This timely paper provides empirical evidence on the lived experiences of ten women from eight nationalities in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Germany, who voluntarily taught girls and women digital skills in 2020. I situated this multi-case feminist study within the digital skills gender divide phenomenon. I collected qualitative data through surveys and interviews with the teachers, remote observations of their digital skills lessons, and analysis of programme documents, including curricula. In this paper, I discuss two research questions: (1) “What motivated the women to teach digital literacy?” and (2) “Why do the teachers think the digital skills gender divide exists?” The hybrid approach to data coding and thematic analysis indicated that the teachers were motivated to teach digital literacy to support their students’ self-development and use digital skills in their daily lives. The teachers at the school in Germany were also motivated by advancing their social capital and societal integration, as six of the eight women teaching in Germany were migrants. The teachers from Bosnia & Herzegovina were motivated by overcoming the systemic gender inequality that the digital skills gender divide encapsulates. The teachers also identified various personal, community, and societal causes of the digital skills gender divide. On the micro-level, they noted that girls engage in risk avoidance behaviour from a young age, limiting their digital skills development. On the meso-level, women lack exposure to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) within their families and communities. On the macro-level, the teachers in Bosnia & Herzegovina highlighted that girls living in urban areas could access ICT more often than those living in rural areas. This paper offers resolutions to the digital skills gender divide, concluded from the teachers’ evidence, such as educational opportunities, gender diversity hiring in technical roles in the ICT sector, and policy development to underpin solutions and incentivise compliance. This paper is my contribution to centralising in the scholarship the lived experiences and perspectives of diverse women who are at the forefront of the digital skills gender divide.
Hayman, Lorraine J.
""You Cannot Be What You Cannot See": The Lived Experiences of Women Teaching Digital Literacy in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Germany,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 23:
6, Article 2.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol23/iss6/2