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VOF Week 1: (Women Extending Hands Across the Globe)

There is a woman in the Congo who cannot gather firewood without fear of attack. All she wants is to go about her daily business building fires to take care of her children. Journalists come and go. They take pictures and write her story; but she knows, as we do, the only way to truly be heard is if she tells her own story. Perhaps, if she could share it with other women, women who understand how it feels, they may hold the solution she seeks. They may provide solace. They may even need her shoulders to stand on one day, to find the courage to speak out too.

I have long held the vision of bringing diverse women together, to find a way to dissolve our barriers of ethnicity, culture and language to befriend and to support. Only a few years ago, it seemed like an impossible dream. Today, with the advent of Web 2.0, women are daily extending their hands across the globe towards each other. I am excited by the possibilities for peace that these growing networks of friendship and understanding may bring.

PulseWire employs Web 2.0 in the best possible manner for women. Here lives aren’t boiled down to one superficial and transitory moment on a wall comment or status update. Women’s voices are profoundly expressed, as they need to be, in heartfelt stories of inspiration, visions shared and obstacles overcome. I feel the pulse of these women gliding through their journals as if they were sat in the next room.

For the global women’s empowerment movement this new face of web 2.0 provides an unprecedented vehicle for self-expression. Women’s voices have been neglected for years. We are more likely to speak with emotion and to get to the heart of the matter so we can solve the problem, move on and go about our daily business of caring for our families and communities quickly. Many of us are too busy to have time to tackle bureaucracy and engage in long drawn out debates. We want our needs met and we need them met now.

Unfortunately, it is precisely for these reasons that women’s voices have been silenced, or instead tamed. Being too emotional, too sensitive and too opinionated. These are the labels given to those of us who speak openly without necessarily considering the long-term political implications of what might happen if we do. Yet there are some women who continue to speak up every day about conflict, disease, hunger, abuse and other difficult issues because they know that they have to.

Thanks to PulseWire, these brave voices are now being heard on the world stage and I hear them. Each time I see through another woman’s eyes, I am empowered and encouraged to speak a little louder myself and to find the courage to address issues I’d once felt was not my place to discuss, before now.


katea's picture

Because we are women...

Because women speak with their heart, they solve problems with their heart to. I feel what you feel. Web 2.0 then has become a medium for women not just to communicate but to empathize with one another. And because of empathy, we are naturally drawn into action, into helping each other in whatever way we can.

Poverty is man-made that we can undo.

Tina's picture

Thank You

Thank you for your beautiful comments Katea.

jade's picture

Filling the Gaps

I appreciate your description about how Web 2.0 can fill the gaps of traditional journalism by giving a voice directly to those involved in conflict, and I am inspired by your vision of how PulseWire can engage the world community in a more complete manner than the simple status updates of twitter and frivolous quizzes in facebook.

I look forward to hearing you "speak a little louder" and to "find the courage to address issues!"

Margot's picture


Hi Tina,

My name is Margot and I am one of your listeners for the VOF project. I really enjoyed reading your first assignment I loved how you opened your essay with an example of one woman in the congo. Sometimes it really helps to connect with an idea if we have a concrete example to latch onto! I also love how you have shared your personal vision and passion for the opportunities that web 2.0 presents. I can truly sense your excitement and leadership potential for the woman's empowerment movement!

thanks for sharing Tina!


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