Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Creating a Thunderstorm Two Million Strong

A thunderstorm starts with just one drop of water.

Once upon a time, information was a luxury owned by a privileged few.

Once upon a time, news was something prepared and packaged exclusively in a formal newsroom by a few individuals.

Once upon a time, a woman had to take her story, give it to a man, and ask him to tell it for her, hoping he would tell it right, praying he would paint her in the right light, use the right brushes, give the right shades and textures - but it can be so hard to tell another person’s truth.
Even with the very best intentions, there is always room for error.

But a thunderstorm starts with just one drop of water.

Web 2.0 revolutionised global communication. These new, convenient methods of sharing information broke traditional media’s monopoly on information. For me, web 2.0 embodies two concepts: transparency and diverse story-telling. Where once, all I heard and saw were the views of a limited few who could manipulate information to create the impression they wanted to give, I can now literally hear the world talking; and share and celebrate its diversity everyday. If life is, as Helen Keller said, a series of lessons that must be lived to be understood, then web 2.0 affords people everywhere the opportunity to freely and easily learn from and understand each other.

Of course, with great knowledge comes great responsibility. Web 2.0 is only as positively effective as each user makes it – the beauty of that statement being that power no longer lies with a few brokers at the top of an unjust pyramid. It now rests in the hands of each citizen.

Because a thunderstorm starts with just one drop of water.

For women, web 2.0 has special significance. In a world where media is still dominated by the voices of men, with most information still molded from a male-oriented viewpoint, we are empowered to assert our stories, own our voices, and speak the truths that only we can know. Through web 2.0, women have formed, and continue to form, a strong global collective. We can now combine shared stories, shared voices, shared experiences and shared support.

I’ve learnt that each human being has a story, and a voice. With web 2.0, each individual gets an outlet for self-expression. Each woman can tell her story her way.

Today, I blog.
Today, I own my story.
Today, I own my voice.

And when I log on to the net, sign in, network, I hear diverse voices rising, swelling, swirling … creating a maelstrom of dynamic revolutionary, cross-cultural transformation. Sometimes, an act as simple as story-telling can have an impact that lasts for generations.

I am just one drop of water.
You are one.
Together, we are over two billion strong.

Now that’s a thunderstorm.


katyrdz's picture

Love it!

Congratulations! I really really loved your post and the way it is written... I think you talked about everything web 2.0 is about, collaboration, horizontal power, speaking through your own voice, and not somebody else's voice, shared support...everything is there! I look forward to reading your other stories!

ruthibelle's picture

Wow. Thanks.

Thanks so much. I'm blushing a little here. Thanks much. I really really appreciate the positive feedback.


juliexuan's picture


I'm totally with you on this. And your writing is beautiful!

amiesissoho's picture

strong message

having the power to decide is what web 2.0 provides. Thanks for the way you expressed it.


ruthibelle's picture

Thanks again

I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks so much ladies.


NEWCourse_Colleen's picture

poetic and strong

Thank you for so beautifully marrying content and form in your post. It is inspirationally written and wonderful.

Colleen Robertson
Project Manager
New Course
Twitter: @NEW_Course

NEW Course is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit created to empower rural women in vulnerable ecosystems to sustainably manage their resourc

usha kc's picture

Hi Ruth,, so powerful voice

Hi Ruth,, so powerful voice and you have showed the real sceenario in the past very beautifully.loved it.

YAOtieno's picture


Hi Ruth,

Your writing is simply beautifully powerful! glad to have taken the time to read it.


A candle looses nothing my lighting another

Cali gal Michelle's picture

response from a sister




Let us Hope together-
aka: Cali gal


NakhuloD's picture

It got me.


This piece got me. You write beautifully.
I cant wait to read more!


fem4femmes's picture

& the Cup Runneth Over!!


Thank you, thank you again! For the grace and eloquence of your words, and the power they grant to all women!

Much happiness and strength to you today!!


"I am the flicker, flame, butterfly ablaze who wants to fly in search of mythical rainbows beyond the rain." ~ Ana Castillo

jluoh's picture


Hi friend, I am so touched by your post in the most positive way. Reading this brought me strength, I especially like the part "I own my voice." You are an exceptional writer, but most of all, there's an incredible message coming from you! Go girl!

Maggs's picture


This is so beautiful, I love the way it flows and creates vivid images in my mind - you have a way with words that draws a reader into your subconscious - powerful writing sister!


ruthibelle's picture

Thanks so much

You guys have certainly made my day(/week). Thanks a million for all the comments... Kind words are sometimes rare, so I am grateful for this generous outpouring :)


sallysmithr's picture

Loved reading!

Thank you so much for sharing! I truly enjoy your writing style as well as all of the information that you provided. I caught myself shaking my head in agreement while reading the whole essay. Great essay again and such a strong message!

Thanks so much,

Sally Smith

Hiba's picture


Dear Ruth,

Congratulations! Your voice is rightfully loud and powerful that I hear it afar. Thank you for this piece – so vivid and engaging. Keep it up :)


Azaria's picture

I'm with you!

Very well said Ruth.

Your voice is powerful and commands attention. I was very moved by you're writing.

You make us Island girls proud.


Azaria Ulmer, CHC, CPCC
Wellness & Empowerment Coach

Real Foods Heal
Everything is food...what are you hungry for?

Sacred Woman
Empowering women and girls around the world

kilio's picture

Loved it

Way to go

Pat's picture


Beautifully stated and inspiring. Thank you.


Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Myra Musico: My Disability Is Not an Obstacle

Myra Musico: My Disability Is Not an Obstacle

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

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative