Everybody has a story. Web 2.0 accords individuals the opportunity to be active participants in the telling of their stories. That is the one thing that excites me the most about it. It is through these stories that information and knowledge are shared and exchanged. Applications like blogs, YouTube and Wikis give individuals a variety of avenues through which they can produce and consume content while interacting with people from diverse backgrounds. The Web 2.0 platform has placed power in the hands of the average citizen thus giving them a voice that would otherwise not be represented by traditional media. It is enlivening to know that a person can significantly impact the lives of others through blogging or updating their status on Facebook or sharing a video, among other things.
The global women’s empowerment movement in particular stands to benefit greatly from Web 2.0. For a long time, women in many parts of the world have been silenced. The web provides a platform through which their voices can be heard. New and social media have transformed the world into a global village making international communication easier. This has consequently given women a wider audience with whom they can share ideas and opinions. Through these interactions, women are able to educate each other and raise awareness on issues that are affecting them in their communities. As a result women are able to have conversations and discussions that result in the formation of effective solutions that are implemented in dealing with various gender-specific issues. Additionally, women are able to form networks that serve to benefit them in different capacities ranging from providing mentorship, moral and emotional support to forming business partnerships. It is these support systems that result in the strengthening of the movement and the progression of women. Connecting with people from different parts of the world promotes intercultural understanding which is key especially when forming and enacting policies that are geared towards addressing issues that affect women.
As an individual who is interested in advocacy, I believe that Web 2.0 tools are empowering to me in several ways. For one, they enable me to exchange information with like minded individuals. By so doing I am able to learn about the issues that face people in different parts of the world and the steps that they are taking towards solving them. Web 2.0 has given me numerous opportunities to participate in conversations that I would normally shy away from. This has taught me how to courageously speak my mind and express my opinion on issues that would otherwise be considered taboo in my community. I have also been exposed to many blogs and YouTube videos that have educated and provided me with knowledge about issues that women grapple with at different stages of their lives. All this has resulted in my growth as an individual who is invested in being part of the solution.