Digital Media and Women's Empowerment
I have been using social media networks, starting with Facebook, since 2005 and I have witnessed the power of social media and Web 2.0 to spread knowledge, connect people and make social change. When I volunteered for a grassroots program called The Red Pump Project, we utilized Twitter to educate people about HIV/AIDS issues and its effects on women and minority communities. Too many people still have myths and misperceptions about HIV/AIDS and we were able to give thousands, maybe millions of people medically accurate information.
I have been able to learn about so many issues that I didn't even know about before, through reading blogs and articles linked on Twitter. The spreading of knowledge from people around the world, I think, will revolutionize the movement for women's empowerment. Women all over the world are able to take leadership and write about their experiences and have millions of people all over the world read it. Women who live in different parts of the world can connect with each other and forge alliances. I am apart of a Google group made up of a diverse group of people who take direct action to confront sexual violence committed by law enforcement. Communication and discussion occurs online and in person and the google group is a great way for people who may not be able to attend direct actions to keep up with what is going on.
As new Web 2.0 tools and social media networks continue to grow, there will be even more opportunities for those of us who don't have access to traditional media to create our own media that will create needed change in our communities.