The Gender Research in Africa into ICTs for Empowerment and Gender Research in Arab Countries into ICTs for Empowerment (GRACE) project explores the ways in which women in Africa and the Middle East use information and communication technologies (ICTs) to empower themselves. It focuses on the external, structural barriers women experience, as well as on the internal factors which prevent or enable them to use ICTs to their advantage, and the strategies they employ to overcome impediments. The project is highly original on two levels: the subject matter of the research and the research coordination approach.

The project comprises 27 sub-projects, reflecting 27 research sites in 17 countries. While coherent with the general aim of the overall research initiative, the sub-projects differ from each other greatly in terms of target group and research focus. Furthermore, the concepts of gender and empowerment which frame the project’s general direction and commitment do not have unequivocal meaning within the sub-projects.

The project aims to contribute to the transformation of Africa and countries in the Middle East through focusing on women’s empowerment and ICTs and finding its own understandings of what “empowerment” and “gender” may mean in multiple African and Middle Eastern ICT contexts. The lessons learnt will be shared with policy makers and educators in the form of contextualized and local-specific recommendations.

GRACE Africa researchers at the 2006 Durban Sharing and Writing Workshop

GRACE MENA researchers at the 2009 Lebanon Workshop



Grace is an initiative envisioned and funded by
the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), developed by Research For the Future (RFF) and managed by The GRACE Project Voluntary Association
Grace est une initiative initiée et financée parle Centre de recherches pour le développement international (CRDI), développée par Research For the Future,
et gérée par l'Association Volontaire Projet de GRACE .