Women Writing for Change
When I was studying in class 10, I was so curious to know about the real world. Few of educated men gathered together to discuss about the development of our community because women were not allowed participating in the group. Once I was so interested to involve in the group and participate in the development of our community, I was admonished by the group of men. That day I decided to form a women’s group and worked for their rights. However, there were no sources of information, what to do, where to go. I felt that I didn’t have enough life skills to be a leader and a good decision maker. Finally, I get chance to come to Asian University for Women in full scholarship and heard about the World Pulse from the student affairs. I was so inspired from the motto of the pulse wire “Nobody speaks for me. I speak for myself." Therefore I decided to contribute my experience and feeling hoping that I can bring a change from my writing and make other people aware of Nepalese women situation in the globe.
Jensine Larsen, the founder of World Pulse take an initiation to provide a web 2.0 citizen journalism training and gather all the ignored voice of women around the globe. Pulse Wire is mostly a platform where women from every corner of the world speak out for a positive change by publishing unheard stories from their communities and their daily lives. Here they can talk about the problems that they face every day and their possible solutions with sisters from other countries (Pulse Wire 2009).
Pulse wire offered training in citizen journalism and empowerment in 2009 to 31 rising women leaders from 21 countries. Each correspondent was assigned to an individual mentor where the 31mentors provide their valuable time, support in their assigned mentee’s challenges and inspired them to raise their voices. At the end of the six month training, these voices of future correspondents channeled the power of web 2.0 and about 100 self stories were posted on the News Wire Pulse Wire. Among all of these 31 outstanding women, three correspondents- Jackie from Bolivia, Malaya from Philippines, and Sunita from Nepal will be invited to the United States in fall 2010 for tour and media award where they will shared their experiences with media in different places of the USA. In addition to these three women, Busayo from Nigeria was selected to receive a full scholarship to the Empowerment Institute's Certificate Program (World Pulse 2009).
Pulse Wire: A Platform to bring the Social Change
Pulse Wire has played a vital role in helping those women who have always wanted to do something for the society and bring change but have not got the opportunities to let their voices be heard. Gifty Pearl Abenaab from Ghana says that “I have learnt the power of knowledge, resources and connections” She believes that the skilled she has learnt will help her in attaining her goal to be a media consultant for Women’s media projects and programs and a Lawyer. Another correspondent- Xthina-Avila from Mexico shared her stories about how she came to believe that “peace journalism” could help her in bringing change in her community. She has written stories about people who have been affected from the gang war in the Mexico as well as people working for the betterment of the society.
While networking with likeminded people in the pulse wire, I found a quote of Shinjo Ito that says "It is human nature to want to follow an easy path walked by many others. We shy away from anything that seems difficult. However, if there is no path to follow, we have to make one. The harder the circumstances, the more courageous we must become, to accomplish what at the time may seem impossible" (JaniceW, 2009). The powerful women from 21 countries are writing about the social reality of women in their respective culture to spread the message of hope and positive change to the rest of the world even though “language is quite a barrier” as stated by Victoria Vorosciuc from Moldova during the program.
However with the help of her mentor, Pat O’Connor’s inspiration and feedback from world pulse community, she was able to communicate her stories with the readers. Reading Victoria challenges during the training, mainly remember my own mentor, Carol Anderson who told me about her own challenges during the program. She told me “It’s really hard to continue the program due to technical and language problems”. For most of the VOF correspondents and Mentors, conference call, time conversion and language were a big problem. Even with this language and technology barriers, VOF correspondents and mentors have been able to build a platform where women from different cultures and background write through their writing unite for the single purpose to advocate for the rights of women everywhere. After reading the articles about oppression being faced by other VOF correspondents, Tina Garforth from USA felt that she needed to do something to help. It became important to write her opinions and thoughts freely in order to spread the message of these atrocities not worrying about what others thought about it.
Even though women are oppressed in every sector of the society including their own homes they still has the willingness to forgive. Like Anette Leslie from Jamaica by inspired from the girl from Israel who vision was to not be bitter. She had gone through the trauma of being abused by her male colleagues in her old school who had even gone to the extent of drugging her. All she wants to do is forget the incident and only peace. Pulse Wire is one place where she can express her thoughts and feelings without any fear and be who she is.
Jacqueline Patino from Bolivia said that world pulse has been a ‘freedom of temple’ to find her own freedom. Her ambition in life is to be “small enough for a little girl to feel she is my size, tall enough to see any man eye to eye and humble enough to acknowledge myself as a tiny part of the infinite universe God has created for us, and yet big enough not be stepped on by anyone.” There is a famous saying “If you educate a man, you will just educate him but if you educate a woman, you will be able to educate a whole family. Jacqueline too believes that investing in a woman is very important and beneficial in order to reduce poverty. Money can help to empower families who are the basic units of the society.
As a VOF Correspondent, I have found many likeminded people who have the strong determination to bring change in their community. Finally, Pulse Wire has been able to give us a platform were we can liberally raise our ignored voices. We all feel excited and privileged joining the world pulse and want to share our gratitude to all people that breathe with world pulse that will and has been able to transform the world.
This article was written by Sunita Basnet and Astha Joshi (http://www.worldpulse.com/user/2580)
Voices of Our Future: Web 2.0 and Women's Citizen Journalism. (2009). Retrieved on December 18, 2009, from Pulse Wire website http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/world-pulse-voices-of-our-f...
Introducing a New Frequency in Global Media. (2009). Retrieved on December 20, 2009, from Pulse Wire Website http://worldpulse.com/about/worldpulse
Janicew.(2008). About Me. Retrieved on December 20, 2009, from Pulse Wire Website http://www.worldpulse.com/user/986