VOF Week 1: (Women Fingers Free Talk!)
As a woman lives in a community that does not recognize women contribution to public life as general, citizen journalism and Web 2.0 applications represent a life-saving opportunity for women’s voices to be heard.
Women experienced great difficulties and real dilemma, having to choose between their homes, families, marriages and public life activities, like performing arts, singing, acting, dancing, or express freely their feelings, and ideas through poetry. Though the same community harshly criticizes men for the free expression when it comes to politics, religion and sex, but women always have to pay a quite higher price. The punishment of the man for such community-disapproved acts comes after the action was made. While with women, it starts before reaching the audience! As the punishment will be prevention from access to audience by the authorities, including the family of course, or by media institutions. That doesn’t mean women of my country and similar environments have given up, but their fight still running, towards equal opportunities to be heard.
Web 2.0 and citizen electronic journalism and the cyberspace as general has opened a new horizon for women to look up to, by offering an uncensored media outlets, free expression tools, and a fabulous opportunity to interact with similar as well as different minds meetings, beside an unlimited networking possibilities. Further to these advantages the Web 2.0 and similar tools provided for almost no cost, since the internet connection become a backbone common communication facility, that could be found every everywhere every time. If not at home, could be accessed at public net cafés.
Women who were constantly ignored not only in policy forming, and decision making processes, but also in the development plans made by the governments, are now looking up for innovative ways to make their voices reaches the world. And place their participation through public speeches, accessible by everyone and anyone, in the largest media outlet of the Internet. In a magical theme, a woman from the heart of the desert in Somalia, can write up a blog about the life of nomad women life in the civil war devastated country, sharing with every possible interested person the news of that part of the world, focusing on women, the forgotten and marginalized true half of the community of mankind through the history. In a space where questions are posed by both sides, information are acquired, help is arranged, ideas are exchanged, questions are answered, friends are bound, and conferences are almost held multiple times, oh then women should grab this amazing world and get closer!
Globally people realized the difference between communities, and issues of development, empowerment, poverty, health, education, and human rights, but they have always realize that the solutions are most of the time similar, strategies and plans approaches to deal with a specific issue like education for example, so workers in women issues and women empowerment can have direct dialogue with each other around the world, they can also make their awareness programs reach further audience by posting it on the internet through Web 2.0 to make it available for women and women actors around the worlds, opening the room for more women to participate in the discussion. Women with Web 2.0 do no more require spending on travel to meet with women empowerment specialists, or to participate in a conference, or training, they are now on the same table with whomever they might need to speak, listen to and learn, plus making all that available for interested people to benefit of, and to discuss and participate too.
In a personal level, I have learned the first ABC of social work over the internet, through the Taking It Global initiative, five years ago, I realized and empowered by what I have learnt through the internet, and find my way to be an active social worker in refugee context, using the email and online networking to facilitate the advocacy and learning among community actors and members. It was always of almost no cost, and easy to comprehend, easy to share, to inform and always inspiring. Web 2.0 being a source for information, communication and circulation of ideas and information, providing a tool for live interaction, discussions, debates and forum, connection with experts and trainers, along with free voices of women from all over the world is creating an excellent and resourceful environment for empowerment that encourage me to talk loudly and fearlessly using my TEN fingers.