INTERNET AND WOMEN SELF-EMPOWERMENT: OPPORTUNITIES, STRATEGIES, AND CHALLENGES

Nkiru Comfort Ezeh, Nkechi Anthonia Chukwuma, Okwudili Ben Okanume

Abstract


In all spheres of life, women have been experiencing one form of discrimination, marginalisation or domination or the other by men. The patriarchal social structure in Africa provides a framework upon which the marginalization and discrimination are based. This many believed are responsible for the exclusion of women’s interests in the decision-making process and development paradigms. The traditional mass media many argued also help in the marginalization of women. Anchored on the Diffusion of Innovation Theory, the study evaluated if female university students in South-east Nigeria can be self-empowered through their use of Internet which can lead to tangible developments in their lives. Survey conducted among 300 female students of universities in the south-east, Nigeria revealed that although the Internet use among the women is mainly for leisure purposes, it can lead to empowering them for sustainable development. The study recommends that women should aggressively utilize the opportunities provided by the Internet for self-empowerment by searching for information that can boost their economic standard, and approach the Internet to fight the marginalization against them that have been crippling their development effort.


Keywords


Internet, Women, Self-Empowerment, Opportunities, Strategies, Challenges, Development

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