VOF Week 1: (On Our Terms)
I work for an organization whose objective it is to help women experiencing domestic violence. While the work we do there is tremendously important, there are other places around the world where such work is being done. The problem of DV in my area is that is it a hushed, tiptoe topic. I listen to stories from women who’ve barely shared them with anyone else, who believe they are alone in experiencing violence behind closed doors. I’ve grappled with the problem of how to show these women they’re not alone, and unite their individual voices into one loud enough to be heard by politicians, funders, and society in general.
And then I (finally) discovered Web 2.0.
I am excited about Web 2.0 because it can break down barriers of silence, supersede time zones and geographical boarders. In effect, it parallels the work thousands of individuals are doing locally – be it in domestic violence, human rights, grassroots organizing – and frames it on a global scale. I can now communicate with others working in the field of my passion and have a rich exchange of ideas, experiences and suggestions. I now have more means with which to organize those individual whispers into a collective, resounding voice.
Solutions generated from Web 2.0 will be as unique as those who use it. It is a powerful tool because it provides a space to connect with others participating in the global women’s empowerment movement through various interactive, online portals, exponentially expanding our ability to communicate about issues that matter to us.
Additionally, it offers itself as a choice to participate in – not as an obligation – and if so, when, with whom and how often. Frequently women lack the freedom and the forum to choose the expression of their ideals, thoughts, experiences and dreams. Now we can communicate instantaneously on our terms from anywhere around the world. Furthermore, Web 2.0 eliminates the traditional dependency women have had on men in the computer room because of its user-friendly structure. No longer do women need the assistance of a technologically sophisticated person in order to use Web 2.0.
My excitement stems from sheer wonder at the potential these platforms contain. Not only am liberated as I converse with women internationally about DV, but also as I share personal aspects of my life. I want to know my sisters around the world – how similarly we celebrate our lives, mourn our losses and fight for our rights to equal those of men – and know it from them directly.
The tide of the movement is rising; the more women join, the more powerful our voices resonate in stereo. We can create an entity that is our own and share what is important on a scale never before seen by humankind. I am profoundly excited to be a part of this movement, to cheer us on and to add my voice to the masses.