Voice of the Voiceless
The accesibility and compactness of Web 2.0 is a relieving delight. No longer does one have to wait for several days or weeks in order to receive correspondence from others. With the e-book and other mediums of web publishing, one no longer needs to utilise the print book to write on pressing issues affecting women.
In Nigeria and many African societies, when women gather to form organisations (except in religious scenarios) they are regarded as disobedient and wayward entities. Sometimes, they are even labelled as 'witches' in agreement with stereotypes that women can only stir up trouble when they come together. The advent of Web 2.0 has changed this dynamic favourably as women no longer need to gather physically so as to make an impact on one another. Through social media such as facebook, twitter and blogs, women are able to participate in groups that have made positive impacts on their lives.
In the past, abused and violated women had endured in silence because there was no medium to voice their grievances without the risk of revealing their identities and the shame that often followed such a revelation. However, with Web 2.0, there are online facilities such as the Rape and Domestic Violence Information Centre (RDVIC), Family Violence and Rape Crisis Service, etc who offer assistance to women under siege. Therefore, Web 2.0 empowers women to reach out to fellow women facing different challenges across the globe; overcoming the limit of distance. For instance an online group such as The BraveHeart Women whose motto states: "Be more, Create more and Collaborate more," encourages women to "embrace true purpose, passion and prosperity in every aspect of life."
Also, in countries with high standard information technology tools, housewives can now work from home due to the provision of online jobs such as typing, editing, data entry, customer service, etc. This empowers women who have the desire to work but cannot do so because of familial responsibilities.
As a person, I find my best expression in the stories I write. I discovered that most people connect to fiction and non-fiction accounts viscerally since they are able to see the events from the 'outsider view-point'. In the majority, I write stories which represent characters under the burden of gender stereotypes and how this affects their well-being. Initially, the major challenge I faced was getting an audience for my writing, since getting published in print comes with several difficulties. However, with Web 2.0 and the provision of bloggers such as Wordpress and Blogspot, I have been provided with an interface to share my stories with people from all over the world - not just to women but also to men who through reading, gain better insight into certain issues affecting women all over the world.