Trapped in a shack, in a community unheard of, she felt alone. Seeing a woman beaten up and sexually violated was part of her daily life. Seeing and living the experience of having structural violence meted out by a lack of economic empowerment and a government, so uncaring and cold is normal for her. But all alone, she felt suffocated because here she was going unheard; being unable to share her story and possibly condemned to a life of having those with means, whom despite being well-read on her situation would never experience it, speaking on her behalf.
Enter Web 2.0, a tool which allowed her to turn the tide. It put the power to share her story in her hands and tell the stories of the many others like her. Through it she came to explore the intersections between media, technology and the situation of women. Here she was now armed with a tool which allowed her to access information such as how women can approach the courts to protect them from abusive partners and centres where those able to escape can go to. Here she was, able to discover and share how women who experienced sexual violence could protect themselves from the health risks that go with it. An entire world of information was suddenly available, not only to her, but the many she could share it with as well. Over and above that, she could connect with those interested in the fight for women’s rights. She now can learn and also teach them in turn. The possibilities are endless and she is eager to explore each of them in order to break the shackles attached to her and many other women.
The possibilities really are endless, not only for her- but also for you and me. You see, if used well, Web 2.0 can break the greatest burden of all- the burden of being relegated to being “voiceless”. Everyone has a voice, more often than not, the problem has always been that it goes unheard. So, here we are, with a tool that enables us to roar our ideas, opinions and experiences to people from across the world and that tool is right in the palm of our hands.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0.