Enhancing women’s voices: From zines to blogs.
Speaking as someone who used to have her own zine by the age of 18, I can say that the emergence of Web 2.0 has completely revolutionized the way women communicate to exchange ideas, proposals and demands. The most exciting thing for me is that these tools, as opposed to independent publications we used to have before the massification of the Internet, allow us to expand the impact of our speech even more because we can get our voice to people who live in places that a few decades ago we didn’t even know where to locate on a map, all at a relatively low cost and in very different ways.
Part of the opportunities that Web 2.0 provides to the global women’s empowerment movement I think, is precisely this ability to connect with others who like us are interested in working for a given cause! They may live near or far from us, but in the age of the Web 2.0 that does not matter. Thus, our movement becomes a lot more stronger and stable, since it’s less likely to be broken or manipulated by the media or traditional powers once it has built not only local but also global support. In this sense we have seen lately how more and more women around the world are making use of the Web 2.0 to organize, denounce, or make visible their demands without fear, all the way from the Arab world revolutions, to the slut walks in several cities, the actions against femicide in Central America or other advocacy movements.
Based on my own personal experience, I can say that Web 2.0 has allowed me to get to know and organize with women's groups in Mexico and in other countries in order to raise my voice louder than before, and has made me more aware that even though we think we are alone, our cause is the same cause of many other women in the world. For example, thanks to Web 2.0 tools I've learned that there are courageous women in Saudi Arabia contravening the law that prohibits them to drive a car, that there is a feminist movement within the #15M of Spain, that there is an African association of women teaching other women how to use ITs, that there is an important women’s movement in Colombia in favor of peaceful resolutions to the armed conflict, that in Italy women organize to say Enough! to machismo, but most importantly, I’ve learned that these are great women who work very hard every day in order to protect and defend their rights, needless to say these examples have empowered me to keep going.
There’s no turning back. We young feminists are determined to take our place as agents of change and we will take on the Web 2.0!