A chance to give voice to the voiceless
I think Web 2.0 provides a very powerful tool for women around the world to connect and share their realities, resources, knowledge, struggles and working strategies to overcome some of the most critical issues they face in their communities and countries. Just considering the fact of being able to communicate and create meaningful connections with other women, despite the distance and borders, means an enriching and exciting experience with unsuspected power to create positive social change.
Traditionally, men have been considered to be the ones who generate and understand science and technology thoroughly, therefore this world wide women’s movement using new media shows a crucial change in the way we –women– relate to technology: computer and technology are no longer “a man’s domain”. Through these steps we’re daring to take, we are tearing down walls and erasing borders that have kept us apart.
Historically, traditional media (radio, TV, newspapers) have been in control of elite groups that hold political and economic power at the local and global level. These groups manage their media businesses in a way that responds to their corporate male-conceptualized interests; hence it’s not likely to get access or have them show stories many oppressed and discriminated people have to say to the world. The oppressive and unjust patriarchal system, which permeates all kind of relations in our society, invisibilizes women’s issues in the media.
Things have been changing as to access to diverse sources of information thanks to the Internet. For example, Web 2.0 makes possible for us to communicate through this amazing and innovative initiative launched by World Pulse and have the opportunity to apply for this inspiring online program on citizen journalism.
I live in small country, Nicaragua, where there are only two main national newspapers –both related to the same family. Here, as I bet it must be true for many of my fellows in the PulseWire community, political polarization it’s a huge problem and both newspapers along with radio stations and TV are deeply involved in a corrupted game that diverts attention from core issues affecting Nicaraguan people’s lives. In this scenario, most people find themselves with little –if any– access to non-mainstream biased information.
As the saying goes “information is power”, thus we need to be informed, but especially we need to be generating and sharing the information that is pertinent to women’s lives and realities. Of course we can’t separate this from the global and broader fight for social justice, so it’s absolutely critical to produce content that denounces injustice, wherever it is, with the purpose of raising awareness and building networks that strengthen the resistance movement.
Recently, I have been chewing over the idea of starting a blog as an alternative to the monopolistic news sources that invisibilize the violation of women’s rights and other injustices in my country, as well as in other regions of the world. In doing so, I would love to be contributing a bit to the empowerment of people and bringing to light long time hidden/silenced stories.