The whole world is becoming just like a small village where people communicate to one another across the globe, where they can ask queries, send updates or mails and receive the feedback right away, where they can check their drugs for medical subscriptions or check the best universities to enroll and many more. This is indeed because of the power of the internet, it made easy to connect, share ideas, visions, check out solutions and so on. Unlike Somalia, many other nations are lucky to benefit from the wide resources available within the internet where they can even buy or sell their stuff.
Internet connection gave me the opportunity to connect with many other likeminded people across the globe. It gave me an opportunity to enroll well recognized universities and institutions located miles away from my country. Without the internet I really don’t know how my live and many other lives could have been. Without the internet connection I wouldn’t have been able to find this amazing platform for women – Worldpulse. I wouldn’t have been able to connect amazing women across the globe whom we never met in person but share same vision and ideas. Without the internet, I wouldn’t have been one of the Voices of Our Future Correspondents. Without the internet I wouldn’t have been as inspired person as I am today!
Internet allowed me to join online trainings and connect with other colleagues miles away from my place. I can be in my place yet I am able to get info of what is going on in my country and other countries as well. I can be at my place yet I can access online resources and benefit from it. Nobody wanted or bothered to hear what I have to say or take it seriously every time I propose an idea or solution and now everyone across the globe wants to hear my voice and stories.
I might be lucky now to have internet connection at my place, but before I had to go out to access the net and it was so dangerous especially at night. Even now it is not a 100% reliable to get access, since its either weak or sometimes it is not there at all and you might need it badly to do an exam or send an important message or so.
There are thousands of other women in my community who still experience the same way I did, who put themselves at risk by walking at night just to access the internet and get info. It is not always easy to go out, use the internet and come back home immediately, almost all the time there is a network problem and you have to wait for so many hours just to load a page. Sometimes you stay in the internet café for hours and hours and eventually you leave without even loading a page.
Due to the weak internet connection, there are many important websites that has been blocked by the largest Internet Service Provider (ISP) in Somalia claiming that it slows down the whole system! For instance, Youtube is one of the many valuable websites in accessing information and it has been blocked. Within the Youtube, you can access the info audio-visually, it is easy for people to absorb the whole idea when they listen and watch rather than when they only read.
For me, Universal Internet Access and Digital Freedom means a Universal Human Rights where everybody can easily access the internet and benefit from the many resources there without risking their lives by walking at night to the internet cafes, or by spending so many hours in the internet cafes waiting to connect yet they might even leave without accessing it, or even not been able to access the information they needed because of the websites they need has been blocked.
I wish internet access could have been benefited from everyone in every nation where they can easily access without risking their lives. Many women in my community and across the globe could have benefited from the internet if it was widely accessed in everywhere. Many women in my community could have participated even in this campaign if they had the chance of accessing the internet. Thousands of women could have raised their voices and participated in the developmental issues.
In a time when freedom of expression and equal access to knowledge and ideas has become synonymous with access to the Internet, World Pulse is asking women worldwide: What does "Universal Internet Access and Digital Freedom" mean to YOU? This month, we invite you to raise your voice by writing about the everyday obstacles you face and risks you take in accessing the Internet, or how you have used it to change lives and bring about positive change in your community. Click here to learn more about this campaign and how to participate.
Take action! This post was submitted in response to Universal Internet Access.