The gender-technology divide or perceptions of non-use?

Neha Kumar


There exists a widely acknowledged gender divide in rural India that is perceived to complicate, often cripple, women’s access to various new media technologies, including mobile devices that their male counterparts have been using for several years. My research takes a deeper look at this divide to offer a more nuanced understanding that extends beyond the dualism of use and non-use and deconstructs the popular notions that rural Indian women are digitally illiterate, have little time or inclination to use technology, or would find it to be of little use. I analyze the role that patriarchal practices play in structuring the perceptions of women’s interactions with mobile phones using qualitative data collected over multiple site visits to Raebareli district in rural Uttar Pradesh (India).

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