Women’s empowerment through openness: OER, OEP and the Sustainable Development Goals

Leigh-Anne Perryman, Beatriz de los Arcos

Abstract


This paper explores the potential of open educational resources (OER) and open educational practices (OEP) in helping achieve women’s empowerment in the developing world. Our evidence comprises the Open Education Research Hub open dataset, featuring survey responses from 7,700 educators, formal and informal learners from 175 countries concerning the use of OER, the barriers faced in respect of OER adoption and OEP engagement, and the perceived impact of OER on teaching practices. Our findings indicate that OER and OEP can give women a voice, access to information and education, and the opportunity to connect with peers and train others. However, they also highlight extreme inequalities in digital empowerment and extensive technological barriers to digital participation. We argue that while such technological barriers certainly need removing, the potential of openness can only fully be realised when ‘offline’ societal and economic barriers to women’s empowerment are also minimised.


Keywords


Sustainable development goals: Women’s empowerment; OER; OEP; open educational resources; open educational practices; gender; developing countries

Full Text:

PDF

References


Buckler, A., Perryman, L. Seal, T. & Musafir, S. (2014). The role of OER localisation in building a knowledge partnership for development: insights from the TESSA and TESS-India teacher education projects. Open Praxis, 6(3), 221–233. http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.6.3.136

de los Arcos, B., Farrow, R., Perryman, L., Pitt, R. & Weller, M. (2014). OER Evidence Report 2013-2014. Retrieved from http://oro.open.ac.uk/41866

Glennie, J., Harley, K., Butcher, N. & van Wyk, T. (2012). Open Educational Resources and Change in Higher Education: Reflections from Practice. Vancouver: Commonwealth of Learning. Retrieved from http://www.col.org/PublicationDocuments/pub_PS_OER_web.pdf.

Gurumurthy, A. & Chami, N. (2014). Gender equality in the information society: a review of current literature and recommendations for policy and practice. IT for Change & BRIDGE. Retrieved from http://www.gender-is-citizenship.net/women-and-governance/sites/gender-is-citizenship.net.women-and-governance/files/Final%20India%20Research%20Brief_September2014.pdf.

IBIS (2014). Concept paper: Mother tongue – bilingual education. Retrieved from http://ibis-global.org/sites/default/files/media/pdf_global/methods_and_approaches/concept_paper_layout_final_-_mother_tongue.pdf.

IT for Change (2014). WWW Research Study on 'ICTs for Empowerment of Women and Girls.’ Retrieved from http://www.itforchange.net/WWW_Research_Study_on_ICTs_for_Empowerment_of_Women_and_Girls

Ivins, T. (2012) Localization of OER in Nepal: Strategies of Himalayan Knowledge Workers. Proceedings of Cambridge 2012: Innovation and Impact – Openly Collaborating to Enhance Education, a joint meeting of OER12 and OpenCourseWare Consortium Global 2012. Cambridge, UK.

Kabeer, N. (1999). Resources, Agency, Achievements: Reflections on the Measurement of Women's Empowerment. Development and Change, 30, 435-464. Retrieved from https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~kmacd/IDSC10/Readings/research%20design/empowerment.pdf

Kleine, D. (2008). ICT4What? – Using the Choice Framework to operationalize the Capability Approach to Development. Retrieved from http://courses.cs.washington.edu/courses/cse590f/09sp/ictd09/Kleine.pdf

Mijumbi, R. (2002). ICTs as a tool for economic empowerment of women: experiences from the use of a CD ROM by rural women in Uganda. Report for United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/ict2002/reports/Paper-RMijumbi.PDF

Open Knowledge Foundation (2014). Do open educational resources have to be online? Open Education Handbook. Retrieved from http://booktype.okfn.org/open-education-handbook/_draft/_v/1.0/do-open-educational-resources-have-to-be-online/.

O’Neil, T., Domingo, P. & Valters, C. (2014). Progress on Women’s empowerment: From technical fixes to political action. Development Progress Working Paper 06. Retrieved from http://www.developmentprogress.org/sites/developmentprogress.org/files/case-study-report/progress_on_womens_empowerment_-_from_technical_fixes_to_political_action_final_-_20-11-14.pdf

Patil, D., Dhere, A., and Pawar, C., (2009). ICT and empowerment of rural and deprived women in Asia. Asia-Pacific Journal of Rural Development 19(1): 1–22.

Perryman, L. (2013). Addressing a national crisis in learning: open educational resources, teacher-education in India and the role of online communities of practice. Seventh Pan-Commonwealth Forum on Open Learning (PCF7), 2-6 Dec 2013, Abuja, Nigeria. Retrieved from http://oro.open.ac.uk/39658/1/Addressing%20a%20national%20crisis%20in%20learning%20PCF7.pdf

Perryman, L., Buckler, A. & Seal, T. (2014). Learning from TESS-India’s Approach to OER Localisation Across Multiple Indian States. Journal of Interactive Media in Education, 2014(2), 7. http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/jime.af

Perryman, L. & Lesperance, J. (2015). Collaborating across borders: OER use and open educational practices within the Virtual University for Small States of the Commonwealth. Open Education Global Conference 2015, 22-24 April, 2015, Banff, Alberta, Canada. Retrieved from http://oro.open.ac.uk/43344

Perryman, L. & Seal, T. (2015). Open educational practices and attitudes to openness across India: reporting the findings of the OER Research Hub pan-India survey. OER15, 14-15 April 2015, Cardiff. Retrieved from http://oro.open.ac.uk/43345

Potnis, D. (2015). Inequalities creating economic barriers to owning mobile phones in India: Factors responsible for the gender digital divide. Information Development, 1-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0266666915605163

Robinson-Pant, A. (2007). ‘Literacy’. In B. Bank (ed.). Gender and Education: An encyclopaedia. Volume 1. (p. 429). London: Praeger.

Sandys, E. (2005). Women 2000 and Beyond, Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women Through ICT, United Nations Division for the Advancement of Women. Retrieved from http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/public/w2000-09.05-ict-e.pdf.

Sen, A. (1999). Development As Freedom. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

UNESCO (2015). Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2015: Gender and EFA 2000-2015 achievements and challenges. Retrieved from http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0023/002348/234809E.pdf?new.

Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice: learning, meaning and identity. London: Cambridge University Press.

World Wide Web Foundation (2015). Women’s Rights Online: Translating Access into Empowerment. Retrieved from http://webfoundation.org/about/research/womens-rights-online-2015/




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5944/openpraxis.8.2.289

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.