Much of my knowledge base and information comes from reading widely. In the past, one had to rely on local news and magazines to provide this information thereby restricting the extent of ideas and stimulation received. With the web, this has now swung in the other direction. As a relatively unsophisticated nation, having access to this extensive current information and materials can make a difference to women as caregivers and guardians, giving them ideas and materials for business ventures, developing their children with disabilities to their full potential and caring for them in the most beneficial ways.

In Zimbabwe, the increasing availability of reasonably priced smart phones, the introduction of online cash facilities and the availability of networks have afforded remotely placed persons access, right within their homes.

This exposure, whilst largely beneficial, also poses a very real threat in terms of personal security when there is a lack of understanding about the risk factors. The risk increases greatly when young children have access and better navigational skills then the adults responsible for safeguarding them. I believe it is crucial to implement urgent action, which will see awareness campaigns launched to educate pre-technology adults, especially women on the management and access to sites. At the same time, they need to learn the importance of teaching their children the same rules that apply about them not talking to strangers and giving out personal details regarding their homes, family address etc. also apply to the internet. A recent study module portrayed a cartoon of a dog working on the internet and telling another “No one knows you’re a dog when you’re on the internet”. (Apologies to all animal lovers, I think Pinocchio would have been more appropriate) Anyhow, what we are looking at here, is building an appreciation of the ease in which identities are misrepresented on the internet for the purpose of exploitation

Take action! This post was submitted in response to WWW: Women Weave the Web .

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