Women play a very
important role in the development of any nation. Status and development of
women influence the development of country. Their status is the best indicator
of progress of any nation. But in our society, males are more dominating from
the starting for their work. Women were never recognized or appreciated.
They were always deprived from their rights. They can’t define
their own strength; instead of they have to follow a set of standards set by
the so-called society. They are lacking behind because of many reasons. One of
the most important reasons is the lack of education and information. Women’s
empowerment is necessary. It is a burning issue these days. It is one of
the key factors in determining success of development. According to the provisions
of the Constitution of India, it is a legal point to grant equality to women in
the society in all spheres just like male. It is to make them independent and
confident in all aspects from mind, thought, rights, decisions, etc by leaving
all the social and family limitations. Women’s empowerment is focused on
increasing their power so that they can take decisions that shape their lives.
The most famous saying said by the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is “To awaken the
people, it is the women who must be awakened. Once she is on the move, the
family moves, the village moves, the nation moves”. Right information given at
the right time can empower the women and protect them from various problems.
Various ICTs, such as radio, television, mobile phone and internet are used for
empowering the women via awareness, education and information. This is an ICT
era, but, until today, half of the women are lacking and suffering from various
types of problems due to the gap between ICT and its use.
Importance of ICT
To accurately understand
the importance of ICT in women empowerment there is need to actually understand
the meaning of ICT. ICTs stand for information and communication technologies.
ICT permeates the business environment, it underpins the success of modern corporations,
and it provides governments with an efficient infrastructure that meet the
requirement of any nation. At the same time, ICT helps in the processes of
learning, and in the organization and management of learning institutions. ICT
is a driving force for development and innovation in both developed and
developing countries. Countries must be able to benefit from technological
developments. To be able to do so, a cadre of professionals either man or woman
has to be educated with sound ICT backgrounds, independent of specific computer
platforms or software environments.
ICTs are often viewed as
near-magic solutions to problems. They are extremely powerful tools for
empowering women. Traditional media and ICTs have played a major role in
diffusing all information to people. ICTs can be treated as powerful tools that
can be used for enhancing women daily lives whether by increasing access to
information relevant to their economic livelihood, better access to other
information sources; healthcare, transport, distance learning or in the
strengthening of kinship. ICTs can empower women through enhancing their
participation in economic and social development and facilitating informed
decision-taking. ICTs have the potential to reach every women who have been
outside the ambit of other media and can facilitate communication among them
and other dispersed networks, enabling them to mobilize, participate in debates
and express themselves.
ICT has enabled many
women to gain employment like With the help of ICT, she can establish new
businesses and working as owners and managers as well as employees of new
business ventures; she can participate in community development activities;
Different ICT-based tools that address women’s specific needs and are run
by women (for example, literacy programmes, business planning courses, ICT
training, access to market and trading information services and e-commerce
initiatives); and in jobs enabled by ICT.
Challenges of ICT use
for Women’s Empowerment
While ICT offer many new
opportunities for women, in order to take advantage of them many women have to
overcome significant obstacles. The sector in itself is fraught with risks that
affect women as they enter it.
Education and skills: Women’s high rates of
illiteracy and lack of ICT training prevent them from entering the information
economy. The English-language dominance of ICT in software and in content
affects women more, as women globally are less likely than men to know English.
Cultural Constraints: Even where women have
the necessary skills, persistent cultural constraints, such as stereotypical
views of the roles of men and women and women’s lack of mobility, remain a
barrier to their full participation in the information age. Boundaries of work-time
in the technological society do not recognize men’s and women’s multiple roles,
and labour laws may prevent women’s full participation in the information
economy. It is important to note, however, that even tele-working opportunities
may inadvertently lead to getting women back in their homes and further adding
to their multiple roles. Inequitable global terms of trade have resulted in low
wages and poor working conditions for many women working in offshore ICT
Social Constraints: The high risk of
unemployment in the ICT sector, frequently combined with unfavorable labour
contracts, produces hardship for women working as ICT professionals. Some
highly profitable aspects of the ICT economy (pornography) sexually exploit
Economic Constraints: Access to infrastructure
is a gender issue. As more women, particularly in developing countries, tend to
live where infrastructure is poorly distributed or not available at all, such
infrastructure imbalances may adversely affect many women, particularly those
in poor urban and rural areas, from using the economic opportunities of ICT.
The costs of technology and access also present barriers to many women in
developing countries using the technology for economic advancement.