Transforming lives of marginalized women using Web 2.0
Web 2.0 has changed my relationship to information and created personal learning opportunities outside of formal education.
I remember as a child walking alone to the public library, a community rife with gangsters and crime, became the path I took to access information. While it seemed that there was more to read than I could fathom, now that landscape, seems limited in light of the access to information now. Reducing the barriers to access, however, did not dramatically change life for all, as access, is still a concern in rural areas in my country. Ordinary people with access can become creators of their own stories, enhancing the voices of women. Web 2.0 benefits ordinary citizens, from the educator to the marginalized woman by opening the doors to collaboration and participation. It encourages and facilitates the desire to share what you know as reality, through self reflection, and to assist in advocating for women’s rights. Social media, when used responsibly is a path to many goals. Its role in education can assist in bridging the competency gap that still exists in developing countries. Through educational networking, educators are able to participate in the events that make a difference for them, others and institutions with common interest. Continuous learning can be encouraged; awareness can be raised around issues affecting women and young girls. Through telling stories, women connect others that can assist them or gain support for a cause. Programmes designed for empowerment can think about specific sociopolitical context and use it as a powerful educational tool to achieve its objectives. Whether working with for example, abused women, or the young adolescent girl who are taught by marginalised women in their broader communities, Web 2.0 can serve as tool to build capacity and capability for so many women. Women find ways to promote their voices, strengthen collaboration amongst families and communities eventually solving their own problems. The use of blogs and multimedia provides a space for marginalised women where their visual histories can be documented and literacy can be taught to more children and adults. Web 2.0 offers tools where local and global educators get involved in collaborative efforts to offer skills training and support.
Web 2.0 has given me the means to develop my truth. I realise that even though, I had bad luck- being raped at age 12, living in silence with self blame and growing up with a sense of little worth for many years, there was a way for change. When coming into contact with Worldpulse, sharing my story publically for the first time, I realised that I do not have to be afraid to speak out. I have since started writing more, knowing I have a space to share, to reconstruct my story of abuse and overcoming. This way I can find meaning in helping young woman to understand their identities of self through retelling experiences.
Without this support and collaboration women remain an individual voice, rather than adding meaning by working with others with similar experiences and vision, empowering myself and getting support to shape my writing and develop others to take action to tell their stories.