Empowerment of Women through Digital Governance Networks

Towards the optimum ICT-impact Model by Vikas Nath, Founder, Digital Governance Initiative [Published in Hafkin & Huyer (eds.) Cinderella or Cyberella: Empowering Women in Knowledge Society. Kumarian Press: Connecticut]


Historically, the isolation of women from the mainstream economy and their lack of access to information because of societal, cultural and market constraints have led them to become distant from the global pool of information and knowledge. This distance is reflected in the levels of empowerment and equality of women in comparison to men, and has enormously contributed to the slow pace of development in South. It is now a well understood fact that without progress towards the empowerment of women, any attempt to raise the quality of lives of people in developing countries would be incomplete. There is an increasing amount of evidence which substantiates that societies that discriminate by gender pay a high price in terms of their ability to develop and to reduce poverty. Ironically, the importance of bringing a gender perspective to policy analysis and designing of development tools and interventions is still not widely understood, and the lessons for development still need to be fully integrated by the donors and national policy makers.


In the context of knowledge sphere, the issues of gender equality, equity and empowerment of women become even significant as women have a strategic  role in incubation and transfer of critical knowledge which often forms the blue print of survival for communities to adapt and minimise their risks in the adverse of circumstances.