Gender Inequalities In Higher Education, Information Communication Technologies And Sustainable Development: What are the connections?
This conceptual paper raises concerns about gender inequality in higher Education with a special focus on university based education in the context of the developing world and in Africa, particularly. Within the broad thematic area of gender, education and development, this paper uses documented evidence to appraise one of the most recent developments in educational transformation; which is online teaching and learning. World wide, higher education institutions are facing unprecedented challenges to introspect as they move into the information and knowledge age. As part of the knowledge society, these institutions are also regarded as hubs of innovative development ideas and practices and domains for the transfer of these ideas to society for sustainable development. These high expectations put pressure on these institutions to radically and positively respond to demands for reform. One of the key areas on which these institutions have been challenged to transform is that of gender inequity in their structures and programmes. This paper critically surveys how online teaching poses as a challenge to universities as they grapple with issues of gender inequality. The thesis of this paper is that technology mediated teaching and learning further disadvantages the already marginal group, women who are a large part of the populations of societies in these contexts. The paper is concluded by teasing out some of the factors that have made this challenge so hard to address by universities. Suggestions are made on some of the strategies that could be employed to deal with this challenge so that women could reach their full potential for contribution in sustainable development processes.
Keywords: keywEducation, Sustainable Development, Gender Inequality, Online Teaching, Information Communication Technologies
Studies in Gender and Development in Africa Vol. 1 (1) 2007: pp.43-58