Beyond ICT Access and Use: Are Young Women of Mathare Leveraging the Potential of ICTs?

  • Grace Githaiga University of Nairobi
  • Norbert Wildermuth Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark

Abstract

ICTs are an invaluable tool in empowering women in underprivileged societies. However, evidence lacks on how young women of Mathare use ICTs to counter unemployment and a lack of essential services that disproportionately impact them. The article discusses the empowerment of young women in Mathare through ICTs, specifically the radio and mobile phones. The analysis indicates that, in numerous cases, radio has enabled young women to shape the conversation on issues affecting them and have useful information on improving their living conditions. Likewise, mobile phone ownership and the acquirement of ICT skills resulting in young women’s financial inclusion and participation in multiple home-based and income-generating activities have facilitated digital empowerment. However, young women’s low socio-economic status and limited knowledge on the benefits of ICTs were the main barriers to realising the outlined potential. The article concludes with implications for radio stations and telecommunication providers that seek to advance young women’s empowerment.

Author Biographies

Grace Githaiga, University of Nairobi

Grace Githaiga is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Nairobi. She has a BA in Communication with a minor in Community Development, and a Masters in International Relations. Grace was a Fulbright/Humphrey Fellow at University of Maryland, USA. She is interested in ICT policy research and analysis. 

Norbert Wildermuth, Department of Communication and Arts, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark

Norbert is an associate professor at the Department of Communication, Business and IT at Roskilde University, Denmark. He participated in the Danida funded research projects “People Speaking Back? Media, Democracy and Empowerment in East Africa” (MEDIeA: 2009-2015), the capacity building / research project “e-Governance in Bhutan” (eGiB: 2012-2014) and the Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences funded research project “Critical Perspectives on New Media and Processes of Social Change in the Global South” (2013-2015).

Published
2022-10-15
How to Cite
Githaiga, G., & Wildermuth, N. (2022). Beyond ICT Access and Use: Are Young Women of Mathare Leveraging the Potential of ICTs?. Kabarak Journal of Research & Innovation, 12(2), 37-45. Retrieved from http://ojs.kabarak.ac.ke/index.php/kjri/article/view/542
Section
Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences