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close this bookWomen Encounter Technology: Changing Patterns of Employment in the Third World (UNU, 1995, 356 p.)
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View the documentContributors
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1. Beyond the politics of difference
Open this folder and view contents2. Information technology and working women's demands
Open this folder and view contents3. Feminist approaches to technology
Open this folder and view contents4. Conflicting demands of new technology and household work
Open this folder and view contents5. Changes in textiles
Open this folder and view contents6. Information technology and women's employment in manufacturing in Eastern Europe
Open this folder and view contents7. Restructuring and retraining
Open this folder and view contents8. Computerization and women's employment in India's banking sector
Open this folder and view contents9. Information technology, gender and employment
Open this folder and view contents10. Women in software programming
Open this folder and view contents11. Something old, something new, something borrowed . . . the electronics industry in Calcutta
Open this folder and view contents12. Women and information technology in Sub-Saharan Africa
Open this folder and view contents13. Gender perspectives on health and safety in information processing
Open this folder and view contents14. Using information technology as a mobilizing force
Open this folder and view contents15. The fading of the collective dream?
View the documentAfterword


Edited by Swasti Mitter and Sheila Rowbotham

Routledge London and New York
The United Nations University
INTEC - Institute for New Technologies

Published in association with the UNU Press

First published 1995 by Routledge 11 New Fetter Lane, London EC4P 4EE

Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 29 West 35th Street, New York, NY 10001


Typeset in Times by LaserScript, Mitcham, Surrey
Printed and bound in Great Britain by
Mackays of Chatham PLC, Kent

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Women encounter technology: changing patterns of employment in the third world/edited by Swasti Mitter and Sheila Rowbotham. p. cm. - (UNU/INTECH)
Includes bibliographical references.

ISBN 0-415-12687-8

1. Women - Employment - Effect of technological innovations on - Developing countries. 2. Information technology - Developing countries. I. Mitter, Swasti, 1939- II. Rowbotham, Sheila. III. Series: UNU/INTECH studies in new technology and development.

HD6223.W654 1995
331.4'09172'4 - dc20 95-7345


ISSN 1359-7922
ISBN 0-415-12687-8

This collection of essays explores the effects of information technology on women's employment and the nature of women's work in the third world. Contributors discuss the challenges faced by women, along with their responses and organizing strategies, as they adjust to new technologies in less affluent communities. Also outlined are the roles that family, ideology, state policies and trade union structures can play in distributing information technology-related employment among women and men. Particular chapters highlight differences in the interests and needs of different groups of women, challenging the concept of a monolithic, specifically feminine vision of technology and science. The book provides a critique of postmodernism and ecofeminism and suggests ways in which modern technologies could promote gender equality in the developing world.

In looking at the impact of information technology on the working lives of women in the third world, this volume begins to redress the imbalance in the literature, which has so far tended to focus mainly on the experiences of first world countries. Presenting fresh research from leading academics around the world, Women Encounter Technology lays a vital foundation for further debate and research in this important area.

Swasti Mitter is the Deputy Director of the United Nations University Institute for New Technologies (UNU/INTECH), Maastricht, the Netherlands, and holds the Chair of Gender and Technology Studies at the University of Brighton, UK. Sheila Rowbotham has written extensively on women in history and the contemporary position of women. She is a Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology, University of Manchester and an Honorary Fellow in Women's Studies at the University of North London.

UNU/INTECH Studies in New Technology and Development

Series editors: Charles Cooper and Swasti Mitter

The books in this series reflect the research initiatives at the United Nations University Institute for New Technologies (UNU/INTECH) based in Maastricht, the Netherlands. This institute is primarily a research centre within the UN system, and evaluates the social, political and economic environment in which new technologies are adopted and adapted in the developing world. The books in the series explore the role that technology policies can play in bridging the economic gaps between nations, as well as between groups within nations. The authors and contributors are leading scholars in the field of technology and development; their work focuses on:

· the social and economic implications of new technologies;
· processes of diffusion of such technologies to the developing world;
· the impact of such technologies on income, employment and environment;
· the political dynamics of technology transfer.

The series is a pioneering attempt at placing technology policies at the heart of national and international strategies for development. This is likely to prove crucial in the globalized market, for the competitiveness and sustainable growth of poorer nations.

1 Women Encounter Technology
Changing Patterns of Employment in the Third World
Edited by Swasti Mitter and Sheila Rowbotham

2 In Pursuit of Science and Technology in Sub-Saharan Africa
J.L Enos

3 Politics of Technology in Latin America
Edited by Maria InBastos and Charles M. Cooper

4 Exporting Africa
Technology, Trade and Industrialization in Sub-Saharan Africa
Edited by Samuel M. Wangwe

To Will, Rana, Pamina and Partha, with love.