Web 2.0 gives you freedom!
Web 2.0 is a free, real time, global communication tool with optional user anonymity that becomes powerful in the hands of the simple citizens and especially women. It is very exciting that an everyday woman like me speaks her mind to the World with a click of a button.
What a better example of this than Middle East and North Africa where the citizens’ movements raised up against the undemocratic regimes using the Web 2.0? The Western democratic World knew about these dictatorships but no action was taken against them. Egypt’s example, in particular, proves that only when the everyday people accessed the Web 2.0 tools were they able to communicate, organize, and fight the regime successfully. Moreover, the everyday people from abroad watched the situation closely and were able to draw an unbiased opinion pushing politicians to rethink their reactions.
The global movement toward women’s empowerment can draw parallels from the citizens’ examples, showcasing the tremendous opportunities that women can have by using the tools offered by Web 2.0. I cannot hide my excitement thinking that it is only a matter of time before the women’s movement shakes the foundations of the world. Women of today still do not have public space to speak their minds, for even getting involved in women’s organizations is considered unfashionable and scary by many who fear the label of “feminist”! Women continue to be oppressed, even today, prohibiting them from expressing thoughts, participating in public dialogues, getting education, and organizing. Now they can be active citizens of the World using a computer or a mobile phone from their home doing this even anonymously.
Women’s free access to the Web 2.0 changes their lives completely. My life is so different from that of my mother! I come from a Greek farming family where the expectation for women to get involved in the public scene is very low. Moreover, once women are married they should become devoted to their families, setting aside any development for their selves. This culture as well as the domestic violence running through my family for many generations drove me from being an excellent student to stop my education at high school. Now I am a mom of a two year old who immigrated to Canada and lives in a rural area. Without Web 2.0 I wouldn’t be able to study online towards a university diploma and even be able to write this article and especially in English, a second language for me. I feel very lucky that I am a woman of today and that I was not raised or live as my mother does in very harsh conditions. Every day, I am amazed at being able to continue my studies using a tool that once seemed as if it was only an imaginary scenario.
Using Web 2.0 is life-changing for everyone. I suspect that this is only the beginning of the journey towards true personal freedom. I deeply believe that women using these tools effectively will change the World.