The future is bright for Web 2.0 in Puntland, Somalia
ASSIGNMENT for week one: The future is bright for Web 2.0 in Puntland, Somalia
What really excites me the most about Web 2.0 is the endless opportunities it offers. Web 2.0 has linked me to many people whom I otherwise would not have met. It has crossed boundaries, borders and cultures. Its impact is huge and I believe it has the potential to contribute positively to women’s global empowerment movements across the globe. Being in war-torn Somalia myself, it is very unsafe for young girls to travel easily due to insecurity and conflict. Web 2.0 has provided them and myself with important information sources about the existence of opportunities and resources on for example, online trainings, online seminars and online courses. It has enabled and empowered us to turn that information into knowledge and transfer that knowledge to others in Somalia.
I was able to create awareness about certain human rights abuses in Somalia on the internet using Web 2.0 scoial networking sites during my job as the Gender and Human Rights officer at UNDP Somalia, a job which I myself got thanks to Web 2.0. I also got my current employment as the Gender Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Education in Puntland Somalia because of the internet. Thanks to Web 2.0 technology I was able to find an advert on the post and i applied and taken. I am now able to do more for women and young girls in Puntland, Somalia such as raising awareness about harmful traditional practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), early marriages and SGBV. Web 2.0 has enabled us to link women in Somalia with those in the Diaspora better and achieve more for example on the current drought. Also we have been able to link, interact and learn from other women in similar contexts in Africa (Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Sudan) on the collection of best practices related to culturally justified acts of violence or culture-based violence. We have been able to learn how other similar cultures have advanced women and girl’s education in complex emergencies and we have joined Web2forDev D-group as members.
Finally, war-torn countries such as Somalia benefit enormously from Web 2.0 where it is becomes possible to do participatory e-learning and many universities in Somalia use this form of education. At the Ministry of Education we advocate for the use of the Internet and especially for Web 2.0 applications because they are more collaborative and user-friendly. We are currently training some 30 female education scholarship winners to use Web 2.0 applications so that they stay updated on each other’s progress, challenges and updates. I think that Web 2.0 is a great tool to use for the empowerment of girls especially in the context of education in complex emergencies. It creates more confidence in girls because girls get to speak up for themselves and receive positive comments or feedback from readers of their stories and blogs. These 30 girls will be able to inspire others to do the same as they did, i.e. others to compete and apply for the girls’ education scholarships and network with others as well share their own visions for a better tomorrow. The future is bright. The future is Puntland.
Sahro Ahmed Koshin
Garowe, Puntland, Somalia