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Arab Social Media Report: The Role of Social Media in Arab Women’s Empowerment

Published on: February 2011​
Author:
Genre: Gender​ Category: Future Government and Innovation​
by Racha Mourtada,Fadi Salem,May Al-Dabbagh,Ghalia Gargani 
 
Produced by the Dubai School of Government’s Governance and Innovation Program, the third edition in the Arab Social Media Report series continues to analyze usage trends of online social networking tools across the Arab region. Based on data collected in the second and third quarters of 2011, this edition of the report analyzes data on Twitter and Facebook users in all 22 Arab countries, in addition to Iran, Israel and Turkey. In another first-of-its-kind regional survey, this special edition of the report explores the role of social media in Arab women’s empowerment. The survey was conducted as a collaborative effort between the Governance and Innovation Program and the Gender and Public Policy Program at the Dubai School of Government. The Arab Social Media Report series is part of a larger research initiative focusing on social engagement through ICT for better policy in Arab states, which explores the use of social networking services in governance, social inclusion and economic development. The initiative also studies the potential of social networking applications for increasing collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation, both between and among government entities, citizens and the private sector.

Produced by the Dubai School of Government’s Governance and Innovation Program, the third edition in the Arab Social Media Report series continues to analyze usage trends of online social networking tools across the Arab region. Based on data collected in the second and third quarters of 2011, this edition of the report analyzes data on Twitter and Facebook users in all 22 Arab countries, in addition to Iran, Israel and Turkey. In another first-of-its-kind regional survey, this special edition of the report explores the role of social media in Arab women’s empowerment. The survey was conducted as a collaborative effort between the Governance and Innovation Program and the Gender and Public Policy Program at the Dubai School of Government. The Arab Social Media Report series is part of a larger research initiative focusing on social engagement through ICT for better policy in Arab states, which explores the use of social networking services in governance, social inclusion and economic development. The initiative also studies the potential of social networking applications for increasing collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation, both between and among government entities, citizens and the private sector. The Arab region has recently experienced exponential growth in the use of social media. Previous issues of the Arab Social Media Report have explored this growth, which has been fueled in part by the use of networks such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter in the movements of the so-called “Arab spring.” The third edition of the report builds on these timely themes, which specifically explored the exponential growth of social media use in the Arab world, and the role of social networking tools in the civil movements in the Arab region. Given the heightened participation of Arab women in these movements over the past months, despite their diminished use of social media as compared to the world average, this issue of the report will address three main questions: What are the factors contributing to the low level of social media use among Arab women, as compared to men’s usage and to the global female average? Do Arab women perceive social media as useful to their needs? What are the usage trends? Can social media potentially increase women’s civic participation in the Arab world and contribute to their political and economic empowerment? 

For questions or media enquiries please email the authors at:socialmedia@dsg.ac.ae

You can also visit http://www.ArabSocialMediaReport.com

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