Gender and Life Long Learning: Impact on Women’s Empowerment
COL has been working on L3 for farmers’ project for the last five years in collaboration with NGOs; Community based organizations, technical institutions, telecom service providers and commercial banks in Tamil Nadu, India. The project is aiming to improve the livelihood security of the illiterate and semiliterate poor women and men farmers through knowledge empowerment. Here Open and Distance Learning with the support of modern and affordable ICT tools; the mobile phone and print media has been used to support the learning process. Using ICTs, the project aims at building the capacity among farmers, and landless labourers which could help them in developing value-added farming, encourage more sustainable use of natural resources, strengthen their ability to face globalization, and ensure food and livelihood security. The intervention process adopted gender sensitive approach in project cycle approach; from planning to monitoring and evaluation. At the initial stage, for better implementation of gendered approach, the capacity of the NGOs was given adequate attention. // Appropriation of mobile and print technology to facilitate credit specific learning process and livelihoods, institutional linkages, creation of assets and access to production related technologies and services were specific strategies adopted to reduce gender gap and progress towards transformation. Credit specific learning through mobile created new learning environment to improve the livelihoods and utilize the credit effectively for women. The space created through mobile use, has enhanced decision making ability of women in managing the livelihood activity. Access to technology and information has subtly enhanced women’s power to go beyond the culturally constructed space, associate with external agencies and effectively participate in the market based institutions. The paper will cover the existing gender gap, process of addressing the same in the learning process and how the gender equity based approaches are being used to reach towards transformation to achieve gender equality. // Paper ID: 417
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