WHAT TECHNOLOGY AND OPEN DATA CAN DO FOR WOMEN IN KOSOVO

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Improving the lives of women through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) is a prominent feature of the global policy agenda, particularly in countries with low female labour and political participation such as Kosovo. This research looked at grassroots programmes organised by Girls Coding Kosova and Open Data Kosovo teaching young women advanced ICT skills and the use of open data. The paper seeks to explore to what extent such programmes contribute to the empowerment of women in the ICT sector in Kosovo. It answers this question by assessing disempowering factors and analysing the strengths and limitations of the programmes in empowering women in technological, social, psychological and political spheres. Data was collected through in-depth interviews with 20 relevant stakeholders. The paper identifies social norms as the main disempowering factor. ICT skills programmes help alleviate their detrimental impact by providing highly-demanded skills, support networks, role models. Moreover, the use of open data during the programmes enhances civic engagement.

The paper was presented as a part of the Open Data Research Symposium 2018 in Buenos Aires.