NETWORK OF SOLIDARITY
Through the Web 2.0, opportunities for online training, guidance, advice and mentoring are wide ranging. The solutions can be in terms of skills training to provide young women with diverse knowledge on leadership skills, personal empowerment , self assertive skills to enable them to cope in a male dominated society.
It can provide opportunities for women to discuss, analyze and talk about issues that they cannot raise in their home or social environment. There are many issues that women fear to bring forward, for instance domestic violence, sexual harassment at the workplace, sexual abuse at home, discrimination against widows, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, sexually transmitted infections, psychological problems etc... The web is a platform to raise some taboo subjects in order to mobilize opinion, create awareness and sensitize both people about those issues.
The web can also be a forum to carry out needs assessment surveys and identify problems and challenges encountered by women. Such needs assessment can be undertaken online through questionnaires and articles. The needs assessment will lead to the formulation of training programmes, suited to the specific needs of women in different situations.
During the past decades, more and more women have found their way into the workplace. Inequalities based on gender are still persistent. Women are the first to be laid off in cases of economic crisis within enterprises. The majority of women are in low paid, low skills jobs, do not know their employment rights and are vulnerable to discrimination, harassment and unfair dismissal. One effective way of empowering women in the workplace is to make them aware of their rights, to give them the skills to participate actively in workers’ organizations and to address issues such as pay equity, and to learn to recognize and denounce discrimination at work. The web can be instrumental in encouraging such empowerment.
As regards the last question of the assignment, I learnt about World Pulse network through the web itself and have joined this network of women from all parts of the world. For the first time, I wrote and made public my personal story in the My story site. I had never spoken about the pains and anguishes that I suffered during the past 20 years after the suicide of my husband and it was relieving to share my story with other friends in the pulse wire network and feel the sense of solidarity and support.. The network created through web 2.0 is not only a social network but also a sisterhood that makes us feel less lonely and gather fortitude and courage.
I believe that this is an empowerment in itself and I will continue to be empowered through writing and sharing my views on subjects of interest to women, to develop greater analytical skills and learn from the best practices which other non governmental organisations have put into practice.