Empowerment in their hands: use of WhatsApp by women in Nigeria

ABUBAKAR, Naima Hafiz and DASUKI, Salihu (2018). Empowerment in their hands: use of WhatsApp by women in Nigeria. Gender, Technology and Development, 22 (2), 164-183.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1080/09718524.2018.1509490


Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are reported to hold a lot of promise for sustainable development, poverty reduction and the empowerment of marginalized groups, such as women and minorities in developing countries. This paper discusses the relationship between women’s empowerment and ICTs, by investigating the promise of empowerment associated with the use of WhatsApp by women in Nigeria. It draws upon Sen’s Capability Approach (CA) to explore some implications of the use of WhatsApp mobile application on human development. We employed Sen's five instrumental freedoms to evaluate how WhatsApp has empowered women by concentrating on the opportunities provided for expanding their freedom to participate in social, economic and political activities. Our analysis shows that WhatsApp can contribute to the empowerment of women by enabling their freedoms to participate in developmental activities; however some contextual factors impede the ability of the women to take full advantage of these developmental opportunities that WhatsApp offers. The paper concludes with some implications for policymakers advancing an agenda for "ICTs for Development”.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/09718524.2018.1509490
Page Range: 164-183
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2018 08:34
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:51
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22116

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