Closing the Door to Illiteraracy
Liu Ying is a divorced mother with a ten-year old daughter who works in an industrial cement plant in Heibei Province, China. When I interviewed her for my documentary SPILLED WATER http://SpilledWtaerDoc.com, she said, "In this digital century, I want my daughter to be well-educated, maybe even become a PhD." Her dream is a bold one, but maybe a bit of a reach due to her economic circumstance. But she acknowledges the power of the internet, and spent more than half a month of her salary to buy a cheap computer to help her daughter learn English.
On the other hand, a Dongzu minority singer in Guizhou has little access to the web because the infrastructure was not available. She depends on her mobile phone to communicate with the outside world. She, too, recognizes the importance of education for her son and wishes that he can have access.
Simply put, it is widely acknowledged that the decline of illiteracy is closely related to the accessibility to the Internet. By opening a whole new world of knowledge for women, it helps to stimulate independent thinking and erode traditions that hold them back. How can we inspire a collective movement to help them recognize their rights and worth? How can we motivate them to dream big and not giving them up as "pipe-dreams"? Most important, how can we persuade the developed world to share their resources and know-how to help the under-developed world to make the internet infrastructure, software and hardware available — like cheap computers, tablets, smart phones, online schools, online banking etc.?
Until we find a way to help women in far away places to connect to the world can they assert their new found freedom to forge changes and improve on the lives of others.