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M-learning—a Potential for Women’s Empowerment?

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The use of ICTs shows enormous differences throughout the world. In Western societies, ICTs serve as the basis for the economy and working life. In the developing countries, however, ICTs favour the elite and are unevenly distributed, within and between regions, between urban and rural areas, and especially by gender, denoted as the gendered digital divide. This article will give a brief overview on the global digital divide, and the need for digital literacy is discussed in this context, focusing on education ‐ i.e., formal, non-formal, and informal ‐ specifically emphasising digital literacy among women. Paradoxically, it can be argued that the most important effect of the information society is the fact that it eliminates several historical divides. The paper therefore also highlights various solutions offered by information technology in bridging the gap and opening new m-learning approaches. The expansion of mobile technology will be paid specific attention, since this technology has penetrated globally, including in the developing world context, and has proven to be an important tool for women’s participation in the emerging technological area and public space. This article, based on a literature review, explores how m-learning may enhance participation and interaction across traditional hierarchical and vertical lines of communication, and contribute to women’s empowerment.
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Keywords: digital literacy; informal learning; information technology; m-learning; women`s empowerment

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • World Studies in Education is a bi-annual, refereed, international journal offering a global overview of significant international and comparative education research. Its focus is on educational reforms and policy affecting institutions in the global economy.
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