may also focus on staffing of academics, management and administrative posts by men and women.
  • 23. Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) is a well known tool in the field of Gender and ICTs Developed by Association for Progressive Communications (APC) Available online –
  • 24. Concluding Remarks Gender is a key issue in development – Gender is a social construction that varies with time The use of ICT is a key strategy in HEI – Need to bridge the gender gap in ICT4Education
  • 25. Let’s work together to fill up the chairs! Thank You For Your Kind Attention
  • 26. Template Provided By 500,000 Downloadable PowerPoint Templates, Animated Clip Art, Backgrounds and Videos