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Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a Tool for Economic Empowerment of Women in Sri Lanka

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) as a Tool for Economic Empowerment of Women in Sri Lanka
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국제대학원 국제학과
이화여자대학교 국제대학원
20세기이래, ICT(정보통신기술)은 사람, 사회, 국가, 대륙을 하나로 연결시키는 역할을 하는 현대 테크놀로지 중의 하나였다. ICT는 빈곤퇴치뿐 아니라, 남녀 모두에게 기회를 부여함으로써 역량강화를 이룰 수 있는 효과적인 경제적 도구중의 하나였다. 서남아시아 지역도 이점에서 예외가 아니어서, ICT 발전이 빠르게 일어나고 있고 스리랑카 사회 역시 그 영향하에 놓여있다. 이 논문은 스리랑카 ICT 부문에서의 여성의 참여를 분석한다. 스리랑카 여성교육수준이 대부분의 선진국가 수준이 비슷하다는 점은 잘 알려져 있다. 하지만 ICT 분야는 남성이 독점하고 있으며 여성의 참여가 저조하다는 점이 본 연구를 통해 밝혀졌다. 이러한 추세는 ICT 관련 분야, 예를 들어 교육, 정책결정, 노동참여 등의 분야로 이어져서 결국 여성의 역량강화에 부정적 영향을 미치고 있다.;Since the 20th century Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) have been one of the modern technological phenomena that link the world by connecting people, society, countries and continents. ICT have become one of the effective economic tools to eradicate poverty and to empower people by creating opportunities for both men and women. The South Asian region is not an exception in this regards and has emerged with the development of ICT, and its shadow has fallen on to the Sri Lankan society as well. This study was designed to identify women’s participation in the Sri Lankan ICT sector. It is well known that Sri Lankan female education level is in par with that in most developed countries. Interestingly, the study results revealed that awareness of participation of females in ICT sector is lower and that it is basically a male dominated system. This trend is also observed in sectors related to ICT such as education, policy making, workforce, etc. negatively affecting women empowerment. In this context, this study is focused on identifying the causes of lower involvement of women in ICT that lead to their slow economic development. Although the Sri Lankan government identified, formulated and implemented the National ICT development policy, it seems to be gender blind and not focused on the aspect of higher involvement or empowerment of women in ICT. The ICT education system also has its own limitations such as inadequate infrastructure, human resources and other social factors such as cultural and language barriers etc. This study also revealed that some serious modifications are needed to be introduced to the primary, secondary and tertiary education system. This includes paying more attention to ICT education in primary level and measures to improve female participation in ICT, vocational and other informal educational systems. In addition, shortcomings in ICT education system are also to be rectified so that it could be utilized as an effective tool for strengthening the socio-economic status of women in the society.
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