VOF Week 1: Web 2.0 - Seeing the World through Many Lens'
I have been using the internet for the past 10 years, but over the last two-three years, I have found that it has become a more exciting space, a space where I can share my experiences, my stories, and things I feel strongly about, and connect with people who are passionate about these. I later learnt that this trend is called Web 2.0
I think the greatest thing about Web 2.0 is that it provides an opportunity for ordinary women and men to share their stories, and for their voices to be heard across the world. It is a great way to connect with people across the world, learn from their experiences, exchange ideas and solutions. It is also a way of meeting people who may disagree with one’s views, and I think meeting such people is equally important because it helps broaden one’s perspective and understand the other side of the story.
When I think of the kind of solutions that Web 2.0 brings to the global women’s empowerment movement, I think I should illustrate with a recent example which highlights this best. A few months ago, in a city close to the one I am living in, a group of thugs belonging to a religious organisation barged into a local pub, dragged the women in the pub out by their hair, and beat them up. These women, whose only ‘crime’ was to spend a weekend afternoon enjoying a drink with their friends, were kicked, beaten and dragged. The reason for this abuse? According to the thugs, these women were muddying the culture of the country!
There was a lot of outrage after that incident, and women and men across the country were angry. It was critical that the anger be channelled into something more productive. And thus was born a blog – www.thepinkchaddicampaig.blogspot.com. This blog provided a virtual hangout for the women and men across the country to not just vent their displeasure at the incident and the government’s lack of response, but also to come together and think about what an appropriate response to this incident would be, and what could be done to prevent such incidents in the future.
I believe that the blog is slowly growing into a community space for women and men who feel strongly about women’s freedom to come together and respond to issues and incidents that affect this freedom. For me, this is a perfect example of how Web 2.0 is a tool, which, when used wisely and well, is of invaluable help to the global women’s empowerment movement.
Personally, Web 2.0 has had a phenomenal impact on my life. I would say that I am a feminist today largely because of Web 2.0. Web 2.0 has helped me discover blogs, community forums and websites across the world which deal with women’s issues which I feel strongly about. These have helped me shape my opinions and influenced my perspective and how I view the world today. I am looking forward to the exhilarating journey ahead with Web 2.0.