KEUPAYAAN ICT DALAM MENINGKATKAN PENCAPAIAN USAHAWAN WANITA: SATU KAJIAN KES USAHAWAN LUAR BANDAR DI MALAYSIA (Capability of ICT in Improving the Achievements of Rural Women Entrepreneurs in Malaysia)

Siti Masayu Rosliah Abdul Rashid

Abstract


Gender issues feature prominently in the field of rural development. Women are often the poorest and most vulnerable members of the rural community. Rural poverty and deprivation among the women is often discussed in conjunction with low education level, lack of skills and family background caused to genetic factors. The government has introduced diverse initiatives in reducing this issue. One of them is through the introduction of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). ICT is supposed to be the best platform for the community to fully benefit the technology in improving their businesses.  This study aims to investigate the awareness and importance of ICT among women entrepreneurs in rural areas. A total of 202 respondents were involved in this study. The selection of respondents was taken from Pusat Internet Desa (PID) and Medan Info Desa (MID) around Malaysia. From the analysis of this study, the finding shows that 83.7 per cent of respondents apply ICT in their businesses. On the other hand, the finding shows that the respondents are aware of the importance of ICT. However, the data shows that only 41.6 per cent or 84 of them manage to earn high income. This is because the respondents did not fully apply the ICT in their business activities. Hence, it is crucial to align a number of appropriate strategies in order to overcome these issues, such as develop a specific software specifically for women, encourage women's participations in SMEs, increase one' s choices in using ICTs, to name a few.Therefore, the government and agencies must work together to ensure that effective strategies be implemented and increase the standard of living of the women within rural ares in Malaysia.


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