A whole new world
Web 2.0 opens up a world of possibilities for communication. With its global reach, a meeting of minds and vast networking opportunities between people from different circumstances and frames of reference becomes a reality. As women, we can be that change that we want to see in the world. This starts with articulating our thoughts, our fears, our anger, our joy. Whatever message we need to convey, it can be seen/heard/read and someone out there will get it. We are able to ask questions and get answers. We can explore different concepts and expand our world view.
In terms of benefits to the empowerment of women, Web 2.0 provides a platform for women to share experiences and ideas, form connections and express themselves freely. We all have an innate desire to be heard; Web 2.0 enables access and impact to a global community, encourages solidarity and removes feelings of isolation. It is a powerful tool for bringing the invisible to light, demystifying certain societal issues that affect women and the wider society. It also makes room for effective advocacy and gives women a voice, not only for themselves but their communities.
Web 2.0 can be a powerful tool as long as we use it to acknowledge the negative and build the positive in a world that would seek to confine us and deny that we are limitless. Women are often portrayed as victims, but we are not helpless. Our right to be respected and live with dignity is often undermined or ignored and our strength underestimated, much to the world’s detriment. We can take a stand and we can make a change. Because yes, actually, we do mind and no we will not accept things just because that’s the way it’s always been done.
We are not alone; we are each other’s resource and knowledge base. Increased access to information enables us to honour our differences and our sameness, cementing our humanity as we are able to see ourselves in others. Although physical boundaries may separate us, these become irrelevant. Impact goes beyond those who have access to Web 2.0. What are we doing to empower those around us outside of the online community; our family, friends, colleagues? Are we bridging the gap?
Women’s empowerment begins at a personal level. If just one person can receive my message and even if it merely provokes thought, that is enough. More is a bonus. That message is not wasted, it says I am here and I can make a difference. It may not be about me, but it is up to me. Web 2.0 enables me to know and therefore do more.