The Digital Gender Divide: Confronting Obstacles to Women's Development in Africa

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28 Scopus citations


The African Union has declared 2010–2020 as the African Women's Decade to accelerate African women's development. However, to achieve the decade's goals, African countries must acknowledge the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in consolidating human capital. This research investigates gender disparities in access and use of ICTs in sub-Saharan Africa and finds that men are more likely to own and use the technologies. Education, socioeconomic status, domesticity and traditionalism are all linked to ICT use. However, the gender gap does not arise as a result of differential returns to these factors for men and women. Rather, it materializes when fewer women have the resources, or are more disadvantaged in accessing and using ICTs. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-160
Number of pages24
JournalDevelopment Policy Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • digital divide
  • digital gender divide
  • gender
  • gender policy
  • sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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