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Web 2.0 Connects Us, Provides Resources for Global Women's Empowerment Movement

What most excites me about Web 2.0 is its ability to connect people, average citizens, across professions, countries, and even language (thanks to Google Translate and other free online software). It’s the freedom and power these tools provide to give voice to those that are traditionally silenced, but also to everyone equally — the only thing you need is an internet connection and the knowledge on how to use these tools and anyone, anywhere can be a journalist, activist, musician/DJ, filmmaker, photographer — you name it.

Though I would argue that this media is not new (“Web 2.0 is a new trend,” it said in this week’s reading), it is powerful and can affect change, perhaps in new and exciting ways. I do believe, however, that one must be cautious: not everything you read is accurate or true and not everyone online is who they say they are. But simply by taking a few precautions this issue can be solved (hopefully, this will be discussed further in the Voice of Our Future program!).

Since it connects people, Web 2.0 brings resources and support to the global women’s empowerment movement. It helps us locate allies and contacts and provides access to information that might not have been available using traditional media. Particularly in communities where certain subjects are off-topic (for example, marital rape or child abuse) or where there isn’t access to information (or it’s restricted) through other — perhaps more official — means such as libraries, schools, and government institutions. I’m sure there are other examples of how Web 2.0 assists and supports the global women’s empowerment movement.

For me, personally, Web 2.0 is already empowering. I blog (when I have a chance) and I update my profile on Facebook and Twitter daily. I submit comments on other people’s blogs and respond to comments on my own. Sometimes it feels like a lot of work (!) and that I’m always in front of the computer, but the feeling of speaking for yourself and the opportunity to connect with others around the globe make it more than worthwhile.

More specifically, however, I’d love to connect with other women on the topic of women’s role in peace building. I live in Armenia, a country that is land-locked and sandwiched between two countries it has animosities with and with which it has closed borders (Turkey and Azerbaijan). I know that it’s possible for Armenian, Azerbaijani and Turkish women to gather and talk about peace. Already such gatherings are taking place. I hope to be able to use Web 2.0 to be able to connect with other women in conflict-ridden countries and learn how to include women’s voices in resolving conflict and building peace.

Comments

jrtorontoca's picture

I agree about your point that

I agree about your point that Web 2.0 is not new in many ways. The chat rooms and MUDs of the 90's are not so different from our tools now, though they certainly have evolved. Its often written that the early web was all about broadcasting, not interacting, which I think is a big misconception. Certain parts of the net (geocities, for example) were definitely about broadcasting with minimal chance to interact. One could only comment in a guest book if a user had one. Other parts, however, such as the early usenet forums, chat rooms, text-based multi-user dimensions and other spaces were about as interactive. I think what changed was not just an evolution of those early technologies but a migration of individuals. Early internet adopters may or may not have experienced that initial interactivity but later users, such as us now, experience the net primarily through social and interactive tools.

Great points all round through this post - I also checked out your blog. Interesting stuff, though I would like to see a picture of the commons cum parking lot.

jreytor

adrineh's picture

Web 2.0

Thanks, jreytor, for your comment and apologies for not responding sooner. I agree with you about Web 2.0 and how what's really evolved is individuals who interact with online tools differently than in the early years of the web. About the photo: there's a bit of privacy (funny that, privacy? online?) I'd like to keep, which is why I didn't name the place where I work nor added a photo. Yerevan is small and a photo would most certainly identify the "hayat" (the common term used to refer to the "courtyard" space surrounded by residential buildings). It's really just a concrete space not that much different from many other like it ;)

Svetlana Dmitrieva's picture

I absolutly agree with u!

I absolutly agree with u! Lets wipe off borders!!!

Svetlana Zens

nilima's picture

you named it correctly

yes you have named the web 2.0 correctly and its worthy to know about web 2.0 and how it can be the help for you and the women around the world!! great going friend:)

giftypearl.abenaab's picture

Global Connection

Dear Adrineh,
I have enjoyed reading your post! Your title captures and sums up the importance of Web 2.0-it is empowering and provides rich resource for women's movement world wide.
You mention a very important aspect: on line security, what people post sometimes and who people pretend to be sometimes.
I love what you say 'I’d love to connect with other women on the topic of women’s role in peace building'.
I look forward to reading more of your stories on Pulsewire.

Keep writing

Best

Gifty Pearl Abenaab
Founder
Greight Foundation
www.greightfoundation.org

Manvitha's picture

Nice post!

Hi!!
I really like your post….especially how you highlight the fact that everyone has access to be part of the global network that is Web 2.0 How true! It requires so little and yet yields so much! I also agree with you on the fact that it does feel like work sometimes [;)] but that’s the fun of it, don’t you think?! – just being able to connect with so many diverse kinds of people across communities, cities and continents is an exciting aspect of Web 2.0
I’m really excited to read that you’re interested in women and peace building…that’s the kind of area that I am interested in as well! :) we should connect more on this…it’ll be great!
I had a chance to take a look at your blog…its wonderful! I hope to keep coming back to it for more stories!
Cheers
Manvitha.

Tina Mason's picture

Hi Adrineh I think what you

Hi Adrineh

I think what you have said about exercising caution is a really important point and as well as being cautious about the authenticity of the writer, I think it is equally important to look at what we can do collectively to ensure that caution is taken to protect the writers security when using their voice especially when, as you say, its off topic. This is a really valid topic for further thought and to see how we can support each other in this area.

I am also really interested in the area of women's roles in peace building and I look forward to learning more about your region and your personal experiences and insights.

Many thanks for sharing!

Tina

adrineh's picture

Thank you, everyone!

I thought I would try to respond to everyone's comment individually, but I see now that that would be too much, so I hope you will all accept my humble response to everyone who provided comments so far: thank you! I'm happy to hear that so many are interested in women's role in peace-building: a very important area for consideration in so many parts of the world. Equally important is my note of caution that many picked up on security and confidentiality. This is an area I'd like to explore further as well and make sure that fear of being "outed" or fear of repercussions doesn't become a reason for women not to voice their concerns. One more thing I'd like to add: I hope that through this program we can also cover proper terminology when referring to geographical areas and histories that are contested. I still have a hard time with that one.

Thanks again, everyone!

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