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Technology can be key to empowering rural women

While the digital revolution is reaching rural areas in many developing countries, the rural digital divide continues to present considerable challenges. The problem is even more acute for women, who face a triple divide: digital, rural, and gender.

© Chris Steele-Perkins / Magnum Photos for FAO

A new FAO publication on mainstreaming gender in the use of information and communication technologies, available in English, looks at how men and women in rural areas can harness the benefits of these new technologies.

“Despite the promises of the digital revolution, rural women still don’t have the same access and control of information and communication technologies as men,” said Sophie Treinen, FAO information and knowledge management officer.

Reasons for this include cultural and social factors, time and mobility constraints, heavy workloads, inadequate financial resources, and low level of education. Yet in many cases, technology can make a significant contribution to overcoming these obstacles, underscoring the importance of ensuring women’s opportunities to unlock the benefits of these technologies.

“In order to leave no one behind, and not to exacerbate these divides, FAO proposes developing national digital strategies for agriculture and rural development where gender issues are mainstreamed,” Treinen added.

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