The New Media and Web 2.0
It is exciting to feel like you are in several places in the world at the same time when you are actually in one very small community where you might not even be noticed by inhabitants. The Web 2.0 presents an opportunity for me and anyone else to travel to any place in the world without visas and tickets. What is most exciting for me is the fact that on this platform, one is able to get information from people in different parts of the world and also have the opportunity to share ‘customized’ information.
Web 2.0 definitely has numerous advantages, including having solutions to global women’s empowerment movement. I am particularly passionate about women’s empowerment and how best we can make the Millennium Development Goal 3 that speaks about empowering women become a reality. Many policies have been formulated and laws have been adapted nationally and internationally to ensure that women’s rights are respected. In Ghana, the Domestic Violence Act 732 was enacted in 2007 to provide protection for children and women in particular against domestic violence and have their perpetrators punished. Many women are still abused in their homes each day even after the enactment of this law. While many testify that they do not see anything wrong with their husbands beating them as “it is a sign of love”, I strongly believe it is because they do not know the laws; they do not know it is illegal and that a law backs the illegality of this practice. Web 2.0 is one sure way of getting women to know about the laws that back them in a simplified version (not in technical language). If legal documents like the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child have been simplified so children will know their rights and stand up to them then women have every right to also know their rights, no matter their educational background or economic status, so they can stand by it and work towards their empowerment.
A general fact in life is that women turn to each other for support. What one woman in Zanzibar cannot tell her family, she will feel much safer to tell another woman in Ghana on a social networking platform. Women teach, learn from, support and encourage each other online! What better way to empower themselves!
Web 2.0, the new media and other social networking tools gives me the opportunity to share best practices with young women from different countries. I think I can learn how best to spark up the gender equity advocacy in my country through my interaction with another young woman from another country. I feel empowered when I know someone my age is doing something in her country that I can also emulate here in Ghana. I try to find new ways in which the activity can suit the culture and practices in my country, in other words, I must contextualize the activity and bam! ... I spring into action.