From access to appropriation: Women and ICT policies in Latin American and the Caribbean

23 February 2005

By Gloria Bonder

In the current phase of development of the so called 'Information Society', we must clearly differentiate the potentialities (informative, educational, cultural, political, economic, etc.) offered by the new technologies, from their manifestations and actual impact on the various contexts and social groups.

This type of analysis is still at a beginning stage in the LAC Region. Therefore, the understanding of the role currently played by these technologies in our societies is usually based on impressions, “good wishes” and, in the best of cases, on some partial studies. For that reason, giving priority to investigation for action is, in the author's opinion, a fundamental challenge in this phase of ICT expansion in Latin America. This will provide us with reliable data to get round two equally false beliefs: on the one hand the idealization of their capability for transforming economy, culture, political life and for leveling all sorts of disparities, including gender; and on the other hand their “demonization” due to their alleged negative influence on the cultures, the subjectivities and the lifestyles of the LAC societies.

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