Towards a Feminist Political Economy of Telecommunications
This essay advances a feminist political economy to telecommunications approach by looking at how different agencies in the United Nations system and various UN conferences conceptualize the relationship between women/gender, telecommunications, and new ICTs. The central questions asked are: What does a privatized world mean to poor women? Why are the private sectors of telecommunications and new ICTs so rich and global women so poor? Where does the wealth that is made in the telecommunications and new ICTs industries go? By critiquing how the UN conceptualizes the relationship between women/gender, telecommunications, and new ICTs, this essay argues that a feminist political economy to telecommunications uncovers how the current understanding of the relationship may hinder UN's efforts in reducing global poverty. This approach shows that economic arrangement, national policies, technologies, and intellectual property laws are gendered. As long as the gendered nature of these macro structures is not acknowledged and altered, women's poverty will never be fully understood and hence will never be eradicated.
Keywords: Feminist Political Economy, Telecommunications, The United Nations, Women's Poverty
Dr. Micky Lee
Assistant Professor in Media Studies, Department of Communication and Journalism, Suffolk University