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Marginality as a Site of Resistance: How does access to mobile technology empower women in pastoralist communities in Kenya?

Student: Clare Smyth
Status: Available to partner with
Dissertation: Marginality as a Site of Resistance: How does access to mobile technology empower women in pastoralist communities in Kenya?
Dissertation category: Sustainability
Dissertation theme:
Short summary: My research aims to explore the idea of ‘Africa rising’ through the use and access of mobile technology in rural pastoralist communities in Kenya. I will analyse how far the data gathered on this region is accurate by assessing surveys that have been done by different international organisations. My hope is that the results that I gather from my fieldwork can better inform approaches to mobile technology development to increase functionality, development and empowerment of marginalised groups.
Detailed summary: The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) identifies that the enhanced use of enabling technologies, in particular ICT’s, promotes the empowerment of women and paves way for greater democratization. In East Africa, access to mobile technology has allowed many women to have access to bank accounts for the first time through mobile banking platforms such as M-pesa. Through a 6-8 week fieldwork project in Kajiado County Kenya in partnership with a local NGO, I will access a demographic of women with small businesses or farms who use mobile banking platforms and other mobile technology in their business. I want to analyse how far access to mobile technology has had a positive impact on their business ventures or whether there is room for developing better connectivity for rural women. I am hoping that the results of my fieldwork can be used to better inform sustainable mobile technology projects that assist those in marginalised communities in the Global South.
University: University of Exeter
Course: BA Anthropology
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