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The Power of Connectivity

The global empowerment of women depends heavily if not solely on the linking of individuals and ideas; the ability of women (and men) to move beyond local boundaries, and share not only problems but more importantly solutions. This is the power of Web 2.0; its ability to permeate all social levels, age groups and geographical stories. It is this power that makes Web 2.0 exciting. Raising awareness, creating friendships, Web 2.0 is simply one platform created to make this easier. Whether it is through writing a letter, blogging or chatting, this connection is power, power to change even the mind set.

Having finished my studies a few weeks ago, I recently got the privilege to intern with an organisation called CIET. Through my work I have had the opportunity to visit rural communities and slums in both Swaziland and Botswana and was exposed to the plight of young women. I have been haunted by sombre thoughts since then. There are young women in slums and rural villages who are struggling in difficult circumstances: poverty, drug abuse, sex, unwanted pregnancies. Some do not know of a different life and more sadly some have given up on dreaming of a better life.
On the other hand there are girls who are rising beyond their unfortunate circumstances, by daring to dream. They are not living in the suburbs, they do not have electricity in their huts and the nearest town is miles away. They have not gone to fancy schools; they do not have college education but these girls are dreaming big. They are starting entrepreneurial activities despite their challenges. They are not afraid to start small and work hard, and their stories are inspiring.

What if these two groups of young women were to be connected? Is it possible that all young women can start dreaming again? If every young woman across the globe was to at least read the stories of young women empowering themselves regardless of their disadvantages, won’t this not have a ripple effect? I know my life has been inspired by stories of women across the world, and I believe the empowerment of women depends on our coming together. The statistics have confirmed the need for women to connect “only 16% of global news stories focus on women. Almost half (48%) of all news stories reinforce gender stereotypes, and only 19% of experts cited in global news stories are women”. * However, through the use of Web 2.0 grass root experiences are being re-told on a global platform, thus facilitating the mobilisation of ideas and resources. These stories are not only stimulating, but also have the power to change even the mind set, the power to make young women dream.



Sarah Diop's picture


Thank you for sharing. Your piece was incredibly powerful and moving. I felt it within my soul and got chills. It was inspiring and had me feeling more empowered just reading it. Thank you again for your words and I truly hope that girls around the world will be dreaming big and creating a ripple effect of hope, power and inspiration.

With tremendous gratitude,


Wishing you many Blessings,


The Afrika way's picture


Hi Sarah,

We do need a ripple effect. Thanks for the comment.

Warm regards,
Grace aka the afrika way

One of Many's picture

Connecting your Power

Hello, The Afrika way (writer!),

Your first piece was moving and inspiring, as the other comment says. Thank you for your strong effort.

I liked many things about your essay, and one was your excellent word choice: the sentence about your feelings was so descriptive with the word "sombre." Also "plight" and "a ripple effect." Very nice.

I liked also your use of data in your description of how women's voices and stories are marginalized, in your last paragraph. And then you contrast that in your conclusion, bringing Web 2.0 in again as a means of overcoming that repression and marginalization.

Another thing that impressed me is your parallel contruction in the second to last paragraph with beginning sentences with They, they, they. Usually that might be 'too much' but somehow it worked very well in your essay. Probably that is because you had two sentences of what they didn't do, and then two empowered, what they do do, in their courage. That emphasizes their empowerment well.

I wonder what CIET stands for. Another last thing that was good was your recurring theme of dreaming and your use in the first and last paragraphs of "change even the mind set."

Wow. You did so many great things in your very first essay. By the way I am a listener for you on this essay. Again, you did very well.


Anna, aka OneinMany

Speaking my Peace

The Afrika way's picture


Hi Anna aka OneinMany aka my listener,

Thanks for the comment. I can feel your energy....connecting with it.

CIET stands for "Community Information for Empowerment and Transparency"

Writer?!?! like the sound of that...

Warm regards,

One of Many's picture

Wonderful, writer!

Wonderful writer! Two words, meaning different things with the use (or not !) of a comma.

Nice to hear from you, Grace. Good luck in your adventure. I am not sure if I will receive another writing from you to listen to, but I know you'll continue to shine !


Speaking my Peace

judyschiller's picture


Hello, Grace,
I am a (belated) listener to your week 1 article, and I too found your article/piece very powerful! You didn't hold back on the details regarding your visits to the slums, as well you shouldn't have. People need to know the details, even when they may be considered "uncomfortable" to read/hear.

I too was interested in knowing what CIET stood for. It's always a good idea to "spell out" abbreviations in your writing, even when you're 99.9% convinced your readership will know it, as you're sure to have the .01 ask, "What is that?" :)

I found your questions very powerful and thought-provoking. I'm glad you included them. They make your readers (i.e., me) THINK, and that's super!

Congratulations on completing your studies and on writing a FANTASTIC article! When I'm done, I hope to go back and read your other articles as well.

Keep up the fantastic writing.

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