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The two sides of technology

An understanding of information technology has pushed women to catapult from the ranks of the unemployed to those leading their own businesses, access to Internet improves their education, also provides them with opportunities to search and apply for jobs, exchange programs, apply for universities… As well earn additional income, thereby empowering themselves and their communities.
Access to the Internet increases women’s sense of empowerment, it provides them with more freedom, throughout bringing an understanding of cultures, it strengthens their position in the economic, political and social level, leads them to role models in their communities.

Across the African continent, there are some persuasive success stories showing how technology leads to boost women’s achievements abound. Chikondi Chabvuta, one of top 10 talented Africans (According to the Mail & Guardian). This 25 year-old woman from Malawi is fervent about empowering women farmers; her ambitious desire to educate young women pushed her to use digital technology (webcasts) as a way to put young girls in her community updated with rousing role models in Malawi and all around the world.
Technology can be used in a very simple way, but would lead to greater achievements, the case of Diana Mashudu Khumalo from rural area (Bushbuckridge, Mmpumalanga), who uses her Blackberry to access research on the Internet. In the past few years, this was impossible in a rural school because of lacking of facilities.
Another powerful female, Dr Zama Katamzi, an astro-scientist, working in the field of radio astronomy, and saying: “I am driven by challenges. Men should not feel they’re entitled to certain disciplines. I love to prove that I can also do it!”
Very inspiring stories, this only shows how important to invest in technology literacy among women, however this is not the case of all women around the global. In fact, many women die every year because of holding a new technology.
Likewise, the case of a Pakistani women “Arifa”, who was stoned to death for holding a mobile phone.

She was a mother of two, has been drugged to death respecting the commands of a tribal court for owning a cell phone. Her death was accomplished on the 11 July 2013 in the district of Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab province. She was stoned to death by her uncle and relatives. They have been given the permission to kill her, simply for holding the new technology.

How come this tribal court gave them the permission to kill her? Why can’t women in some areas in Pakistan enjoying the new technology like any other of their sex-opposite of men? Where is the social justice in all this?
Is this all real? Is this the world we live in? Why men in some part of the world still mistreat women?

As stated, that the killers (her relatives) pitched stones at her until she passed away. She was repressed without notifying anyone.
The police recorded a First Information Report against the tribunal court but no one has been under arrest. She was concealed in a desert far away from her town and no one had the right to take part in her funeral, even her own children.
This is very normal situation that reflects what happens every single day in Pakistan, since women are often mistreated by these illegal juridical systems. This case is a strong reflected image of the horrible male-controlled society in Pakistan, and women are obligated to persist in their controls in order to survive. This is due to the lack of an appropriate criminal justice system and the influential units of society have widespread their control on women.

In fact, this Pakistani’s woman case is not exceptional or unique story; Stoning and pelting are not only practiced, but unfortunately legal in at least 15 countries!

It is shame what many women face every single day. We are in 2014; the new technology generation, yet for some of us it is a forbidden to own a simple technology.

My questions are dedicated to all the international platforms that speak the women rights, where are your roles in addressing this serious problem? Where is the United Nations in all this? Why can’t we do anything about this till now? Are we going to speak out our voices or let more women to die?

Though, I strongly believe that that it is necessary to get women engaged in this new phase, guaranteeing them to benefit from the new technology. This will happen only through an intensive effort from everyone starting from home, government, decision-makers, business owners, universities and schools... Empowering girls and women to become Internet- practitioners and providing them with online research, education and networking opportunities is a great step toward development, innovation and social justice.

Source for the Pakistani woman's story :

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




I'm mightily impressed that you've written such a powerful article for the campaign. Strong in every way. I especially appreciate your attention to safety and security. The internet and digital devices are simply not safe for everyone to use. This is a part of the question of access, but it also goes beyond that to some fundamental issues about women's status as human beings, their rights and responsibilities.

The stories of ingenuity and uplift through digital access and literacy are inspiring. I feel more in-the-know and I wish I had better answers to the questions you pose. I wonder what kinds of forums are in your communities that might be a place to speak out? Would that be more effective than global actions somewhat abstracted and divorced form what's on the ground? I think both approaches would be important to overcoming such entrenched thought. And more widely than just digitally focused. I know some of the other women on World Pulse will have some great things to say!



Afouaiz's picture

Thank you for your comment

Dear Kelly,

Thank you so much for your comment. I really appreciate your encouraging words. And i'm glad to join your plateform so that to make a change. My questions were mainly to attract the attention to an ugly reality we are living nowadays, and the goal is to voice more voices and influence and be part of the decision making. Women's issues are my mainly focus area, and during my international representation , i always show this reality and put pressure on decision makers to help us to do something !

Again, thank you for your comment.

Best regards,


Iffat Gill's picture

Greetings Sana, Thank you

Greetings Sana,

Thank you for highlighting the case of Arifa in your article. Stoning was introduced with the advent of Taliban in the northern and federally administered areas of Pakistan where tribal laws and 'jirgas' still rule the society and the country's local laws are viewed as 'optional'. Due to lack of control of law implementing institutions in those tribal areas, these cases are often not highlighted or even discovered. But according to the law of Pakistan, such practices are punishable and charged as crime of murder.

In cases like these, social pressures does not let the family register or report the case so the chances of getting any justice for the victim are next to none. These barbaric practices, whatever form they exist in, are due to lack of equal status of women in the society. We do no need to push for equality and justice on all platforms, local, national and international. Access to technology is now being incorporated as a human right by international policy and decision making bodies. But until we practically achieve this, we need to keep raising our voices for women like Arifa who lose their lives like this and no one is there to question the barbaric culprits.

Keep up the excellent work you are doing!

Kind regards.

Iffat Gill

Afouaiz's picture

Thank you for your comment

Dear Lffat Gill,

Thank you for your encouraging comment. I believe it is a duty to call for justice not only for equal access to technology, but as a human basic right. The case of Arifa is inspiring as much as the other successful African women cited in the article, hearing about these stories are pushing us towards getting our rights.

Again, thank you.

Greetings from Morocco



Anita Muhanguzi's picture

wow well said

My dear sister you have written a very powerful article that shows how the internet has lifted women and for some women how it has been their downfall. We need to make more women more aware of the great benefits of the internet so that they are empowered. Thank you and please continue to post more inspiring articles. Stay blessed.

Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Head of Legal and Advocacy
Centre for Batwa Minorities
Skype: mrs_muhanguzi

Afouaiz's picture

Thank you for your comment

Dear Mrs. Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi,

Thank you a lot for your comment, i will ensure to publish more powerful articles.

Warmest Regards,


Jumi's picture

No words...

Dear Afouaiz:

I have no words. No doubt there are both positive and negative sides to Internet technology. The Pakistani woman's stoning is indeed barbaric and has no place in a civilized society. It is unfortunate that such practices continue today and that often times, it is women who are victims. I share your concerns and hope that someday soon, all people are able to enjoy the rights to access Internet technology without their lives begin endangered.

Thanks for sharing your views with us.

Afouaiz's picture

Thank you for your message

Dear Jumi,

Thank you for your message and your common thoughts, yes the world is not fair to everyone pleaple are suffering to get their very basic normal rights, women are mainly the ones who suffer the most, the story of this Pakistani woman is only one of the thousand cases , but it's up on us to make a change, which is very possible.

Thank you again



SaritaMat's picture

Presentation of facts...

You have well presented and expressed you thoughts..Found it so interesting to read your article where you have shown the advantages n disadvantages of internet.All facts and amazing to know many more things through your presentation.


Afouaiz's picture

Thank you for your comment

Dear SaritaMat,

Thank you for this such encouraging words, i believe that it is our responsibility to stand up for women's right not only for their technologic empowerment but all their basic normal rights.

Best regards,


SaritaMat's picture

Lets stand united..

There are many women who are deprived of their rights.They are not aware or they are denied of their rights.They spend their whole life suffering and surrendering themselves to the tortures in the hands of men mainly their husbands.Me too fighting for my rights even though there is no support from anyone.Many problems on the way and many hurdles too.I was very much inspired by your article.Thank you so much Sana.



PohChing's picture

Fellow Women

Being woman, all of us should be responsible to stand up for women's rights, we also need our brothers with same ideals, to support our works as they form half of the population.

Afouaiz's picture

Thank you

Thank you for this powerful message. It is our dutie to ensure that.


Pushpa Achanta's picture

Courageous writing

Dear Sister Afouaiz,

Stirred by your article. In India (where I live) too, girls and women are denied access to technology for many insane reasons. Let's continue striving to reverse this scenario.

Warmth and love,

Afouaiz's picture

Thank you for your comment

Dear Pushpa,

Thank you a lot for this message, which is powerful in every sense , it is time now to take actions and make change.

Salutations from Morocco


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