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The Digital Landscape: new space for women? {1}

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The expression 'Information is power' is widely used, particularly with reference to the imminent 'Information Age'. Yet women must ask, 'Whose information?' and 'Whose power?' if, as a large body of scholarly literature has suggested, women's relationship to information technologies is somehow problematic. In this article, I argue that electronic networks, bulletin boards, online conferences and other computer-mediated communications emphasizing women's issues can recast traditional notions of the computer and its relationship with women. While historically, the dominant groups in many societies have used their command of communications technologies as a means to consolidate their power, new communications technologies escaping centralised political or legal control can diversify information and offer alternative courses of action. Computer-mediated communications on the Internet currently offer these options, yet their future is uncertain. Women who engage with information technologies as the technology and the regulatory framework develop have the opportunity to influence the deployment of this medium, which in turn may have consequences for their sociopolitical status.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1995-09-01

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