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What does "Universal Internet Access and Digital Freedom" mean to YOU?

Internet has made the process of sharing information easier, but in that process we have also lost the human touch connection.

Blackberrys and Iphones over a meal and status updates way too important than the important conversation we need to have.

In Kenya, guru's are coming up with mobile applications are being coded daily which means we will soon have access to even more information than we may know what to do with.

Women can speak and write their stories, they need to. For a long time women have been silenced, but with the advent of the internet the braveness grows each day.

We no longer have to stand in long service queues, not when there are digital platforms, e-banking which you can do from the comfort of any emergency that you may be facing.

I wish everyone could have the same internet access as I do.

Information builds onto knowledge, knowledge as they say, is power.

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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.

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Over the last month, PulseWire members from around the world expressed their 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 >>

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