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Ecofeminism Goes Electronic

PulseWire is instituting an exciting evolution of grassroots empowerment of women via online communication that represents an extraordinary opportunity for increasing awareness of critical situations and calls to action on a global scale. Electronic Citizen Journalism strengthens the concept of ecofeminism, which focuses on environmental concerns; feminist communication strategies of cooperation, caring, and grassroots action; and the much-maligned feature of human capacity involving emotions, intuition, and spirituality.

Web 2.0 gives power to the phenomenon Hawken writes about in Blessed Unrest, a book that gives a sampling of a global range of individuals and nonprofit organizations heroically tackling serious social, economic, and environmental problems. However, printed material in hardcopy form reaches a limited number of the world’s citizens hungering for ways and means of improving their situation. Electronic communication provides extraordinary ability to reach individuals usually beyond the reach of standard media. In reading PulseWire’s introductory commentaries from women all over the world during the past few weeks, I have become aware of their life challenges described in their own words in places I’ll probably never visit. However, I found myself coming to more fully understand and consider how to support the concerns and dreams of these, my far-flung sisters.

Much of my life is spent in India and I remember traveling one night through the streets of Mumbai (Bombay) a couple of years ago and seeing not just one, but two homeless people on the sidewalks of the city’s busy streets peering into the blue glow of their mobile (cell) phones. This contradictory phenomena exists in a country that has developed extraordinary IT proficiency quickly and helped propel a fifth of its citizens into middle class status.

My work as an independent consultant relates to addressing the communication challenges of improving use of energy in the built environment, an area that consumes nearly half our energy resources globally. I’ve been splitting my time between North America and South Asia for the past six years and using my digital camera and laptop with links to the Internet to stimulate awareness and action relating to energy conservation and sustainable energy and living practices. I publish and present internationally, but Web 2.0 promises a radical increase in my ability to convey information and action alerts that can spur women to expand the energy revolution.

Studies are proving that even small improvements in women’s situations (e.g. micro-loans) can bring immediate and stunning results in the health, education, and general well-being of families and communities. Citizen Journalism can assist in giving voice to situations in the world where women are or need to be empowered by alerting their global sisters to offer spiritual, financial, and on-the-ground support. Online communication has extraordinary capacity for networking and strengthening grassroots efforts. PulseWire’s initiative can help activate partnership instead of brute power, cooperation instead of brutal competition, and an Earth-centered consciousness instead of mere economic fixation. Ecofeminism can be strengthened to go global.

Comments

Pushpa Achanta's picture

The (Un)divided

Dear sister,

Thanks for sharing. Being in India most of my life, I see the dichotomy daily. I do my best to reach out to the excluded groups by caring and/or writing about them. But we must and can do much more together!

Continue the great work that you're involved in...

Warmly,
Pushpa

giftypearl.abenaab's picture

The Power of the Internet

Dear Mekindred,
You have described in a powerful way the importance of connecting on the web and electronic Citizen Journalism as well as sharing your personal experiences with Web 2.0. Your post is powerful, empowering and revealing.
You live me yearning for more of your stories in India!
Continue to share your VOICE with us on Pulsewire.

Good Luck

Gifty Pearl Abenaab
Founder
Greight Foundation
www.greightfoundation.org

nureendas's picture

Mekindred - you've captured

Mekindred - you've captured well the dichotomy that exists not only in India but in many parts of the two-thirds world and the empowerment that technology brings to this divide. Look forward to hearing more about your work in India.

mekindred's picture

empowerment through technology

Nureendas, thank you for your response and I hope to share more about work in India as the months progress. Your expression "two-thirds world" caught my attention. "Third World" has long been used to characterize have-not peoples of the planet. "Two-thirds" begins to tell us how many of the 6+ billion on Earth fill that category to overflowing. Blessings on your work and involvement with World Pulse/PulseWire.

+++Merle

Rebecca Roberts's picture

how exciting!

I too love hearing about women effecting change all around the globe ~ including you! Your work sounds so fulfilling, and I'd love to hear more about what you do. Citizen journalists can indeed shine a light on efforts to improve women's lives in places we might otherwise never have known existed. Thank you so much for being an enthusiastic member of this movement!

mekindred's picture

Rebecca, thanks for your kind

Rebecca, thanks for your kind words! It's this support that will help strengthen and spread the voice of World Pluse/PulseWire as women learn to speak up and out.

+++Merle

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