Opportunities Provided by Digital Media (3/3)
Digital media and Web 2.0 allow us to connect, express and transform ourselves as we collaborate across oceans, continents and cultural barriers. Stories and projects, once silenced or isolated, are now amplified on a global stage. Below are a few examples of what bold women leaders are doing today with these tools.
Spark Mass Uprising: Egyptian Revolution
By using your blog and digital media to encourage people to attend protests you can help fuel a revolution. In January 2011, Asmaa Mahfouz posted a video on her Facebook page explaining why she was going to join the protest in Tahrir Square scheduled the following week. She also invited her fellow Egyptians to come out and join her. Her online activism and political work through the April 6th Youth Movement and the Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution has propelled her to the list of the World's 500 Most Influential Arabs and helped spark the Egyptian Revolution.
Map of Rape: Women Under Siege
By telling your story of abuse online, you can participate in an action plan to denounce the violence being perpetrated against women throughout the world. In 2012, the Women's Media Center created Women Under Siege, "a journalism project that investigates how rape and other forms of sexualized violence are used as tools in genocide and conflict throughout the 20th century and into the 21st." You can write blog post for Women Under Siege and/or contribute to their maps of violence against women. Their crowd sourcing of women victims of violence, enable the accumulation of knowledge and facts that world leaders will not be able to deny.
Raising Awareness: Torture in Egypt
By self-publishing online, you can speak out with women across the globe to challenge existing ideas or expose under-reported issues in your community. After reading a collection of testimonies from women who were subjected to torture and sexual violence, Noha Atef founded the blog tortureinegypt.net. Her blog has since exposed numerous cases of human rights abuses and censorship in Egypt, provoking public discussion and pressure on the Egyptian government. Visit Torture in Egypt or follow Ms. Atef on Twitter.
Building Movements: Ushahidi
The Internet and mobile phones offer powerful ways to communicate with people around the world that can complement and strengthen on-the-ground community organizing and advocacy. By working online, you can introduce your projects, ideas, and solutions to a global audience and make connections that then support and invigorate your offline work.
A great example of building movements with mobile technology, is Ushahidi. Ushahidi, which means “testimony” in Swahili, was established by Kenyan citizen journalists during the violence following the 2008 Kenyan election. Their website was originally designed to map reports of violence and peace building efforts submitted through the Internet and mobile phones by people on the ground. They had over 45,000 users in Kenya alone when they first launched, and now Ushahidi is making their software and platform available for free to people and organizations around the globe! It has already been used by Al Jazeera during the war in Gaza, in India to help monitor local elections and in Pakistan to map violence. See what you can do with Ushahidi in your country.
Donate Online to Projects Helping Women and Girls: Catapult
When you create a project on Catapult, you increase your chances of finding funds to bring your initiative to life. Catapult was created by Women Deliver, a global advocacy organization bringing together voices from around the world to call for action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women. Catapult is using Web 2.0 to reach potential donors whose financial contributions will help important projects designed to improve the conditions of women and girls in the world.
These are just a few examples of what is possible for citizen journalists and community organizers using Web 2.0.
What will you do with new media and Web 2.0?
Week 1 Classroom Navigation
Once you are done with the 3 readings, access Week One Assignment