De-myth-tifying the gender digital divide in Latin America: libraries as intermediaries in bridging the gap

Lauren Bull

Abstract


For decades, the gender digital divide has been observed as a concept and a construct throughout countries all over the world. It persists with particular belligerence in areas like Latin America, where myths surrounding its existence have perpetuated disparities in men’s and women’s access to and use of the internet and information and communications technologies (ICTs). In this paper, the author reveals that in order for the gender digital divide to be rectified, it must first be ‘de-myth-tified’, and claims about the divide as nonexistent, unimportant, or due to women’s inherent technophobia systematically discredited. It is then argued that, by exposing the true nature of the divide, spaces are created for libraries to take on a new role in Latin America, as advocates for gender equality in technology and information. Possibilities for improving policy, education, and innovation are explored, with a call for further research in the field. Second Place DJIM Best Article Award.


Keywords


Digital divide; Gender; Latin America; Women; Internet; Technology; Information and communications technologies; ICTs; Information; Libraries

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5931/djim.v12i1.6448

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