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The Power Within

Women From Rural Kenya are faced with the fear of not being able to Be, Do and Achieve that which their minds can think about and most of them brush it off, and let the men take over major projects and Technical jobs especially concerning the Internet.

There is a major fear about the INTERNET being an unsafe place for them to venture and when they see one who is using it they deem that one as lost or is being brainwashed by other peoples culture and ways of life as proven by the provocative music videos and movies that are shown on free T.V. So What has led and instilled this fear is the fear of the unknown, they are not educated about the internet and the men take advantage of their ignorance further sit on them and mistreat them because even from the internet you can learn a lot about your rights and who you are and can be in relation to this life, yet this they don't know too.

Technology in Rural Kenya is also looked at as something to be shunned instead of embraced, of course I do not advice to drop everything and embrace everything that comes but slowly and steadily computers can be introduced, shown and taught to the women in a way that they see the advantages of using it especially the internet,

Illiteracy is another thing that shuns women from venturing into the net, 'thinking' of the net as a complicated thing and yet even a five year old who has started reading can maneuver through the net because of its simple straight forward instructions.

Availability
Internet facilities are not common in Rural areas and libraries are an unheard of privilege there, thus making it evenless thought about there.

Power/Electricity
With a mental attitude of lack and limitation, scarcity, Rescuer programmings and poverty consciousness surrounding them, electricity is a luxury that wastes time and money and is left for the Rich and City folks to deal with, and this is something that can really push a society forward.

The Good news is that all this can be changed, because the problem lies mentally, it's the negative thinking about usage of the internet and refusal to accept that times are constantly changing and they can use the internet to learn and further their lives, The women can be slowly weaned to this, beginning with someone they trust and look up to in society, another woman and of course when a man is present with support it completes the energy.

Workshops are the best way to talk to them and show them first hand how simple it is to access it, how to keep yourself safe from negative sites by typing or not typing certain words in search engines.. these workshops can begin with a training about changing mental attitudes towards technology and showing another side of it because everything has two sides and what they know about the internet is negative at the moment, and when your attitude about something is not changed first then chances are you will not be interested in it too so flipping the coin and reintroducing them to it from another angle in a loving supportive environment where they feel safe to come out of their cocoons is a good start.. Then let them walk through the door by themselves because you can take the cow to the river but you cannot force it to drink water.

Watering the seeds planted
Patience is a virtue and a seed has to go underground before it can sprout and see the light, so watering what was talked about in the workshop is key, Media awareness programs, radio or T.V, Posters and constant reminders, like follow up workshops.

Finally...
Building the internet cafe's and libraries so they can taste their new grounds and explore what this new world of internet has to offer, to attract them. the government can come in and help in the mentioned solutions especially the library because a government library would mean affordability and an initiative by them to support the women in stepping up.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

Comments

Jennifer Faith's picture

Good Work!

Dear Deinah,

Thank you for sharing your story. All it takes is one spark - one woman to stand up and lead the way. You are that woman and I wish you success. God be with you!

Jennifer

Deinah's picture

Thank you Jennifer for your

Thank you Jennifer for your kind words.

Much Love

bitani's picture

Deinah, I very much like your

Deinah, I very much like your piece. I love that the title (the power within) aligns with the point that the obstacle to internet access lies within (the fear inside). The suggestions you mentioned to further encourage women to access the web are just in place.

best regards,
Bayan

Deinah's picture

Yes dear Bayan.. The fear

Yes dear Bayan..

The fear for anything not only stops a people from moving forward but also realizing what they can do, be and achieve, to me that is the underlying problem anywhere and everywhere where people have been through intense victimization especially women and how history has imprinted this in our Bio-energetic systems thus creating a recurring pattern being passed on generation after generation through the DNA we inherit..
Taking the time to read my article and your support is really appreciated.

Thanks love.

HeidiSB's picture

Fear of the Internet

Deinah,

The challenge of confronting the fear that the internet is only about brainwashing, pressures from other cultures and exposure to negative materials is an interesting one. I have appreciated this World Pulse Forum as an opportunity to hear individual stories from women on the ways in which they use the internet to connect within their own country and culture to confront a problem and outside of it. Maybe the internet was a source of medical information previously unavailable, or a place to find funding for an education a woman thought she would never be able to afford.... There are so many examples. I wonder what challenges in Rural Kenya are best confronted with resources from the internet?

Your words about patience and slow change with time are beautiful and well said. We must all remember patience while also staying motivated to push for change. It is an important balance.

Thank you for this lovely and thought provoking article.

Fondly,
Heidi

Deinah's picture

Hi Heidi, Love your name

Hi Heidi,

Love your name :))

Thank you for taking time out to read my story and for your encouraging words. There are many Challenges that can get solutions through the internet, from education, to job skills, Socializing on another level like we are doing here, to solutions to many "problems" that face them each day. When the mind starts to follow a particular thought pattern the net can/will assist in making it a reality so there are over 7 billion solutions to everyday situations ;) its just for the dear ones in Rural Kenya and all over the world to come to this realization that the the only thing stopping them is Them.

Much love
Deinah

Ridingthecamel's picture

Thanks!!!

Dear Deinah,

Thank you for your story, I really liked your thoughts and ideas!
Your beautiful way with words also further strengthens your message (if you ever thought about blogging/journalism? :) )

Just a random to add.: what about mobile phones? Would it be possible to introduce the internet through mobile phones in rural areas?

All the best, stay strong!

CamelRider

Deinah's picture

Thanks Love, your words are

Thanks Love, your words are deeply appreciated,

I do a little blogging here and there, and as a matter of fact I did some journalism as a course in school but never pursued it :(

Yes Mobile phones would do for especially the younger generation, and they have a nifty way of influencing the older in miraculous ways, like a positive virus :) yet in my personal opinion this would not be very famous with the older generation because they KNOW phones are for receiving and making calls.yet always worth a go.

Thank you once again for your kind wishes

Kit's picture

Internet challenges and solutions

Dear Deinah,

You have done a good job sharing the reasons that keep Kenyan women from being internet-savvy. There are many: fear of the unknown, illiteracy, lack of computer availability. Yet it is also true that when women can build a relationship with a trusted community member in facilities like libraries, they can begin to learn and then harness the power and positive elements that the internet brings. I hope, I hope you will be the leader in your community, the person the other women trust, helping shift the mental attitudes about computer literacy.

with gratitude,
Kit

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