Web 2.0: connecting women and raising awareness about human rights
Six years ago, a friend of mine invited me to create a website called Desabafo de Mae (translation:“mothers relief or mothers outburst”), where women could share their doubts and experiences about motherhood, education, books and plays for children. The project died a couple of years later but the social network we created is still alive and growing day after day thanks to the Web 2.0. This whole experience changed the way I used to think about my career as a journalist and, also, my role as a mother.
Today I don´t write an article to my readers, I write an article with my readers. We exchange opinions, point of views and knowledge by using tools as facebook, twitter and blogs (comments). I can upload an interview – YouTube videos or podcasts - in my blog. No cuts, no edition. The essence is there. The article is the result of an intense collaboration between journalist and readers. We practice collaborative citizen journalism.
Web 2.0 holds a world of possibilities. If I have a blog, facebook or twitter I can put my ideas out there. Why talk just about myself if I can share what I know and what I am learning? Let’s use these tools to raise awareness about children´s rights and welfare, human´s rights, education, domestic violence, racism, bullying and healthy issues. One single mother, like me, won´t reach far away, but dozen, hundreds, thousands of mothers will. Web2.0 in many ways empowers women allowing them to learn more about their rights, increasing their knowledge in areas such as education, culture, healthy and political issues. If we know better we do better and raise better children, adults, citizens.
For example, the coverage on subjects related to children’s rights and welfare has increased in the media. In Brazil in 2003, over 105,000 articles were published by 50 newspapers. Although, the subject is published by major sources, many Brazilian mothers do not really understand the law’s importance and meaning in their everyday lives. Also, children themselves, who could take better advantage of these laws, have difficulty translating the ECA laws to their own lives. By using tools as blogs, facebook and twitter we could promote and deepen discussion not only about child welfare - but also about racism, domestic violence, education, healthy and political issues - through the creation of collaboration among bloggers (mothers), professionals specializing in this topics, and web journalists. I believe these empowers women to use their social network for a good cause and, also, encourages them to learn more about their own rights and the rights of their own children.