Using ICTs to explore Moroccan women's ideas about their emancipation

Simon, Sandrine (2011). Using ICTs to explore Moroccan women's ideas about their emancipation. Gender, Technology and Development, 15(2) pp. 301–317.



This research note presents the results of a feasibility study on how the use of audiovisual and information and communication technology (ICT) tools can help Moroccan women express their understanding of the concept of "emancipation," and thereby promote wider democratic processes. The study uses a participatory approach with audiovisual tools and techniques to facilitate self-expression by women of different age cohorts, levels of literacy, and economic and social status about what it means to be a Muslim, a Moroccan, and a twenty-first century woman. The use of ICTs has helped women to learn how to represent complex concepts such as emancipation in ways that are more authentic than those given through portraits in the existing literature and media. In addition, the women show a remarkable and respectful capacity to listen to each other and an excitement for having discovered the ability to visualize electronic outcomes of their image collections and drawings. A supportive learning environment helps them articulate their problem with confidence. The research note concludes that in a situation where existing institutions do not provide the space for self-expression, debate, and learning about democracy, social media becomes an important tool for an inductive process of women's emancipation, starting from the diversity of cultural meanings held by specific groups to respectful dialogues among them.

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