Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Web 2.0 gives power to the people

One of the most exciting things about Web 2.0 is how it has been used by activists to fight injustice and challenge repressive governments on a global scale. It has given marginalised voices an avenue to express themselves. It has also enabled online communities bound by common interests that tackle issues across continents irrespective of the real-time locations of their members. A social movement started on Facebook could lead to rallies in several countries.
Events like these highlight a new kind of international co-operation- one that is formed not by governments but by the people.

An example is the case of the Nigerian Ambassador to Kenya who was accused of battering his wife early this year. An online newspaper in Kenya published the story with graphic pictures of the woman’s bruises. The story and pictures went viral almost immediately as other online news websites and blogs especially in Nigeria picked it up. Soon, a Facebook group was formed calling for the sack of the man. This group was made up of women from different countries around the world. Offline, women’s groups in Kenya and Nigeria also went on protests marches demanding that the ambassador be removed. Thanks to these campaigns on and offline, the ambassador was recalled to Nigeria.

One can only imagine how this story would have turned out before the days of the internet. The news may never have reached Nigeria. And using his influence, the Ambassador could have killed the story in the Kenyan newspapers. However, unlike traditional media (broadcast and print) stories on the internet are hard to kill due to the ease of sharing, re-posting and downloading.

With knowledge of this, women in countries where their rights are not being respected can reach out to the world by sharing their stories on Youtube, blogs and even using their Facebook status or Twitter. These stories can then be shared and social movements formed around them. These movements once taken up by activists in other countries can lead to pressure on governments to effect policy changes that benefit their people.

To make the women's empowerment a truly global one, it is therefor our duty to share not only the stories which affect us within our country or communities, but also to reach out to other women around the world using the tools available on the internet and to help their tell stories too.

As a journalist, I have to contend with having some of my stories being unpublished because they "do not sell papers" or because they might offend "the powers that be."However, thanks to Web 2.0, I can still tell those stories either on my blog or using a social networking site like Facebook. The stories once viewed there can evoke thoughts or debates that would help people to make up their minds on issues that in the long run affect all of us.

Comments

neffy's picture

good job!

You are clearly an experienced journalist, and your story is quite good. I would have, however, liked to see more of a personal connection, perhaps a story or example that relates to you personally! But, overall, your piece was nicely written and engaging.

Deborah L. Neff aka "Neffy"

Onyinye's picture

thank you

Thank you, neffy, for your comment. And your compliments. I will defintely go more "personal" on the next assignment. (Like I have a choice, it is based on our personal stories, after all *smile*)

char_lm146's picture

Hello there Onyinye.

Hello there Onyinye.
Apologies for not commenting sooner. The opening of your article summed up exactly how I too feel about the benefits of the media, watching the uprising across Africa and the Middle East certainly came about because of sense of injustice and yes was massively helped by mediums such as web 2.0. I studied Justice at length for my dissertation and feel it is a key value to appreciate so I was really able to empathize and agree with your statement and for this I was thankful.

With such an interesting start I was slightly disappointed by the very end to your article. It is a mellow end, very true but not as inspiring as I would of hoped for. The end is really where you can leave someone with a true lasting impression of who you are, what you are about and what you want. Clearly by being a journalist you have this passion intrinsically I just would of liked to of seen it more throughout your article.

Nonetheless I did agree with alot of what you had to say, as women aware of the issues other women face it IS our duty to do all we can. I can tell you clearly understand what is at stake for women; words such as respect and co-operation and sharing are all key. Therefore if you can just demonstrate slightly more your sense of passion a long side the empowerment you feel as a women in this world I'm sure you will go far

Thank you for your article and I look forward too hearing more from you,

Charlotte

Onyinye's picture

I am indeed passionate

Thank you Charlotte for your comment. Like I said to Neffy, I appreciate your advice and look forward to you reading my future articles.

sallysmithr's picture

Very true!

Thank you so much for sharing. Your post is a good reminder of how powerful Web 2.0 is and that as you mentioned without such powerful tools the world may not know about many issues that people are experiencing. Your words are very powerful and I appreciate you sharing!!

Thanks,

Sally Smith

Onyinye's picture

Thank you Sally

Thank you for your kind words Sally. I feel encouraged to write more.

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

PHOTO ESSAY: The Dreams in Their Eyes

PHOTO ESSAY: The Dreams in Their Eyes

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

On Women's Agency in Southern Africa

On Women's Agency in Southern Africa

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Welcome, Women in the World!

Welcome, Women in the World!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative