Development is Women
The cyber world is a very interesting place to create another world for oneself but very few knows this especially women. I could recall the early days of having an email account to exchange plesantries when friends and loved one are far away from home. I had my email account before Margret my childhood friend. She would have to book me down earlier to assist her check and send out her mail to a friend in Europe. Visiting a cafe at that time was horrible and really unsafe. There were more males at the cafe than females. Then the internet scam started and the number of males increased as many of them were known and addressed as "yahoo, yahoo guys" and the police would come in time to time to arrest everyone at that time. Any woman at the cafe is usually looked at a second time. Most young girls who visits are there to fill one form or the other for employment or examination. It was very rare to find women at the cafe. Among other challenges was the very high cost of accessing the internet.
As I lay on my bed and reflect on how far I have achieve being on world wide web (www), I know I have a reason to be thankful to God for exposing me to Worldpulse through a colleague. Worldpulse gave me the opportunity to interact with the world through what I never known I had - a voice to be heard. Starting from the warm welcoming from members of WP calling me "friend or sister". The word "friend" may seem simple but for me it is a powerful moving force that kept my spirit high knowing that I have someone who can call me a friend just hearing my voice through my writings. I never know that I was a good writer until my friends on worldpulse said that again and again to me. I never known that writing need to give a voice to my work, my community, my growth and my joy. I never known that writing is speaking my mind and having people listen to me. I had my first mind healing after sharing my childhood experience on worldpulse and insist of blames, I got encouragement, praising and motivation from "friends" on WP. I got more than I even expected, I moved from point one to two to three to four and now I can't even count here I am. I moved beyond my expectation doing what I never known I could do. I write and friends read with keen interest, they are not concern about my errors.
Worldpulse gave me the opportunity to have another family (http://worldpulse.com/node/72789). A family of women who are full of love and compassion. Women who encourages and not blame. Women who seek to bring a change in the global world. Women who believes in one another. Am was glad to be part of the 2010 VOF and to be selected among the best four. It was a great previledge for me and my family.
Like most men and women in Nigeria today, the multi-media mobile phones are now the most common accessibility to the internet. Yet the barrier for me and many women still lies on the high cost of connecting the phone to internet. Cyber cafe is becoming outdated due to it many challenges. Very few can afford a moderm and laptop for home and office use. Even with the high number of Hi-tect, BB, Android, IPad devices used by women, very few can afford the cost of monthly internet. Also, very many cannot use the various functions of the mobile device.
In my silent thought, I precieve that one major challenge of women not accessing the internet is that many women are dependent on their spouse and do not have a source of personal livelihood to afford internet facility for their use no matter the cost. Also, women are saddled with the responsible of domestic chores and child rearing and does it with passion. This leave them with no time to build up themselves expect for few who understand the importance attached to expanding their knowledge through the internet.
I think there should be more women friendly centres to train women on how to use their multiple devices to access opportunities on the internet. Gone are the days of just checking and sending emails. There are more useful activities taking place online of which benefits women, their personality, their family and community. In women resides untapped potentials that can bring a change. Grassroots women need to understand this fact. I have been able to train young girls on web 2.0 and they are very grateful of that knowledge.
Much can be achieved by women friendly centres if supported with very little resource by the government and other interest groups to provide a safe, free access to the internet for women. Government can also help to ensure that internet providers receives reduced tax rate and ensure constant power supply and security in the country. This will enable provider also to reduce the cost of services provided. This way the provider will make gain from business and expand its coverage to grassroots level, government will have more sustainable development because more women will be empowered and this will prove that development is women.