A year passed before I did anything with my Twitter account. I swore I'd NEVER go on there because I already hated the Facebook postings of mundane things all my friends were sharing. I was aware of the effect Twitter had on the "Arab Spring" so I was warming up to it but I basically only started being active on Twitter because of my business.
I'll never forget the rush of those first couple of months. During that time I felt like I was knelt down with @RuwaydaMustaphah as she live-tweeted the riots from her home in London. I felt like I, too, was peacefully demonstrating as a UStream link allowed me to march down dozens of narrow streets in Syria with her citizens. I told a Syrian woman, "Be careful. My thoughts and prayers are with you", who heard bombing close to her house. She tweeted back to me, "Thank you". I also remember crying in front of the computer as the gruesome unedited footage came out of that country. I remember one Sunday morning turning to Twitter and watching the injured and dead stream into a hospital in Yemen in real time after the government cracked down on peaceful demonstrators.
What excites me the most about Web 2.0 is that it allows the world to, in a way, walk in your shoes - to experience the world as you see it…in just one click. Never before has the world been so connected. Because of Web 2.0, we now have firsthand proof that we are not alone in our tribulations and, more importantly, that our voice matters. We have proof that we share a common humanity and for women - a common sisterhood.
I believe there are two important solutions brought to the global women's empowerment movement by Web 2.0. First, their story can easily be shared with the world. In essence, Web 2.0 gives women a global voice because that's essentially what it's is all about. Sharing one's story is empowering and validating in itself because it's a way of saying "I am here and I matter."
It's also important because it allows women to connect with each other. Simply put, where there's numbers, there can be strength. Where there's strength, there can be empowerment and where there's empowerment, there can be change.
These tools are empowering for me because they allow me to experience the stories and be moved to tears or action by the incredible people all around the world who are fighting for equality, justice, democracy, peace and basic human rights. Hearing truly awesome stories of courageous people gives me the strength and power to believe I can do more in my own life. Web 2.0 allows me to experience more of those stories - often in real time. It's truly amazing.