Web 2.0 and Women’s Empowerment
I consider myself lucky to live today. When I was younger, we often had no idea what was happening beyond our national borders, other than the occasional newspaper article or television news story. The Internet has redefined how we get news, and how we approach solutions to social, political or environmental ills. Ideas, stories and solutions can now be shared with the women of the world with just a click. The most important feature of Web 2.0 is that it is a sharing technology. Sharing (in this instance) can be defined as participation, use, enjoyment, experience, or relating. Women are good at sharing.
Web 2.0 is technology that can be used for positive social change and empowerment; it promotes collaboration, and allows many different voices to be heard. Social media sites offer the opportunity to get to know women who share your beliefs, and also to debate and discuss with those who hold opposing beliefs. Groups such as the Red Cross or Amnesty International can now post immediate updates on disaster areas or regions in conflict, and receive immediate donations or assistance from concerned people worldwide. Web 2.0 can also assist with learning languages and translation, facilitating communication between women of vastly different backgrounds and cultures.
When I first discovered World Pulse, I was thrilled to discover how many women, from many different countries, were using the website. I was also surprised to see how similar the day to day problems and challenges are for women, regardless of where we live on the planet. Web 2.0 gives women the opportunity to have a global women’s conference, where we sit down, talk, ask questions, and find solutions. For example; do women in Africa have the same problems finding pre- and post-natal medical services as the women on Native reserves in Canada? We can find out here on World Pulse and on other social media sites; that information was not previously available to women who were not part of the hierarchy of governments or medical providers. This gives women power; both the power of the knowledge itself, and the power to share this knowledge!
In 2010, we are a global community; Web 2.0 gives us the chance to learn about and get to know our global brothers and sisters, to speak with them directly and share our own stories, and to offer solutions to global issues.