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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.

Comments

Rachael Maddock-Hughes's picture

Dear Edith, I love the energy

Dear Edith,

I love the energy in your voice and your solutions oriented writing. It is so very true that we are able to overcome borders and cultures through Web 2.0. Connecting with women in your region can definitely be a powerful way to find out what is working and what is not. I particularly like your idea around making the UN documents more readable for the general public---have you done any research on local rights groups in your area who might be doing this?

Kind regards,

Rachael

"In every human heart there are a few passions that last a lifetime. They're with us from the moment we're born, and nothing can dilute their intensity." Rob Brezny

edithasamani's picture

Thanks!

I have been part of a young people led advocacy group called Curious Minds which primarily usesthe media to advocate the development needs of young people and explain policies and legislations that pertain to their development. The grouop has over the last 15years worked with various stakeholders including government to advance the development of young people through advocacy and policy analysis.

Curious Minds has been involved in simplifying Ghana's Children's Act 560, the Domestic Violence Act and the Human Trafficking Act to make them child-friendly and easily inderstandable by the use of simple language and animations. Adults especially women have benefitted from this because they (being the ones who suffer most from domestic abuse) now understand the Domestic Violence Act and understand that it is criminal for anyone to abuse her or her child or children. The group has also been involved in policy formulation including the development of Ghana's National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS interventions. Members of the organisation are given regular capacity building on relevant policies and legislations to enable them advocate and explain these through their media and outreach programmes. The efforts of the group earned them an award from the UNICEF headquarters as the best radio programme for children in 2008.

Young People=Change
Women=Change

Emily Garcia's picture

Hello!

Hi Edith!

It was great to log online this afternoon and see your bright smile! And I agree with Rachael--your enthusiasm and energy (that I first recognized in your lovely picture!) comes through in your writing making your post very motivating to read.

I love when you say, "Women teach, learn from, support and encourage each other online! What better way to empower themselves!" This is exactly what can happen (and is happening!) through these new media tools. I also empower myself when I reach out, connect and share with women across the world. It's all very exciting!

Thank you for writing and keep up the great work!

Best wishes,

Emily

Emily Garcia
World Pulse Online Community Lead

earthwindfire's picture

The New Media and Web 2.0

Thank you, Edithasamani, for your submission. I agree wholeheartedly that Web 2.0 has a very wide range of usefulness in promoting the importance of women's rights and equality. Your knowledge of laws, acts and conventions speaks to your dedication to and involvement in the cause for empowering women worldwide, and for this, I hail you. Yes, the Web is a valuable tool. May you continue to 'spring into action.'

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