Technology, gender and social control


The World Disasters Report of 2014 gave an example of how cultural context enabled technology to circumvent cultural barriers that are also likely to be gendered. On Lake Victoria, sudden storms put the lives of fisher folk and others at risk on a daily basis. However, many fisher folk cannot swim and will not take lifejackets in the fishing boat. Several cultural reasons are put forward for this. For men in particular, though, the report suggests that they may not want to learn how to swim or use safety equipment, since that can make them look “weak”. The Mobile Weather Alert app, which notifies fisher folk of weather conditions via a traffic light system, has gone some way in reversing peer pressure, so that ignoring the app may now make the men look weak.

Note: See source document for full reference.

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