Paving the pathway for women's empowerment? A review of information and communication technology development in Bangladesh

Sarah Hossain*, Melanie Beresford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper reviews the recent situation in information and communication technology (ICT) development in Bangladesh, with particular reference to mobile phone technologies. While mass access to ICT is often portrayed as the great socio-economic leveller, we show that in the Bangladesh case the existing evidence illustrates something quite different. Despite the high profile of certain female politicians, Bangladesh performs very poorly on international measures of gender equality and the reasons are deeply rooted in social and cultural norms. As a consequence, programmes aimed at poverty alleviation through widespread deployment of ICT in rural areas are disproportionately beneficial to men, even when targeted primarily at women. We conclude that unless ICT programmes are more sensitive to the causes of gender inequity, the ICT revolution in Bangladesh is likely to deepen rather than ameliorate the gender divide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)455-469
Number of pages15
JournalContemporary South Asia
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Bangladesh
  • empowerment
  • gender
  • ICT
  • poverty
  • women

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