'Man defiles girl and gets infected with HIV' read today’s news headline. A light conversation with a man seated next to me in a public service vehicle about this subject surprisingly pointed an accusing finger at the defiled girl. As more men overheard our discussion they collectively took the man’s side. Key to note was that the women on board, evidently the majority, sat silently as I defended the girl. Shocked, dismayed and disappointed at this reaction I sought refuge in my phone and Facebooked, Tweeted and Blogged this headline. These are elements of Web 2.0 application and consequently received tremendous input from WOMEN within seconds. Would it have been the same reaction if women online were in this bus with a few outspoken men? The most exciting factor about Web 2.0.is that it is more than technology, an attitude that gives relinquishing control to set data free as well as communicate in a local yet meaningful global way, more or less a platform for all.

It is an open secret that women in Africa, specifically Uganda, have limited access to internet use and the few who do, may not exactly front for women’s empowerment. An example is given of the many women who get glued to their TV sets watching soap operas from channel to channel. The emotional attachment is amazing but these women may find it hard to make sense of the huge amount of information they receive. The same can be said of the internet especially Web 2.0. Some have used it for emotional benefit especially young women. However, this is not reason to fear for the future or weep for the past. A sticker on my friend’s door says, “Even if I let you in doesn’t mean I can’t kick you out!” and clearly points out what I am driving at. The solution to this can be infotainment, creatively invoking entertainment and information and by so doing, many get attracted to the given events while learning so much.

These tools are empowering because I have unlimited control to set the agenda for the day by posting on my walls, blogs and tweets whilst the feedback I receive , be it positive or negative, is without fear. I also have an opportunity to view what others are talking about and to share views that shape me. Certainly, it has been said that a child educated only at school is an uneducated child. Web 2.0 has become a learning environment, a transmission tool for civilization. By virtue of the knowledge I have attained from interacting with others my confidence to front for women’s empowerment becomes possible simply because it is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves. George Burns says, “too bad that all people who really know how to run a country are busy driving taxi cabs or cutting hair.” Web 2.0 may not be a place that was designed for the purpose of empowering women but it has certainly helped empower me !

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0.

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Hello sisters, I don't seem to understand how to tag, i hope i did it right this time. Kindly assist if i got it wrong once again. Thank you, Monica

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Yes you got it right and I loved reading your post. For general tagging of all your posts on Pulsewire you can check out this post by Jade . For tagging posts relating to this group the instructions will be part of the assignment question so if you read the last part of this week's assignment question it clearly said "You may put any title you want on your journal entry, but you must copy and paste the following text into the line labeled "Tags": 2011 VOF Week 1". I think you got it right.

Best,

MaDube

Thank you MaDube, I had a hard time, figuring it out and quite happy that at last, it went right.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Thank you MaDube, I had a hard time, figuring it out and quite happy that at last, it went right.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Thank you MaDube, I had a hard time, figuring it out and quite happy that at last, it went right.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Akech,

Thanks for sharing the story on the bus. Even though I live far away, in Chicago, I am struck by similar situations I've been in. It's inspiring to connect with so many others women around the globe who are speaking up. Thanks for your wisdom.

Love, Lisa

Hey Lisa,

I know what you mean and would love to hear more of you stories. Thank you for your comment. :)

Best regards, Monica.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Hello, Well put,this situations are sickening to listen,I was in Kiryandongo one time in 2006,and women did all the work in the refugee camp. Thanks for higlighighting that.

Lucia Buyanza Reproductive Health

I know there is nothing good about such stories, although we have a big sensitization role even to the men who may not particularly side with us. Thank you for taking time to read my post.

Best regards to you too. Monica

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Why do people always blame the woman for sexual misconducts of men? Do we encourage their acts of violence towards us? NO

Thanks for highlighting that in your piece.

Udoka! Women have been sidelined since time immemorial and it is us who have to change that perspective by speaking up.

Thanks for your comment.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

what you have written about is so prevalent worldwide despite all the advancements the world is making. Where I come from, in India, women largely still do not speak up, not enough. We need to encourage them to use the power of web 2.0 to get instantly connect to the world and have their voices heard. And its women like you who can do it!

Thank you for the encouragement Meena. Yes we need to encourage many women not only to use web 2.0 but many other avenues which can aid in sensitization.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

Thank you for the encouragement Meena. Yes we need to encourage many women not only to use web 2.0 but many other avenues which can aid in sensitization.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

I loved the way you kicked your story off with such a commanding and clear description of something that was powerful and crazy-making and needing to be done something about! You have a great use of language balanced with the passion that makes me want to read more.

Thanks!

R

Thank you Ruth, it is encouraging hearing such a compliment from you. IT takes both of us to make this world a better place.

Best regards, Monica

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

I enjoyed the way you have integrated personal anecdotes with real world application of Web2.0, which is encouraging women to speak up. You offer ways for a woman, who may not feel like she has a voice, to express herself. Now we all need to work on how this can be translated and respected in society!

Thank you very much for sharing your experiences with Web 2.0.

Kind regards, Courtney

Hello Courtney, I am delighted to hear your nice and encouraging words. I don't have the right words to reply you but thank you :) working on achieving great results is the direction we are headed to.

Best regards, Monica

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.