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Exploring UAE women's experiences with IT

Shakir, Maha and Shen, Kathy and Vodanovich, Shahper and Urquhart, Cathy (2008) Exploring UAE women's experiences with IT. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This study explores the ways UAE women are using, benefiting from, and are affected by information technology (IT). IT has an important role for individuals, businesses, and societies. However, a great deal of published research is focused on business. In this paper, our focus is on the less researched aspect which is female individuals and the society they live in. A survey of female nationals at a local university in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was conducted to collect the primary data for the study. The results clearly show an agreement among respondents on the importance of IT to their education and future careers. Female perception of IT’s positive and negative effects for themselves and for their society is in agreement with comparable reports in the IT literature. Exceptions are perceptions of IT as a facilitator for increasing freedom, providing open and unrestricted access to information, and influencing thinking and beliefs. While such outcomes are often viewed positively in western cultures, respondents perceived these as negatives. This study sheds light on issues of IT and culture that are in urgent need of further understanding in the interconnected global environment we live in today.

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