Empowering Women and Girls Through ICT at Libraries

Despite the rapid increases in access to technology in developing countries, one distinct gap remains: Women and girls do not have equal access to technology, and they lack the capacity to use information and communication technologies to build social capital.

Many international organizations have established initiatives intended to help girls and women access technology and technology training. These programs are critical pieces of the campaign to foster girls’ ICT skills, but they often overlook and underuse a potentially valuable resource that could help scale and institutionalize women’s and girls’ access: Public libraries.

This brief examines the role (potential and actual) that libraries play in promoting gender equity, with a specific focus on access to technology. Examples from Uganda, Honduras, and Ukraine show that libraries are a safe, stable space for women and girls to work, learn, socialize, and gain digital skills.