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Muted Voices: Web 2.0 As a Tool of Empowerment

Until now, grassroots women have been 'mute,' spoken for by men and women in positions. The grassroots women’s view points have thus far been buried, yet these women have very powerful insights to share based on their work as mothers nurturing, loving, and protecting the family and the earth. Although they make over half of the world’s population, women’s perspectives with regard to issues that affect all of us - environment, political, social, cultural, health, peacebuilding, healing, and reconciliation - have been erased by patriarchy. I am so excited about Web 2.0 because it has opened the way to an information revolution where women can at last speak for themselves!! Web 2.0 enables women to create their own information, tell stories from their perspective, and share their ideas with everyone who cares to listen – and many women out there and some men, do care to listen and learn from our women.

Web 2.0 offers the global women’s empowerment movement a platform from which to speak, share, interact and build networks and communities that hitherto were limited by ideology, space and distance. The movement was also overlooked by a male dominated media but through Web 2.0, women can now interact, create and share information without middlemen. The tool places information in the hands of women, who get to tell their stories based on the way they see the world and in their own words. The platform also enables women to share their stories with other women from around the world, thus inspiring each other to see they can do something about issues affecting them. I remember recently reading on World Pulse the story of an Indian girl who ran away from her home because her brother, the parents' favorite 'boy' was sexually molesting her. She could not share her abuse with anyone at her home but she got the courage to share the story in World Pulse because she felt that the community in World Pulse would ‘hear’ and support her.

Web 2.0 will enable me to share and test my ideas with others across the globe. Through World Pulse for example, I have been able to share ideas about the work I do with women living with HIV/AIDS and orphans. Through this tool, I hope to introduce the women in my network to also join World Pulse so that they can speak for themselves. For me, Web 2.0 has enabled expansion of my network across the globe. I have also learned a lot about the struggles other women are going through, as well as benefited from solutions other women have created to overcome the challenges they face. Learning about entities like Ushahidi that hold promise for building global movements and coalitions for social change, puts the power of organizing in the hands of citizens, revealing what is possible for the women i work with and for myself as a peace proactivist. I have been able to raise awareness about my work and create connections through Web 2.0. Speaking for myself, sharing my life and work with other women from around the world and getting feedback and support from people I do not even know has been very exciting and enriching.

Comments

nkinyanjui's picture

Amani, what a true revelation

Amani, what a true revelation in your post. I agree so much on the lack of local woman's opinions being considered even by their local representation of Members of Parliament of such areas. Their insights are actually the key of bringing all manner of development to a certain area.

Keep up your passion and hope to see you soon?

Naomie

Amani K's picture

Thank you, my sister!!

Naomie,

I desire that too. We will meet soon. Are you in Kenya right now or somewhere else?

Will be in Kenya from Oct 13 - so we can plan on meeting if you are there.

I am so happy to read from you!!

Karambu

Dr. Karambu Ringera
Founder and President, International Peace Initiatives
Vice President, Global Ecovillages Network (GEN) Africa
Advisory Board Member, Women Human Rights Institute, University of Toronto
Member and Delegate, Soroptimist Internationa

nkinyanjui's picture

Yes i am back in the country,

Yes i am back in the country, we will definitely plan about it.
Take care

Amani K's picture

Sawa, we have a date!!

Great Naomie!! Will be in touch when i hit beautiful home ground!!!

Amani!!

Karambu

Dr. Karambu Ringera
Founder and President, International Peace Initiatives
Vice President, Global Ecovillages Network (GEN) Africa
Advisory Board Member, Women Human Rights Institute, University of Toronto
Member and Delegate, Soroptimist Internationa

nureendas's picture

Amani - you have captured the

Amani - you have captured the potential of Web 2.0 and women's empowerment well!

Amani K's picture

Thank YOU!!!

Hi Nureendas,

Thank you for reading my entry and for giving feed back. I honor you for being in this space and sharing your views with all of us.

Love and Light,

Karambu

Dr. Karambu Ringera
Founder and President, International Peace Initiatives
Vice President, Global Ecovillages Network (GEN) Africa
Advisory Board Member, Women Human Rights Institute, University of Toronto
Member and Delegate, Soroptimist Internationa

One of Many's picture

Definitely un-muted!

Dear Karambu:

I am grateful to hear your clear voice ! Your two personal examples of how web 2.0 has already affected you and your life make this an exceptional essay.

Your use of the term "spoken for" in the first sentence is so powerful to my sense: how dare anyone say they know what another person wants to say....yet that has been happening to women across centuries. Overall your essay reads very smoothly and powerfully, and it seems to me from it that you are determined, that you pursue the things you care about, and that World Pulse has already been an important avenue for your empowerment.

You explain clearly how you have engaged with World Pulse to build your work and engage the world community in it. I would have liked even more focus on your experiences and less about Web 2.0, personally.

Unfortunately, you went way over the word count. This ends up mattering when a person submits writing to be published. Sometimes the newspaper or journal editors will say no because of the word count, even though the writing may be spectacular. If you have a question about how to check word count, Scott will be able to explain.

Not to worry. Your essay was great. Thanks for the privilege of being a listener for you.

Best,

Anna aka OneinMany

Speaking my Peace

Amani K's picture

Thank YOU

Hello Anna aka OneinMany,

Thank you so much for your feedback. Thank you for listening for me. I will pay attention to word count next time.

Peace.

Karambu

Dr. Karambu Ringera
Founder and President, International Peace Initiatives
Vice President, Global Ecovillages Network (GEN) Africa
Advisory Board Member, Women Human Rights Institute, University of Toronto
Member and Delegate, Soroptimist Internationa

One of Many's picture

the main message

Please Karambu, I hope you are not feeling criticized. To me the many good things about your wonderful piece were what mattered, not the word count. You created an absolutely excellent piece of writing.

Just want you to keep that in perspective....

Thanks, Karambu, woman with a beautiful name!

Anna

Speaking my Peace

Amani K's picture

Thank you Anna

Thank you dear Anna. I hear you.

Love and Light,

Karambu

Dr. Karambu Ringera
Founder and President, International Peace Initiatives
Vice President, Global Ecovillages Network (GEN) Africa
Advisory Board Member, Women Human Rights Institute, University of Toronto
Member and Delegate, Soroptimist Internationa

Khushbu's picture

Nice listening to you!

Dear Karambu

You have a beautiful name, and so is your writing. You are very clear with your thoughts and ideas. You write very well, and it was really nice reading (listening) to you through your first assignment. Women around the world are facing situations unimaginable, and I appreciate your efforts in bringing forth their stories to the world.

Keep up the good work, and keep writing!

Much Love
Khushbu

Khushbu Agrawal

Amani K's picture

Thank YOU

Hello Khushubu,

Thank you for your comments and for your 'listening.' I feel so empowered just being in the presence of your listening and knowing you do not merely listen but 'stand with me' and all the other women who have this awesome opportunity to 'speak for themselves' and discover other sister voices in this space.

I thank you for your 'here I am!!' for all of us.

Love and Light!!!

Karambu

Dr. Karambu Ringera
Founder and President, International Peace Initiatives
Vice President, Global Ecovillages Network (GEN) Africa
Advisory Board Member, Women Human Rights Institute, University of Toronto
Member and Delegate, Soroptimist Internationa

ArtByMia's picture

Your Voice is heard!!!

Dear Sister Karambu,

I would like to thank you for such a lovely and supportive post. I have worked effortlessly for womens rights and to share the voices of women globally. I happen to do it thru the arts. I have been able to collaborate with women all around the world in an effort to share the voices and experiences of women from Africa to Afghanistan. What greater beauty than a pack of women supporting and uplifting one another in a force like nothing other.

Women have been the strong foundation to families, business, politics, culture and history since its creation and we will always be .... Although we have made many strides there still is a very long way to go and a tough road to travel. I am truly grateful for forums and people as yourself to inspire me and support the vision of the women of tomorrow.

I believe that we rise one voice at a time and grow one woman at a time!!!

In Love and Light,

Mia

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