An Eye-Opening Experience.
I remember the days when blogging was still a new phenomenon in Egypt, my home country. I was introduced to blogs in 2005. Back then, they were an alien aspect of cyberspace, to me. I did not understand what a blog is or why one would like to maintain one. As I started to navigate this sprawling trend, I came to have a few favorite blogs that I visited frequently, often daily. To me, blogs were a completely new experience; I came to read the personal details that bloggers shared, learned about their views or life experiences in an intimate way.
Blogs proved to be a very important platform that impacted my career choice in a profound way. For as I surfed the world of blogs, I came across prominent human rights-focused blogs that brought to my attention the extent of human rights violations that took place in Egypt. It was through blogs, for example, that videos of torture carried out by the Egyptian police started to be seen by the Egyptian public, which became aware of the grave violations that were taking place behind closed doors. It was this knowledge of the grave situation of human rights in Egypt that piqued my interest in the subject. I went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in international human rights law years later.
It is this eye-opening potential of Web 2.0 that greatly excites me. A Web 2.0 platform, blogs, once elevated the level of awareness of human rights issues in Egypt, and I believe a similar effect can be made on the global women's empowerment movement by raising awareness on the status of women and the hardships they face on a daily basis. In Egypt, Web 2.0 platforms can raise awareness to the issue of the feminization of poverty, for example. The latter is a term that refers to the notion that women experience a higher incidence of poverty than men, are prone to suffer more persistent poverty than men, and that women face more barriers to lifting themselves out of poverty. I wrote extensively on the notion of the feminization of poverty in Egypt, as it was the subject of my dissertation, and I believe that Web 2.0 platforms can enable me to spread the knowledge about the status of women in Egypt and the patriarchal laws that make their lives more difficult and makes it more difficult for them to escape poverty. Web 2.0 platforms can thus become a source of empowerment, not only for me by enabling me to play a role in spreading unknown facts, but also for the many women whose plight would be heard.