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Creating A Global Women's Conversation

The most exciting aspect of the Web 2.0 is its capacity to engage a global community of diverse women in a conversation about the world, our realities and the work we each do to contribute to the betterment of all humanity. The Web 2.0 is a critical information resource and a key networking and communication tool that connects women living in rural and remote communities and those living in urban isolation with each other and with the broader women’s empowerment movement. It also creates a venue for inter-generational dialogue and the mutual transfer of knowledge that considers both traditional and contemporary understandings of the world. This interactive discussion has the potential to generate a paradigm shift that will change the face of the women’s movement and will contribute significantly to the resolution of long-standing societal challenges we face at a global and local level.

The Web 2.0 functions as a central storage vat and information dissemination point for the reflections, expressions, opinions and decisions of women on a grand scale. The pool of information and the inter-cultural relationships developed through shared space that is easily accessible to women around the world makes every voice count in the global discussion about issues that are important to us. The Web 2.0 eradicates barriers that perpetuate the silence of women, equalizes access to resources and opens doors to decision-making forums at every level of society. It also eliminates the current propensity of mainstream agencies and women’s organizations to control the agenda of the movement by recasting the experiences and needs of marginalized women through a biased lens that is oftentimes self-serving. It shifts the locus of power from a centralized, self-perpetuating base to an individualized foundation which in turn leads to a greater sense of purpose and equality around societal participation.

From a personal perspective, the Web 2.0 has reinvigorated my sense of mission. It allows me unfettered opportunities to share my experiences and to explore the commonalities I have with the global women’s community. I am eager to learn about the experiences of other women and to explore aspects of our lives that make us unique. I am ready to be a support and to join in actions that will make a difference in the lives of my global sisters and in humanity.

Comments

SLaw's picture

Well put, Arlene :)

Well put, Arlene :)

Pushpa Achanta's picture

Your piece...

...is highlights some of the benefits of Web 2.0. It'll be great if you can share more about how you used it to connect with women worldwide.

Cheers,
Pushpa

Arlene Hache's picture

Isolation to Global Conversation

I live in what is considered a remote part of Canada. Freedom of discussion is limited in a small community where you are penalized for your opinions or point of view. The opportunity to connect with women like you though the Web 2.0 is an exciting prospect for me.

Emyeyo's picture

Hi

Welldone Ariene.

Emyeyo

nureendas's picture

A well thought out reflection

A well thought out reflection on the benefits of Web 2.0!

Lilith784's picture

Compliments

Your writing is great, Arlene - and you cover a super important point by saying that Web 2.0 offers an opportunity to bypass the media industry and speak directly to and with each other.
All my best,
Andrea

Thank you so much for your kind words Andrea

kati.mayfield's picture

joining the conversation

Arlene,
Web 2.0 has clearly empowered your voice to join the grassroots and global conversation; what has this newly-found voice inspired you to do? I very much look forward to reading more about your re-invigorated mission!
good tidings to you,
-Kati

*resolved this year to think twice and to smile twice before doing anything*

Each woman’s voice carries an individual experience that is a critical piece of the global message

I was raised on a small farm in Ontario Canada along with nine other sisters and three brothers. Our family was very hardworking and lived a life largely governed by seasonal tasks assigned to particular times of the year. My father was an amazing man, steeped in a strong work ethic and sure in the knowledge it was his responsibility to provide for his family and if it was needed help out when others struggled. Self-reliance and personal responsibility were the two key qualities he admired the most, personality traits I felt the least able to meet.

My mother appeared to be the direct antithesis of my dad. In my mind, she was dark, dangerous and vicious. A tyrant who wielded her rage precisely, like scythe, stripping a ripe field of its harvest leaving behind heap of useless chaff. A person I loved, but feared absolutely. Her persistent, soul-stripping characterizations combined with sexual abuse I suffered at the hands of relatives drove me into a world of silence. Invisibility and staying quiet were the keys to survival.

It was against that backdrop that as a young girl I left my community and family and hitchhiked to Canada’s Northwest Territories with the unrealistic expectation I could escape my childhood. I was homeless, unemployed, immobilized by fear, inappropriate and erratic in my behaviour and suicidal. I was extremely needy and latched onto any person that showed me kindness entirely reliant on them for my very existence. It was in this community I connected with women who had faced similar experiences, although as First Nations and Inuit women theirs was rooted in the devastating impact of colonization and systemic violence that continues today.

The connection turned into a 30-year journey of mutual growth and recovery. We found our voices together, one helping the other to speak out against oppression and human rights violations we saw around us everyday, particularly targeting Indigenous women in the North. It was clear though, our voices alone weren’t enough to penetrate the deeply entrenched power structures of the status quo that still marginalize First Nations, Inuit and Metis women in Canada. Success depends on joining forces with other Indigenous women who face similar challenges in their homelands and building alliances with sisters from other nations. Voices of Our Future creates a venue for that discussion to happen and provides us with opportunities to strengthen our communication and media skills which is so essential to our work.

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