Gender, Power and Digital Spaces: Change or a Different Shade

Authors

Keywords:

Digital spaces, Gender, Insecurity, Online abuse, Power, Smartphone apps

Abstract

Aim of the Study: The study aims to determine the existence of gender power relations in digital spaces and the possibility of change.

Methodology: The information from the families was collected using a survey research method. A 1200 sample using the probability sampling technique from one Union Council of Rawalpindi was selected. Every UC has a 25000-30000 adult population, and based on that criterion; 300 families were chosen through a systematic random technique.

Findings: The results showed that 81% of people have access to smartphones and 66% of people own them, establishing the first level of the emergence of digital spaces. The second level involves time spent on smartphones and their use to meet needs, which include basic, social, recreational, and financial needs. Gender differences in financial needs were found to be very significant. Significant gender differences were found in the recreational apps, and 63% of males as compared to 57% of females use these apps. However, there was no gender difference in the use of social media; 38% of men and 39% of women used these apps, respectively. At the third level, the presence of power in digital spaces was investigated through feelings of insecurity and abuse.

Conclusion: The study concluded that digital technologies have broken the binary context of public and domestic spaces. The division of labor between men and women in digital spaces is gendered and linked to the capitalist economy. The study proved that these digital spaces have new shades of patriarchy, despite no change in gender power relations.

Author Biographies

  • Dr. Shahla Tabassum, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi.

    Head of the Department, Department of Gender Studies, 

  • Maryum Zahra, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi.

    MPhil Scholar, Department of Gender Studies, 

  • Khedija Suhail, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi.

    Graduated, Department of Gender Studies, 

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Published

2023-03-30

How to Cite

Tabassum, S. ., Zahra, M. ., & Suhail, K. . (2023). Gender, Power and Digital Spaces: Change or a Different Shade. Online Media and Society, 4(1), 53-69. https://hnpublisher.com/ojs/index.php/OMS/article/view/47