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We are Powerful

Using web 2.0, an individual platform can be built to express one’s own perceptions without gatekeepers, which is so much fascinating and important for “self governance”. Especially that is much more important for the women as we are under the pressure abundantly. Wittaker says in his book “Producing for Web 2.0” it is as a “gravitational core” which is with the features; using the web as an application platform, democratizing the web and employing new methods to distribute information.

The recent online campaign; “Right to Drive” conducted via the platforms like Facebook and Twitter by Manal al-Sharif proves how we (women) are powerful. A research which I did in my country; Sri Lanka regarding women’s use of media revealed that women are detached from media as the males at home control media, as suffering with poverty and as trapped by plenty of house hold works and because of ignorance. When I was doing the research in a rural place a woman in that community asked me is there any way for them to access information technology; which proves that they want to build their own world and they are willing to connect with the world.

As I have mentioned in the first chapter the web 2.0 is free from gatekeepers and so it encourages the women in expressing and mobilizing in an easy way. At the same time web 2.0 is enriches with writing, picture and video publishing, liking, sharing, tagging, chatting, conferencing, recommending and much more it is easy for us to find solutions for our problems, by sharing others’ experiences or by directing our problems to organizations that are willing to help. At the same time online petition signing is also has become a great advantage as it bombard the government agencies with piles of e-mails and compel them to take decisions.

As this is a both “Lean Forward” and “Lean Back” media it is easy to direct the audience towards the target unlike mass media which does not have much individual appeal. If you read an article by studying it well that becomes lean forward and if you just watch a music video it becomes lean back. Thus for me web 2.0 is a platform that I can find my own audience which I will never able by using conventional mass media. (I know this well as I’m writing for a news paper too). The international audiences and local audiences whom I reach via social media, blogging and e-mails are so huge. Knowledge and experience sharing, opportunity sharing, shouting against injustice are really important for me. If I was doing these things by going to a TV station or a radio station by myself in my country “as a woman” it would be very difficult for me. The protections for a woman and lack of equal opportunities for women become key issues regarding that. But staying safely without others’ pressure I’m becoming a strong person with the power of web 2.0.

Comments

Dear Madu,

I was touched by your words and insight into the reality of so many women who do not have access to technology, therefore, their voices are not heard. Bravo for being an advocate for these women and providing them a platform for their voices to be heard and for them to be connected with women/citizens around the world.

"Educate a girl/woman, you CHANGE the WORLD!" Continue to lean forward and empower women and girls with knowledge, access and VOICE! I look forward to reading more of your work.

With Gratitude,

Linda M. Ando

MaduRathnayaka's picture

Yes, we can

Yes Linda, we should pioneer the process and should help others to rise their voices, by sharing our knowledge.

amymorros's picture

Without Gatekeepers

Thank for for providing us so much useful information! I look forward to learning more about your experiences.

Amy
@amyinstl

MaduRathnayaka's picture

Tnx

Great to hear from you :)

loyce's picture

Great work

Madu,
I like your article and the work you do, all is quite interesting! with the new media, mainstream media now can nolonger gatekeep and set the agenda. We now have the power to set the agenda.

On a nother note, I am more interested in your work and film on "women's post war psychological trauma" . As you may be aware, North and Eastern part of Uganda has experienced armed conflict led by the notorious rebel leader Joseph Kony. This has caused a lot of suffering on the population and the most affected have been women and children. I am sure you heard about this. The women were abducted, raped, forced into sexual slavery, maimed, many people lost their lives and those who survived were left with nothing hence a lot of trauma. I would like to hear more of your project and learn how I can help traumatized women in post conflict

Follow me on twitter:@livelyloyce
My blog:www.loycek.wordpress.com

MaduRathnayaka's picture

Nice to hear again!!

Thank you for your appreciation!! Yes I know about it, and it is so sad how ppl killing each other like animals. What I feel is we should build a bridge among the ppl and reduce the conflict. My intention is working for stable peace and understanding among the ethnic groups in my mother land. The first step was learning Tamil language (which is not my mother tongue but Tamils in my country speak) and encourage the others to learn it which reduce the misunderstand among the people. The second step was making the film going to Jaffna (where the conflict was occurring much) and meeting people and sharing their experience. Those people were so happy seeing me coming to see them and talk about them in my film. In my film I talks about an old lady who is alone (only lives with three goats) and a little girl who has her future.

There are a few scripts regarding these kinds of topics that I have written and with intention of create them into moving pictures. I translated my first book into Sinhala (my mother tongue) "The Slave" by Mende Nazir, which talks about her life of slavery in Sudan , which she rises her voice!

I'll write you back when I develop my project. And that you so much that you are ready to help, which is a great strength for me. Coz I was wandering and kind of confused to start it as I didn't know any one who is doing such a program. So it is a great relief for me , to gt to know about you. Actually I was thinking to launch my project in North where directly engaged with war, and in South where not much affected. But I'm thinking a way to approach specially North as the status of those women are totally different to the normal women. I think if I reach them I will able to give them an opportunity to raise their voice as they are so much hidden and entangled with sufferings. What do you think??

rozjean's picture

Dear Madu, Thank you for

Dear Madu,
Thank you for sharing your many interesting insights into the use of Web 2.0. We are so lucky that we women now have the opportunity to express ourselves without, as you say, "gatekeepers." I hope this platform continues to make you a "strong person." Much luck in your future endeavors.
Warm wishes,
rozjean

MaduRathnayaka's picture

We Can!!!

My pleasure Rozjean. And yes no longer we are controlled (Control; Which I hate most, as in my country the power of media is with men,and in most places they consider women as weak creatures who should obey them with anything. It may be doing great lot of work, influencing ideas, verbal/psychological or sexual harassment. Ppl think that women are some objectives that is for their pleasure.) Many women keep in silence as afraid that they lose the job. So poverty is a main reason that make them victims.

A lot of men have said to me "I can find you a good job, because I know big people in the government and everywhere" though I never asked them to find me job. Sometimes I just talked with them. But they want to trap me (we)!!!! Some times social media also has some bad effects on women. We should be careful of that. I have come across verbal and psychological harassment in Face Book. One of a girl who I know have faced a very bad experience. Some boys have created a fake profile of her and turned her into a completely opposite character of her, she was uneasy to face people. There are much more.

But if we can find out those pitfalls and make women understand them, and make them to use it profitable way web 2.0 is the IDEAL platform to us raise our voice, discuss, share and mobilize and fight against injustice.
LET'S DO IT!!!

Madu

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