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The promise and perils of ICTs in the UAE

Vodanovich, Shahper and Urquhart, Cathy and Shakir, Maha (2008) The promise and perils of ICTs in the UAE. [Conference or Workshop Item] (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) have become a potent force in transforming social, economic, and political life globally. As Avgerou & Walsham (2000) assert, ICTs have the potential to aid economic growth and the improvement of social conditions in the world. However, the transference of this vital knowledge to women in some Middle Eastern countries is hindered on two fronts. Embedded gender structures within society, as well as inadequate ICT infrastructure, training and support mean that women in these countries neither experience nor access ICTs in the same way. Some of the questions that this paper will endeavor to explore are: What are some of the promising new social, economic and political opportunities for women in the ICT sector of the U.A.E.? Does ICT use replicate patterns of gender segregation seen elsewhere in U.A.E. society? (What are the barriers that women in the Middle East, especially those in the U.A.E., have to overcome in order to actively participate in the promise of these technologies? This paper will explore the utilisation of technology as a tool for positive change and leadership opportunities for women in the U.A.E. This paper will consolidate the findings of a further research study being conducted in the U.A.E., which will include interviews with women working in the IT sector.

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