Impact of using information and communication technology (ICT) in open and distance learning (ODL) as an empowerment tool for women
Dr. M Ramakrishna Reddy
According to the World Bank report published in year 2015, Women constitute about 49.6% of the total world population, but they form only nine percent of the total productive work force mainly because women have lagged behind in the higher education. Open and distance education has provided women with an opportunity to redress the situation. Open and Distance Learning (ODL) is endowed with high flexibility and can meet the demands of the higher education for women of all persuasions which the conventional education system is unable to meet. Empowerment is an active multi-dimensional process which enables women to realize their full potential in all spheres of life. The study examined how Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have influenced the empowerment of women through open and distance learning. The study was qualitative and used a sample of 50 purposively selected women from the Anantapuram district of Andhra Pradesh State. Key information was collected through the interviews for the study. The study found out that, the use of ICT in Open and distance learning has equipped women intellectually and empowered them through acquisition of skills and knowledge. ICT in ODL has rendered women more informed, autonomous and liberated.