Victim, Mother, or Untapped Resource? Discourse Analysis of the Construction of Women in ICT Policies

Annika Andersson, Mathias Hatakka


This article analyzes the construction of women in national ICT policies in South and Southeast Asia. The aim is to unravel the role ascribed to women in these policies and how this affects suggested measures. The research is based on critical discourse analysis and shows that women are mainly constructed as victims, mothers, or an untapped resource. We argue that if women are specifically targeted in policies, careful attention should be given to how they are portrayed. Our analysis also shows that in most cases the suggested solutions on how to include women in the ICT society only deal with the symptoms of gender inequality rather than the structures that prevent equal opportunities. We conclude by discussing implications for research and practice.

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