The invisibility of immigrant women has a negative impact on their integration into the host society. This article examines how access to technology, particularly mobile devices, is an element that can foster the empowerment of immigrant women with religious beliefs who live in the Raval neighborhood of Barcelona. A questionnaire was handed out to 238 women from different origins and different religions, which was complemented with six in-depth interviews. Women’s empowerment in the public sphere and their resulting visibility will not be possible if they do not have their own digital tools to connect with the host society.
Although 88% of the women surveyed own a mobile device, possession is not everything. Digital competency (59% admit to having none) and sociolinguistic and cultural competencies are also necessary. In addition, social elements – such as an educational, work-related or social activity – are important in motivating them to expand their networks digitally, so that their use of digital tools does not imply shutting them up in their family’s past: 58% of these women use new technologies to talk to family or other people in their home country.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.