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The times, they´re changing!

What excites me more about Web 2.0?

More than the innovative devices, tools and solutions that can change anyone´s daily life and at work, more than the multiple functionalities that several tools can provide, I get more excited by the range of access towards people (one would never meet personally otherwise), the possibility of exchanging and gathering ideas, efforts and passion, of being able to move, almost at a blink´s eye...

In short, what excites more is about access and sharing: information, citizenship, empowerment.

Are there new solutions and new barriers involved? Surely.
Just to name one barrier, persons with disabilities (who are blind, deaf, have low vision, color blindness, motor or cognitive impairments) and elders (seniors) are still pretty much excluded from a vast online content worldwide, including online learning, because websites and CMS – Content Management Systems are not designed with acessibility guidelines and requirements in mind.
Regarding such citizens, no matter their socio-economical status, there are improvements and (political, technical, cultural) solutions yet to be built.
So when I think of what Web 2.0 brings to the global women's empowerment movement, I am quickly reminded of the power its tools may bring to people yet not entirely autonomous (e.g. who are in wheel chairs, bedridden, blind, deaf, illiterate...), specially women and young people.

Decades ago, digital inclusion meant only hardware and basic training. Later on the concept evolved to what you do online and the personal and collective results and outcomes.
Even nowadays, access itself (hardware, software, internet connection) is not free, open and/or easy for everybody. Yes, we have come a long way; however, much is yet to be done.

What the Web 2.0 brings to the global women's empowerment movement?
New ways and new tools for interacting, building and sharing content, actions, results, focusing on human rights and needs.

I get moved and inspired by all those examples of battle for human rights, underprivileged people, collective efective low-cost solutions – based on ICT and the internet. Such widespread knowledge is web-based. Great!

My current advocacy is also focused on persons with disabilities´ rights in the web and with ICT - Info and Communication Technologies. These rights are not only gender-based but encopassess underprivileged, illiterate, disenfranchised people – women as well.

I see all this with excited eyes and a personal feeling of being in a engaging collective journey:
How all of this can change our lives and other people´s lives the way we intend to?

[Ana Isabel Paraguay - from Brazil / fairchange@gmail.com ]

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Comments

I enjoyed reading your piece. Web 2.0 has enabled us to gather in a way that was impossible before to brainstorm, critique and debate solutions. We can interact with those millions of miles away as if they were in our home.

For the disabled and elderly, as you state, it brings the world into their home in a way that was not accessible before. It makes independent living easier for those with disabilities by, for example, providing opportunities for distance learning, online shopping, and rapid exchange of health-related information. However, the positive advances in social interaction come with greater challenges to accessibility and inclusion for disabled individuals, the house-bound or those with low incomes. Video content is not designed for the disabled and also requires faster download speeds which are unattainable for many who rely on dial up.

You pose an interesting question at the end. How can we continue to develop the internet in a way that effects positive change and is inclusive of all? Food for thought.

libudsuroy's picture

Hi, Ana Isabel, I agree with

Hi, Ana Isabel, I agree with Janice W. YOur piece is resonating. Aside from interesting responses, you posed interesting questions. I like how you pointed out the positive aspect of the virtual realm, esp that which impacts on older women and those with particular challenges, as this is also of interest to me. I like most that you are also able to point out the inequalities that abide despite the advances of this new medium.

Blessings,
libudsuroy/Lina Sagaral Reyes
Mindanao, The Philippines

''Every Day is a Journey and the Journey itself is Home.'' (Matsuo Basho)

Lortoria's picture

Insightful

I enjoyed reading your post. Thank you for highlighting the inequalities still present, but I'm sure as I write this new technological advances are underway to address the issues you point out. Although the web empowers, still there is much to do.

I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.

Lortoria :)

Lortoria McDonald

lortoria@gmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/illumaink
New website coming soon!

anaisabelbbp's picture

Thank you for your comments

Dear All
I very much appreciate your comments.
Looking forward to more engaging discussions,
sincerely yours,

Kindest regards,

Ana Isabel
fairchange@gmail.com
skype: anaisabelbbp

amirchima's picture

Access

I really enjoyed reading your post as well!

Excellent point that we have come so far, yet reminding us of room to grow. Tremendous access has been provided to date, much more access needs to be provided to empower more voices.

anaisabelbbp's picture

thanks for your feedback!

and keep them...

Kindest regards,

Ana Isabel
fairchange@gmail.com
skype: anaisabelbbp

milliej7's picture

Thanks for your piece Ana.

I enjoyed reading your perspective on the internet. Your "excited eyes" come through in your writing, I think you successfully communicate your enthusiasm for growth and development.

I think that your reminder that there is still a lot of technological development needed for people with disabilities is relevant. Can you think of any examples of how the internet does bring people with disabilities together? Or would you say that they are entirely excluded from this virtual world which brings people together across the globe?

Thank you for sharing your perspective Ana. Keep sharing your voice!

anaisabelbbp's picture

Thank you for these comments

and future ones ;-)

Kindest regards,

Ana Isabel
fairchange@gmail.com
skype: anaisabelbbp

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