Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

MY TESTIMONY ON ACCESS TO THE INTERNET

Tags:

By 2002, I was already a master degree holder and yet until 2009, I was a pure illiterate as far as internet and web 2.0 is concerned. I decided to buy a laptop with a loan from the bank and got my office connected. Immediately I did this the first thing I did was to go to goggle to search for women organization around the world because I have a vision for years to empower the women in my community but I did not know how to go about it. The first organization that came into view was Association of Women in Development (AWID). I went straight to the website and click to join the group. The first newsletter I received from the organization, there was this competition organized by WorldPulse, The Voice of Our Future Correspondence (VOF). Since any woman all over the world could be part of the competition, I went straight into even though I had no knowledge of journalism and I was a novice in web 2.0. It was during this program that I was able to learn so many things about internet, how to access my mail, how to attach documents to mails, how to chat on yahoo and blogging. All these we were learning online as the competition continues. Light was a serious problem in accessing internet in Nigeria, and so during the program I had to go to public cybercafé where they have standby generator because whenever light went off the internet in the office automatically goes off. The problem of the public cybercafé is also another serious problem because they are very few, always congested and taken over by the “yahoo boys” the boys that engage in internet scam. They are very wide, dangerous, fetish and women is always their target. Therefore whenever I had to go to the café, my husband had to follow me as my body guard through out the time I had to spend there to protect me from being attacked by these boys. With all these problem and the fact that to own your personal modem for browsing is very costly and unaffordable for an average civil servant in Nigeria discourage many especially the women from venture into accessing internet and so they are contented in being an illiterate as far as internet is concerned. I was in a MDG program last month as a resource person to give a training workshop to some teachers. In the workshop, I had 50 participants in which there are 37 women and 13 men. When I asked that how many of them have the knowledge of computer and internet no matter how small, there was none in the class. I was so sad and concerned that when the chairman of the Local Government came to visit us at the venue of the workshop, I took it upon myself to ask him to please organize a way by which the teachers could have access to computer and internet training and computer giving to them on credit to be paid by installment so that they too could be involved in the happenings around the world. Do not be surprised that all these participants were all university graduates of many years yet they are complete novice as regards computer and internet. In the survey I carried out recently, out of the 45% of Nigeria population whom are women according to the last census, less than 15% of this population has some knowledge of internet while only about 5 % actually have access to internet due to the reasons mentioned above. This development brought about my vision to have ‘Women Only’ cybercafé in every state in Nigeria. This will provide a safe place for women to have access to the internet without fear of attack or being molested. There will always be instructor around to teach women coming to the café that have no knowledge of internet on some rudiment on accessing internet. Therefore the café will be an internet training ground for the women, help them to be well informed of happening around the world and also able to raise their voices on issues that concern them and mount pressure on government or any quarter where the right of women are being trampled upon.
I want to say within the two years of my access to the internet, I have had series of opportunities:-
-I was able to enter into the program of Voice of Our Future Correspondence organized by worldPulse, won a scholarship to go for Empowerment Training at Empowerment Institute in NewYork. I traveled out of my country and enter a plane for the time.
- Through the training I received during the VOF program and additional training from the Global Press Institute online, I am now a journalist, a reporter, a photo journalist and a climate journalist. Several of my articles have been published by Global press Institute.
-Through the Empowerment Training I attended in NewYork, I was able to meet David and Gail, the founders of the Empowerment Institute and also the founders of Imagine Initiative who gave me the opportunity of being the Imagine program manager in Nigeria.
- The vision I have been carrying about for years not know how to make it happen became a reality during these two years. Women inspiration development center was registered with help of Worldpulse and Empowerment Institute.The Center in collaboration with Imagine Program have organized workshops for about 150 women on ‘creating Your life the way you want it’. In the center we have helped several women involved in domestic violence and we are currently handling a case of child rape. All these happening within the two years of my access to internet and I know the sky is the beginning.
Therefore I want to say categorically that ACCESS TO INTERNET IS ACCESS TO LIFE and so being deprive of it is like being deprive of life and when there is no life, the individual is dead.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In a time when freedom of expression and equal access to knowledge and ideas has become synonymous with access to the Internet, World Pulse is asking women worldwide: What does "Universal Internet Access and Digital Freedom" mean to YOU? This month, we invite you to raise your voice by writing about the everyday obstacles you face and risks you take in accessing the Internet, or how you have used it to change lives and bring about positive change in your community. Click here to learn more about this campaign and how to participate.

Downloads

Comments

jadefrank's picture

YES!

Dearest Busayo,

This is such a powerful, powerful testimony sister! You know, when I was putting together this campaign, you were at the top of my mind. After hearing you voice part of this testimony in NYC where I had the incredible opportunity to be with you in person, I have been thinking about your story and knew that other women must have similarly unique testimonies to the power of connecting online and building a network of support. Now you are creating that opportunity for so many other women in Nigeria and you have come so far in realizing your vision.

I read this three times, and then sent it to all the WP team. This is such a powerful addition to our campaign and advocacy efforts. We will be presenting these to the UN and other policy makers to advocate for Universal Internet Access and its urgency for women worldwide.

Thank you sister!

Love lots,
Jade

busayo's picture

Thank you Jade

Thank you very much my dear sister for the encouragement. It is indeed my pleasure to be part of this campaign.

Lots of Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Dear Busayo,

This is an imperative testimony expressing the importance of internet access. I can understand how crucial internet access becomes in life when I experienced a situation of no access to internal during 2005 until mid 2008. I felt literally dead.

This is a great post :-)

Cheers
Amei

busayo's picture

That is it Amei

Internet access is very very crucial and many are not having the opportunity. I wish i could realize my vision of having a cafe in every zone in Nigeria. It will give life to many of my sisters in the nation. Thanks for your encouragement.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Celine's picture

Yeah Sister

Dear Sister Busayo,

Good to read your write-up. I have been expecting it! One of the ‘creating Your life the way you want it workshops I attended was amazing. The interests shown by women was interesting. If such is done within the next 2 years, a lot of women's lives will definitely be turned around. I appreciate your work.

I think the major problem we should address in this process is power supply in Nigeria. The incessant power outage can cripple any effort towards achieving internet access to women in Nigeria. It may sound absurd to our community of women living outside Nigeria, but that is the reality of situation. The Local Government Chairman you mentioned can facilitate access to computer for the women but what about access to power to use the computers. Last 2 months, my computer plus the UPS and other support systems around it got blown up as a result of power fluctuation. That was the computer that I bought after denying myself of food while saving money through several months. Now I do not have any working system in my house. I cannot rely on the cybercafe around for any meaningful work because to spend an hour, I have to pay N200. and I may have to spend up to 3 hrs for me to accomplish any meaningful work on the internet. The downtrodden group like me cannot buy power generating set not to think of buying fuel and oil everyday, plus the cost of servicing the generator!

Love,
Celine
NB: Regards to all!

busayo's picture

Soo Sorry dear Sister

You are right celine about the issue of power and i am soo sorry about you computer and accessories. I just finished chatting with Amy my mentor just now, when it was time for us to start the chat i became worried because there was no light so i had to tell her that our chat may not be long because i was using my battery and it can go out at any time. All this can be so frustrating but what iam saying in my testimony is for somebody to be as educated and yet no knowledge of internet can be so backward. Even if it is once in a month that she will have access to light, she can go online and see what is happenning presently.
God will help our new president to succeed concerning light in this country, enough of darkness. How was your journey back from Canada. Hope you had a great time.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Daniela I's picture

Thank you, Busayo

This was an amazing testimony--thank you for sharing. I really love the idea of an internet cafe for women...I think a lot of wonderful things could come of that!

I am helping to volunteer with this campaign and I am working to collect your testimony so that it can be presented to global key policy makers. Your testimony will reach many!

Thank you,
Daniela

busayo's picture

Thanks Daniela

Thank you very much for helping to volunteer with this campaign, we will really appreciate it if there is a policy on this globally.

Thank you
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Over the last month, you and other PulseWire members from around the world expressed your views on the importance of Internet access, and the barriers they face. The testimonies address real barriers—like cost—where paying fees at an Internet café can mean skipping a meal that day, or battling frequent power outages can make blogging one post, a multi-day task. Women have also shared security risks faced in connecting online—from the dangers of walking to and from Internet cafes to government censorship. Yet despite the challenges and risks women endure, what has emerged is that the benefits of Internet access outweigh these challenges, and connecting to the web has enabled friendships across oceans, access to fellowships and funding opportunities, and a venue for any woman—anywhere—to have a global voice.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, emphasized the vast benefits of Internet access in his report to the Human Right Council arguing that access is a universal human right, and urging governments around the world to pass laws protecting the freedom of internet access and information. "Given that the Internet has become an indispensable tool for realizing a range of human rights, combating inequality, and accelerating development and human progress, ensuring universal access to the Internet should be a priority for all states," - Frank La Rue, UN Special Rapporteur and author of the report.

This Action Blogging Campaign will not be the last of our efforts to advocate for universal access to the Internet. Here at World Pulse we hear your concerns and are committed to addressing them. As an online community of women leaders, we want to make sure that women’s voices and their specific concerns about this important issue are heard.

Read the testimonies from PulseWire members around the world >>

Read the UN report >>

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

womenspace's picture

CAMBODIA: Ordinary Women Can Make a Difference

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative