Access to Freedom - Web 2.0 A Journey to Emancipation
This is a story of emancipation – Web 2.0. The world has been revolutionized by the trading of ideas that internet access has facilitated. From education to agriculture, there are no avenues left untouched and there is a reason why this is the case. The outreach provided by simple Web 2.0 technology has reached homes in urban and rural Bangladesh in ways that any other media never has. The traditional notion of women remaining in the domestic sphere, hidden behind closed doors is much harder to enforce today because of the connectivity internet and communication access has provided. Blogging, social networking, websites and videos all create discourse and bring the world inside the home. The home becomes part of the global platform.
The One Billion Rising campaign by the VDay movement promoted the participation of women in the force to end violence against women. The key message of the campaign was to urge women to take up space, to not remain silent and tell their stories to the world. This is exactly what Web 2.0 is doing! By bringing the personal story to the world, women are taking up space, they are making their voices heard and they are rising. Today, more women are joining the public sphere than ever before. As writers, businesswomen, teachers, students, doctors and advisers – the network is providing access to a support groups, global mentorship relationships and knowledge partners – resources which women have lacked in the past. These resources are essential in breaking the glass ceiling that hold women in.
Internet has allowed me to learn and grow. I am a reader and a writer. I observe perspectives and Web 2.0 has given me access to a world completely designed by perspectives. Popular social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter have assisted me in organizing tournaments, events and running clubs. My blog has given me a window to be myself – without judgments, without expectations, without the bindings of the material world around me.
Web 2.0 gives one freedom. This freedom is powerful. It crosses national borders and domestic walls – it is what will give women the power to act, to resist, to speak, to be heard, to be their best. The global women’s empowerment movement needs to reach every home and give women and men the tools to build a gender sensitive society. Organizations and programs such as the Bangladesh Women Lawyer’s Association and Women in Public Service Project run by the Woodrow Wilson Institute give women from all backgrounds the access to legal aid, advocacy tools, policy solutions, support groups and most essentially a forum to share their stories in. These services are then reinforced by local and international offices that run shelter homes, provide legal support, organize training programs and help women learn their own potential. This is the future of the global movement. Web 2.0 is the solution.