A study carried out by the Barcelona-based Blanquerna Observatory of Communication, Religion and Culture has found that despite the potential for digital tools to promote gender equality and integration of migrant women in the city’s Raval district, they are mostly used to connect the women to their countries of origin.
The study is part of the project “Digital Narratives. Gender, Immigration and Religion on the Move,” directed by the Blanquerna Observatory of Communication, Religion and Culture and funded by the World Association for Christian Communication through the Waldensian Church and its Otto per Mille programme.
The results of the study, published in the journal Cuestiones de género (Questions of Gender), set out to discover whether digital tools could help the more than 10,000 migrant women in Raval achieve gender equality and integration.
In principle, digital tools can contribute to integration and gender equality by creating a community beyond the immediate environment of migrant women living in the neighbourhood of Raval, and transcending the direct relationships women may have with their immediate surroundings.
Still, on the basis of interviews with more than 200 women, the researchers – Josep Lluís Micó Sanz, Míriam Díez Bosch, and Alba Sabaté Gauxachs – concluded that currently there are still many women not using new technologies (either computer, mobile devices, social networks) in their daily lives and to communicate with other women in their new environment. Therefore, communities that could be created are not fully developed and consolidated.
Women in Raval using new technologies and social networks do so not so much discover their new society but rather to remain rooted to their roots. Lack of training in the use of these new technologies is another factor in this situation. Access by itself does not mean that people are fully able to use digital tools and platforms and to enjoy the possibilities they offer.
Full article (in Spanish):
Stephen Brown, World Association for Christian Communication