VOF Week 1: (The First Step to Creating Global Change)
For me, the phrase Web 2.0 itself contains the excitement for the potential of a new kind of activism, spearheaded by a generation of revolutionary thinkers, utilizing the web for mass social change. The first time I came across these words, Web 2.0, it sparked an immediate appeal. I had to know what it was, what kind of tool it is, and what impact it has, not only on me, but the world we live in. I Googled it. There in .14 seconds lay information that moved me like the sun’s rays beaming down on the earth through a peak of clouds on a dark and overcast day. I was already using Web 2.0 and I didn’t even know it! The way I had been communicating, receiving my news, sharing my thoughts, and keeping in touch with others for at least the past 5 years, has a name.
What a shame that this has been so underutilized, not only in my life, but overall on the Internet as a way to increase visibility of the global women’s empowerment movement. After attending the Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) conference in Cape Town, South Africa this past November, I came back home in awe of all the individuals and groups who are doing such critical work within their communities on a grassroots level. Many of these women and men are doing this work without the help of the Internet, whether that is having a public presence through the Internet or using the Internet for capacity building within their respective collectives. Think about the support that could be received if more people around the world knew of the need that these activists were filling. Think about what more could be done by educating the world about these issues, and the circumstances that have given rise to them. Think about how we could combat stereotypes and prejudices that maintain that local women and men don’t mobilize for women’s rights, and in order for true change to occur, others outside of these communities must come to show them how. Don’t we as those who have the privilege of accessing the Internet on a daily basis, feel some responsibility to our brothers and sisters worldwide to make visible the injustices, as well as highlight the successes, within the global women’s movement?
What inspired me to apply to the Voices of Our Future was a hunger for more knowledge, to learn more, and use these skills to tap into the unrealized potential of creating global visibility and increasing awareness about global women’s issues|rights|movements. In addition, I find it empowering to be able to share the work being done in our global communities within women’s empowerment, among those who may not otherwise come to know of it, and hopefully motivating everyone to do *something* within their capacities.