Chapter 8: ICT as a tool for empowerment in Uganda
The entry point of the first case study is the Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), a network of more than ninety women’s groups, which have used and promoted ICT as a tool for women’s empowerment since 2000. WOUGNET is occupied with the democratic potential of ICT and their strategies and initiatives address themes such as access to information, par- ticipation in public and political life, collective action, and communicative capacity building. Inspired by the public sphere metaphor, the study focuses on three main themes when examining the use of ICT in Uganda. First, ‘access’, which addresses the women’s access to basic infrastructure, to informa- tion, and to decision-making processes. Second, ‘freedoms’, referring to the women’s ability to act and debate freely in the public sphere, thus to participate in public life. Third, resources to participate, which concern, for example, the women’s familiarity with use of ICT and with expressing themselves publicly. The notion of ICT in this context refers to comput- ers, the Web (internet), mobile phones, and radio alike.
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