Engendering the Knowledge Society: Measuring Women’s Participation


Contrary to what might be expected, gender patterns in Internet use do not vary equally with Internet penetration, or improvement of a country’s Infostate. Women’s rate of Internet access and use will not automatically rise with national rates of Internet penetration. A range of socioeconomic and political factors affect and frame the gender divide, including social and cultural barriers to technology use; education and skill levels; employment and income trends; media and content; privacy and security and location/mode of access.

This 2007 report was therefore written by two outstanding international experts, Sophia Huyer and Nancy Hafkin, to help women make full, active, informed and creative contributions to the knowledge society.

It provides a framework for policy makers to use in establishing what sectors of the economy and society are the most strategically relevant to women’s development goals. It will help them make informed decisions towards a vibrant and competitive national knowledge society, taking full advantage of a country’s human resources.

In order to achieve this, data are needed: data that provide the best and most useful information on gendered opportunities and challenges, data that will allow the best decisions to be made. The report aims to provide the framework for the necessary data analysis to achieve these goals.

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