Print Media and ICT Access and Use among Female Academics in University of Jos, Nigeria

RP Gowon
2010 African Research Review  
Literacy for women in the academics requires constant access and use of current and quality information from the media and their associated technologies. This paper discusses the challenges to functional literacy for women academics in the University of Jos and explains how their academic literacy can be enhanced to bring about their empowerment in the system. Indexed African Journals Online: www.ajol.info This social disparity and isolation is likely to be more pronounced against female
more » ... ainst female academics arising from the gender inequalities against women because of the inherited historical, cultural, political and institutional practices which discriminate against women and put them in a marginalized position. This paper -a research report of 2006 discusses the interaction of University of Jos female academics with the media types, their challenges in this interaction and suggests how these could be overcome with the aim to bring about their empowerment within the academic environment. Background Background of the research was hinged on the premise that female academics in the University of Jos are likely to suffer some degree of disadvantage in the use of both old and new information technologies because of their dual roles in reproduction and production. This is in spite of the fact that their advancement in the system is dependent on their effective and efficient use of these technologies. The ICT's component of the Second Cycle Strategic Plan of the University of the University of Jos has four clauses concerning the training, provision and acquisition of ICT's services and software to all staff of the University and 'the fostering of increased participation of women in ICT's activities'. Nevertheless, the policy and its implementation have not taken care of the peculiarities of females (both staff and students), especially for the 300 female academic staff. This stems from the systematic social and cultural stereotypes that believes men and women should have the same experiences for conditions and situations. However, studies have shown that men and women tend to experience things (media, technology and communication inclusive) differently. Hence if these experiences are not analyzed and addressed, women and indeed female academics in University of Jos, might not adequately participate in and maximize the use of both media and ICT facilities provided by the University. Purpose of Study The study set out to achieve the following objectives; 1. Determined patterns of media and ICT access by female academics. 2. Identify patterns of media and ICT use by female academics. 3. Determine the factors that hinder media and ICT access and use among female academics. 4. Provide workable suggestions for enhancing the access and use of ICT and media among female academics. Research Questions 1. What are the patterns of ICT and print media access by female academics of University of Jos? 2. What are the contents of ICT and print media used by female academics of University of Jos? 3. What factors affect female academics of the University of Jos in the access and use of ICT and the print media? Literature Review Literature reviewed has confirmed the background that women are not likely to access and use ICT & media the same as men. In advocating the provision of space for expression for women and their inclusion in technologies that enhance expression, the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action called for increase in participation and access of women to expression and decision -making in and through the media and new technologies of communication. These include the issues of access, employment and decision -making in the old and emerging media, the negative and positive impact of the new information and communication technologies and key issues that women need to address in the sector. Furthermore, in providing a women's agenda for information and communication technologies; the Association for Progressive Communication-Africa -Women in 2003 highlighted that, globalization and the emerging information society will either advance the status of women in society or reinforce their marginalization. The association posits that if women do not engage and harness the tools which ICTs offer them, their concerns will be further marginalized. Therefore, it advanced that it is essential to engage more women in accessing and using information and communication technologies for equality and development in Africa, especially in the educational sector. The question of communication and technology depends largely on quality and quantity of access and ownership; as access, ownership and the creation of knowledge is the key and central for effective academic functioning in a University. The need to access, control and create knowledge within the context of the emerging technology is essential to the development and progression for women academics. This is because knowledge production, a key function of the University and, which also is within the realm of ICT, is controlled by unequal power dynamics of socio-economic realities of globalization with gender affecting the form. Thus, women must not only Print Media and ICT Access and Use among Female Academics... Copyright © IAARR, www.afrrev.com
doi:10.4314/afrrev.v4i3.60270 fatcat:r7b3pqegxzgbbiahnhb6jzcpay