VOF Week 1: Our Liberation is Nearer than Envisaged
Once a time ago, postage was the most effective mode of communication, then came the Internet. For many young women like myself it took our brothers and in my case a younger one to teach me how to use the Internet. Now we have Web 2.0 which has made communication even much easier and fun. Friends I lost contact with about a decade and half ago are now in touch through the power of Web 2.0. I now have a sense of what is happening in my friends’ and relatives’ lives through the information they share on their webpages.
My initial encounter with Web 2.0 was through Facebook. The excitement was real; The fact that you could create your own page (profile), share information about yourself and also have access to other people’s information was very fascinating. The most thrilling aspect was the fact that within a few months after registering I have been linked up to a great number of friends and relative all around the globe.
I saw Web 2.0 as tool for promoting women empowerment when I joined Pulsewire. As I navigated through the pulse wire community and saw the different women from around the world represented in that space, what immediately came to my mind was the last AWID conference in Capetown (2008) where over 2000 women from all the five continents converged to share ideas, strategies, lessons and experiences on the Women’s Movement. The opportunity that conference created for us to rekindle our movement is not different from what Web 2.0 is helping us to accomplish through Pulsewire. Now we need not converge periodically to renew our energy, share our joy and challenges but just at the click of a button a similar experience is assured through Web 2.0.
The ability of Web 2.0 to gather information at one place and exchange across sites is an opportunity to intensify information sharing within the Women’s Movement. Often times having the right information at the required period becomes a challenge in our work. Web 2.0 can help the movement to create a database or resource centre purposely for our work
We need numbers to effect the change we so much desire in our societies and personally Web 2.0 is empowering because it offers me the unique opportunity to increase my networks by inviting more women especially those who are not yet in the fold to participate in the women empowerment discourse. Through their participation they would appreciate the need to unite and fight our common enemy which is “patriarchy”.
Finally, I believe the best thing that can sustain our multi-generational struggle is through mentoring and coaching one another. Through Web 2.0 knowledge sharing and grooming would be enhanced as the young and old, the experts and learners interact and debate the issues involved.