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DIGITAL LITERACY: EMANCIPATIONOF WOMEN AND GIRLS FROM MENTAL SLAVERY

Yes! Internet is an eye opener! Internet will be my saviour from this poverty! I am going to be great through internet, you wait and see! Oh internet will educate and really help me! These are the comments of Olakanye Mary, Adesokan Opeyemi andSareola victoria as I moved round rural secondary schools for the awareness campaign of the importance of internet in people’s life. After attending Abuja multi stakeholder forum on Alliance for Affordable Internet in Nigeria, I started digital awareness campaign among women and girls in my community because at the meeting it became pertinent that women and girls in the rural areas and even the ones at the slums of the cities should know the importance of their access to internet what it can do for them and the tools and training they will need to take advantage of internet even when it becomes affordable for them.
I started moving around asking questions like: Do you think you need internet? What can internet do for you? What are those things you think you need before you can tap the benefits of internet?
The answers I got to these questions varies, while some were of the opinion that internet is very useful and they need it so much, some even among the elites were still of the opinion that they were missing nothing by lack of access to internet and that they could just be like that forever. Out of five women and girls, four were still ignorant of the importance of internet in their lives which means there is serious need for this awareness campaigns in my part of the world.
There is need to let the women and girls know that internet is a powerful tool to raise their voices on issues that matters to them, powerful tool to learn innovations on how to free themselves from abject poverty, powerful tool to rid themselves of the cultures that have been tying their hands, prejudicing them and limiting them as a female gender and the powerful tool for their emancipation from mental slavery.
As I was moving round I was telling them my story. The fact that I came from a humble background like them, what I was before I had access to internet six years ago and what I am today and what I have achieved. These young girls will listen with awe to my story and when I finished my story I will look at them in the face and tell them that you can achieve more than I have achieved, it can work for you more than it has worked for me. They will just marveled and say really? And when I said yes, you need to see the hope that lit their faces and the comment like: Yes, internet is an eye opener, Internet will be my saviour, and internet will educate me, oh! Internet will really help me.
I brought the girls to town to visit a cybercafé so that they could see what a computer look like and to see some things on it, but unfortunately when we got to the cybercafé, there was no light and their generator at the café was bad so I ended up using my small laptop to show them some things on internet.
The questions now arises; But how do we get there? We can’t afford to have our personal computer, we can’t afford to buy mobile phones, we don’t have cybercafé in our community, the few ones in town we are so afraid to go there for the fear of the “Yahoo Boys”. Some of us have never seen computer before until today, even when we see computer we don’t know how to operate it. What are we going to do?
When they were asking these questions, I did not have an answer to them but I know the whole world as you are reading my journal and this post, you will help me to find answers to the questions of these girls. They are part of our world and they have the right to have access to digital literacy and access, they have the right to education and better life.
I am bringing us back again to the serious need of “Female only cybercafé” in Nigeria, a safe place where women and girls will have access to digital access, literacy and empowerment. This is the way you can help me to answer the question of these poor girls and women who are also very thirsty now to be part of the global village, they must not be left out, they must not be neglected and their voices also really matter to the development of this world.
Out of every 20 girls in the public schools, none had computer, none could operate computer only 2 had seen computer before, none had yahoo mail, none had facebook account and one had a mobile phone. The poor are becoming poorer while the richer are getting richer; violence against women and girls has become a normal phenomenon in my community. I have started this crusade of emancipation but I cannot do it all alone, all hand must be on deck to give women and girls in Nigeria the freedom we crave.
Out of every ten ritual killings, women and girls will be eight. Women and girls in Nigeria need a powerful network to minimize the work of the ritual killers and this can only be achieved through digital access, literacy and empowerment.
This is writing article to the digital awareness campaign but also a safe our soul appeal from Nigerian women and girls to the whole world. PLEASE SAFE OUR SOULS!!!

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

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Comments

Keating's picture

YES!!!!!

INTERNET IS GREAT FOR YOU AND ALL WOMEN SEEKING BETTER WAYS TO LIVE.

I SALUTE THE SPIRIT IN YOU AND GRACE YOUR HEART AND MIND.

Thank you so much for sharing your story and I hear you LOUD and CLEAR :)

Love and hugs from Australia !!

Robby

busayo's picture

Thank You Keating

Thank you Keating for your kind and encouraging words!! we will continue to raise our voices on this issues until we are finally liberated.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

kellyannaustin's picture

so important!

Busayo,

What an important call to action! I wish you strength and opportunity as you continue to raise your voice for those most in need.

Kelly

busayo's picture

Thank You!

Thank you very much Kelly for your response and encouragement

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

phoang's picture

A useful tool

Hi Busayo,

I can feel your excitement and enthusiasm just from reading your words. It's true the Internet is a powerful tool for social change. There's so much to do! -- connect with people from around the world, share information, advocate for a specific cause, gain knowledge, etc. It's so important that access to technology becomes an opportunity for people in all classes, not just the elites or wealthy. I hope more safe environments, whether female-only cybercafes or other resources, become available for women to feel safe using them. Best wishes!

Phuong

busayo's picture

Thank You!

Hi Phuong,
Yes, so much to do! Thank you for your response and encouragement. I really appreciate.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

i love what you are doing , i know it`s not easy but God will give you all the courage that you need. keep on.

busayo's picture

Thank you!

Thank you so much for the encouragement and prayers, I really appreciate it

Love
Busayo Obisakin

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Ann Fishburn's picture

Such important work!

Thank you Busayo for your inspiration of the girls in your country to use the Internet to change their lives, as you have. You are serving both as a teacher and an inspirational figure for these girls and young women.

I am hoping that through your connections here on World Pulse and on the internet, that you will find some solutions to help you open a “Female only cybercafé” in Nigeria.

In hope and peace,
Ann Fishburn

busayo's picture

Thank you!

Thank you so much Ann for your response and encouragement. Yes! I wish to be both teacher and somebody that those children could see as an example that despite their humble background these numerous opportunities is still open to them. It gives me joy that they are catching the vision.

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

busayo's picture

Thank you!

Thank you so much Ann for your response and encouragement. Yes! I wish to be both teacher and somebody that those children could see as an example that despite their humble background these numerous opportunities is still open to them. It gives me joy that they are catching the vision.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Kristina M's picture

Thank you!

Busayo,

Thank you for taking it upon yourself to start a digital awareness campaign for your community. It is great to read how you are going out into the community and showing women and girls how the internet can change their lives. It is my hope that all of the current media attention on your country can lead to improvements and new opportunities for these women and girls and that your dream of female only cybercafés can come true.

Kristina

busayo's picture

Thank you too!

Thank you too Kristina for your response and encouragement. I am hopeful that with these awareness, there will be improvement in the lives of the women and girls in my community.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

travelpoet's picture

Thank you!

Thank you for your passionate and inspiring writing and for letting us know about the challenges and triumphs in your region. I love reading about how you are teaching and advocating for girls and helping them imagine how their lives can be changed for the better.

I'm curious about your reference to the "Yahoo boys." Are you talking about young men who frequent cyber cafes to check their emails and spend lots of time congregating around the computers? I wonder if it might be possible to ask the owners or managers of the cyber cafes to designate a certain number of computers for female users. Perhaps knowing that there will be some machines available to them, young women might be less intimidated. What do you think?

I love that you have shared your personal story with the young women around you and that you're helping them to dream up positive futures for themselves. You're an inspiration!

All best wishes from a global sister,
Kristie

busayo's picture

Thank you too!

Thank you too for your encouragement and contributions Kristie. The "Yahoo Boys" are the boys that do spam on internet, they use internet to dupe people. We have so many of them in our community, they can be so unruly and dangerous and they are always at the cyber cafes 24:7. The cybercafes owners would not want to fight them because they make a lot of money from them. This is the reason why it is pertinent to have a safe place for our girls to access internet.
Thank you

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

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