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Voice of the Voiceless

a woman

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.

References
www.braveheartwomen.com
www.fvrc.org
www.rdvic.org

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Comments

Sharontina's picture

Good

Good posting dear Petunia,

I love this name for some reason. Its beautiful.

Keep sharing dear.we are waiting to hear.

love.

Merlin Sharontina

Petunia007's picture

Thanks Sharontina

My grandfather believed all his granddaughters were precious and beautiful as petals. So he gave all of us flower names. Thanks for reading.

NMEZI SYBIL's picture

Relieving Delight

You are correct Petunia. The Silence has been broken and women can now voice out their grievances

Keep sharing

Best Regards

Sybil

Sexual and Reproductive Rights of Women is progress to the Nation

j3ssm3ss's picture

Real Examples are inspiring!

Thanks for the post Petunia - I really enjoyed reading. Its succinct and to the point. I like the way you give a cultural context to how web 2.0 impacts women in your corner of the world, and similarly I think its great you have given real examples of organisations which are overcoming the barrier created by gender stereotyping. The anonymity provided by the internet can be a great advantage and its good to know women are finally having their voices heard on such important issues, without fear of reprisal.

Its also good to know how web 2.0 has helped you individually. Having our stories heard is a common thread and you make it clear that the impact of a global audience can't be underestimated, both in terms of us the audience being able to access your unique stories, and in terms of its spread helping your own self-confidence, spurring you to continue.

Keep sharing, I'm looking forward to reading more! :)

Petunia007's picture

Thanks for the elaborate

Thanks for the elaborate comment on my write-up. I'm glad you could connect to it. Please find time to read my week 2 post and also my VOF poetry - "The Meeting". Thanks

Jumi's picture

Keep sharing

Hey, Petunia. It's good that you're taking advantage of technology to get your voice out there and into the debates about issues that concern us all. Connecting your ideas to others who are already working in the field further shows your interest and investment in the work. Thanks.

Petunia007's picture

Thanks for reading.

Thanks for reading.

delphine criscenzo's picture

Self Publishing

Hi Petunia,

Thanks for your essay. I particularly enjoyed you using the term "self publishing". There was a time when to publish your work and ideas, you needed to get a contact with a magazine or a book publishing company. I would like to call these the "gate keepers". The gate keepers mission is to maintain the status quo and make sure that the same systems stay in place, including systems of oppression and discrimination.
Web 2.0 offers all of us with great things to say and the desire to shake things up, an opportunities to do so and find each other on sites such as World Pulse.
Thanks for bringing this to light in your essay.

Delphine Criscenzo

Petunia007's picture

Thanks for reading.

Thanks for reading.

innerdelight's picture

Braveheart

Hi Petunia, I love the way you have shared your story and brought to light how women coming together are often still perceived in Nigeria and many African societies. This may not be as blatantly obvious in many other parts of the world, although under the surface much is still requiring an upgrade... and isn't it great how the web provides us with ways to connect and empower one another? The BraveHeart Women community is indeed a great example.

I loved the way you wrote this:

"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.... Web 2.0 empowers women to reach out to fellow women facing different challenges across the globe; overcoming the limit of distance."

and:

"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."

and:

"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."

I look forward to reading more from you and what a blessing you are!

joyful blessings,
Tina

Petunia007's picture

Thanks for your thorough

Thanks for your thorough reading of my post. You can also read the other posts in my journal.

innerdelight's picture

Wonderful!

You're welcome Petunia and I will surf over now to read your other posts;) joyful blessings,Tina

Petunia007's picture

Thanks for your thorough

Thanks for your thorough reading of my post. You can also read the other posts in my journal.

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