Web 2.0; Making Our Voice Count
Communication is one of the strongest tools of human existence with the power to create bond between persons or propel war. Nations have united on its foundation while others are at war due to its absence. Web 2.0 affirms the importance of communication; it has provided a platform with the sole aim of facilitating communication and linking thoughts all around the world. This brings truth to the concept behind the contextualisation of the world as a global village. The beauty behind it all is that I can live in Nigeria while supporting an idea or being involved in any movement which I am passionate about in any part of the world.
We live in a generation where the power of web 2.0 cannot be overemphasised with facilities like digital media, social media and social networking it becomes easier to speak out. I come from a country where traditionally women are to be ‘seen and not heard’ which unfortunately, is a tradition in most part of the world. The advocacy for affirmative action for women is still on and we have some glimmer of hope that many are beginning to have their epiphany on the importance of women. While that hope is yet to stand strong we witness different forms of violence against women in Nigeria, thus the strong advocacy for a National legislation prohibiting violence against women with penalties for offenders.
Social media was instrumental in mobilising people especially women to speak up against violence against young women in Abuja-Nigeria who were illegally arrested, assaulted and raped on the false accusation that they were prostitutes and this inspired the Legislative House to conduct a public hearing on the matter. I was part of a landmark twitter conference in 2012 with over 50,000 participants discussing Constitutional review, rights of women and youth in Nigeria. The success of the occupy Nigeria protest in January 2012 was largely attributed to social media where many youth were mobilised. These and many others indicates the power of web 2.0 and goes to show that as women, we have been given an incredible asset to break through all stereotype of being relegated to the background by utilising web 2.0 in pushing for our demands and making connections all around the world as we promote the rights of women. It is accessible, cheaper and non discriminatory, thus I can make my videos, write my articles promoting the views of women and easily share it with the world while propelling its activism in my community by simply using the various platforms of web 2.0. With this platform we learn, get inspired and share experiences with women across the globe.
Finally, borrowing from the words of the Disney advert “I am a Princess”; I believe standing up for myself is important, I believe standing up for others is more important and I believe standing up with others is most important. Web 2.0 is a platform for me to easily live this belief.