Posted April 7, 2014 from United States

We are here to find common ground and offer a meaningful support, provide hope and compassion, share wisdom and resources. We already know that women bare a disproportionate burden of household as family responsibilities, such as cooking, washing clothes, and taking care of children and elders. At this very moment, as I write this post, women around the world are cleaning homes, sweeping floors, planting crops, teaching children, and weaving baskets.

Do you know that some women are spending 1.6 hours a day just collecting water in the dry season? Millions of women and young girls denied the basic human rights simply because they are women. We must recognize women with dignity and and stand up together to protect and promote women globally. No one will do it for us! Each one of us has to break the silence.

I remember when Hillary Clinton said, “Human rights are women’s rights.” Education is a fundamental human right. Women are the world’s fastest-growing economic force. The Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776 had become a well-known statement of human rights, “All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

You and I were born with equal rights to pursue our own happiness and dreams. Our voices must be heard! Thank you for your global participation!

Digital literacy is the first step to empowerment, it expands horizon, and creates more opportunities for women and girls to identify their goals and pursue them. My hope is that each one of us will invite one friend to join the World Pulse community. We can double the size of our community effortlessly. Could you image if women across the globe would stop shopping for one day? In the US, 85% of all brand purchases are made by women. Women make 80% of all customer purchasing decision. For example, 93% food, 92% vacations, 65% cars, and 91% of new homes. Women control more than $20 trillion in world-wide spending. (htpp://, Marketing to Women Report). In the US, women’s combined consumer and business spending is fast approaching $7 trillion - roughly the size of Japan’s economy. We’re a driving force of the global economy.

Can you image connecting with billions of women here? We have here, under one roof, a tremendous breadth and depth of experience and expertise in a wide range of fields. You would be hard-pressed to find more brain power in one place, and the diversity of talents here is most intriguing.

Literacy thought to have first emerged as early as 8,000 BCE. Independent script development occurred at four times in human history in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China.

Currently, Africa is the continent with the lowest literacy rate in the world. (Wikipedia)

The literacy rate of Algeria is 70%.

Botswana has the highest literacy rates in the developing world with nearly 85% of its population being literate.

Egypt has a relatively high literacy rate. The adult literacy in 2010 was estimated at 72%. 93% of children enter primary school today, compared with 87% in 1994.

The literacy rate in Kenya among people below 20 years of age is over 70%. In January of 2008, the government began offering a restricted program of free secondary education. Most of its literacy, however, is elementary not secondary or advanced.

Laos has the lowest level of adult literacy in all of Southeast Asia.

Child Labor Facts.

218 million children aged 5-17 are involved in child labor worldwide.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that more than two thirds of all child labor is in the agricultural sector. Children in rural areas begin agricultural labor as young as 5-7 years old.

126 million children work in the hazardous conditions, often enduring beating, humiliation, and sexual violence by their employees.

The highest numbers of child laborers are in the Asia/Pacific region, where there are 122 million working children.

The highest proportion of child laborers is in Sub Saharan Africa, where 26 % of children (49 millions) are involved in work.



Worldwide, 161 million preschool children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Approximately 963 million people across the world are hungry.

Illiteracy Correlates with Other Development Challenges ILLITERACY is costing the South African economy as much as R550 billion a year, according to a recent study conducted by Stellenbosch University’s economics department. According to the International Monetary Fund, the current GDP per capita in South Africa is $10 244. The study found that if the quality of schooling in the country was where it should be – a level befitting a middle income country – GDP would be 23 percent to 30 percent higher than it currently was and GDP per capita would be about $12 000 (R86 000) a year (

Mass Media Influence.

In the last 50 years the media influence has grown exponentially with the advance of technology. We live in a society that depends on information and communication. The media in the US dominated by five major companies. They are Time Warner, News Corp, Walt Disney, Vivendi Universal, and VIACOM. Those 5 companies own 95% of all media. Years ago there was more diversity in companies, but many have merged. We have put our trust on the media authority with these 5 companies. We rely on the media every day in our lives from politics to education and health care.

What is he definition of Digital Literacy?

It combines two terms digital and literacy. Let’s pause and think about it.

What is Literacy?

Literacy is traditionally understood as the ability to read and write.

The 2003 NAAL seeks to improve understanding of the skill differences between adults who are able to perform relatively challenging literacy tasks and those who cannot. NAAL skills stem from the skills-based, operational definition of adult literacy. They are the literacy skills a respondent must possess in order to successfully perform a prose, document, or quantitative task

The National Institute for Literacy added problem solving at levels of proficiency necessary to function on the job, in the family of the individual or in society.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) offers an even more expansive definition: “Literacy is the ability to identify, understand, interpret, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts. Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society.”

What is the Digital Literacy?

Digital literacy is the ability to effectively and critically evaluate, analyze, create, and implement information using a range of digital technologies. Digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy. it builds upon the foundation of traditional forms of literacy.

A report out from the Knight Commission on Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy makes the case for emphasis in media literacy. I was fascinated by a White Paper on the Digital and Media Literacy (The Aspen Institute Communication and Society Program, 2010) written by Renee Hobbs.

In this report, Renee Hobbs defined digital and media skills. These include the ability to do the following:

  1. Make responsible choices and access information by locating and sharing materials and comprehending information and ideas.
  2. Analyze messages in a variety of forms by identifying the author, purpose and point of view, and evaluating the quality and credibility of content.
  3. Create content in a variety of forms, making use of language, images, sound, and new digital tools and technologies.
  4. Reflect n one’s own conduct and communication behavior by applying social responsibility and ethical principles.
  5. Take social actions by working individually and collaboratively to share knowledge and solve problems in the family, workplace and community, and by participating as a member of a community.


  1. ACCESS Finding and using media and technology tools skillfully and sharing appropriate and relevant information with others
  2. ANALYZE AND EVALUATE Using critical thinking to analyze message quality, credibility, and point of view, while considering potential effects or consequences of messages
  3. CREATE Composing and generating content using creativity and confidence in self-expression, with awareness of purpose, audience, and composition techniques
  4. REFLECT Applying social responsibility and ethical principles to one’s own identity and lived experience, communication behavior and conduct
  5. ACT Working individually and collaboratively to share knowledge and solve problems in the family, the workplace and the community, and participating as a member of a community at local, regional, national, and International levels

The National Communication Association (NCA, 1998) states that media-literature communicators should be able to do the following:

  1. Understand how people use media in their personal and public lives
  2. Recognize the complex relationships among audiences and media content
  3. Appreciate the media content is produced within social and cultural contexts
  4. Understand the commercial nature of media
  5. Use media to communicate to specific audiences


“Digital storytelling” is a relatively new term which describes the new practice of ordinary people who use digital tools to tell their ‘story.’ Digital stories often present in compelling and emotionally engaged formats, and can be interactive. Digital stories let the narrator to express themselves with their own voice fostering the sense of individuality. Digital storytelling can bridge people and cultures across the globe. Everyone has stories, and we have great stories on the World Plus website. Stories come from every far and near corner of the world. Some are painful, some are inspiring, some are educational, but all are very personal. That’s what it makes it interesting, unique, compelling, and one of the kind.

The Center for Digital Storytelling promotes the value of story as a means for compassionate community action. They don’t offer free workshops but it could be a great source of information. You can read their blog which offers great ideas.

SIX SKILLS ACCORDING 2007 National Educational Technology Standards (NETS)

  1. Creativity and Innovation
  2. Communication and collaboration
  3. Research and information fluency
  4. Critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making
  5. Digital citizenship
  6. Technology operations and concepts

  7. Writing. Digital storytelling begins with writing.


  1. Microsoft Digital Literacy curriculum. Learn basic programming concepts and skills.

Microsoft Digital Storytelling free E-Book

  1. International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) is a global research institute with headquarters in Washington, D.C., and regional offices in Nairobi, Kenya, and New Delhi, India. ICRW’s mission is to empower women, advance equality and fight poverty in the developing countries.

    1. International Librarians Network is run by volunteers all around the world. You can have a free access to scholarly publications to researchers.
  2. The International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications (INASP) is an international development charity working with a global network to improve access, production and use of research information and knowledge, so that countries are equipped to solve their development challenges. AuthorIAD is a global online network that provides support, metering, resources, and training in developing countries.

  3. Room To Read partners with local communities throughout the developing word to establish libraries, care ate local language children’s literature, and constructs schools. Please visit the website at

  4. One Global Economy is implementing its youth digital literacy and leadership training, Community Connectors, and in South Africa. OGE has projects in 17 countries and 3 US Territories aimed at helping under-served community members improve their lives using information communication technology as the means of delivery.

  5. World Literacy Foundation currently supports the distribution of two key digital products: Teach The World To Read and Budding Reader e-books. In 2003 the WLF was launched in Melbourne, Australia. The key aim was to provide direct educational support to those who needed it most, as well as advocating the literacy issue and how it continues to force millions of people into a poverty-stricken life. The foundation provides the acclaimed Fantastic Phonics reading program at eligible schools, organization and communities free of charge.

  6. Google Digital Literacy and Citizenship Curriculum.

  7. Intel in Education- Intel Learn Easy Steps program addresses the needs of adults and youth around the world who see to lean basic digital literacy skills. The Intel Learn Easy Steps program is currently deployed in 20 countries from India to Nigeria.

  8. The Rockefeller Foundation has been working on the issue of youth employment in the rapidly growing information and communications technology (ICT) enabled sectors for the last several years. Today, we are thrilled to announce the official launch of the next phase of our work: Digital Jobs Africa.Digital Jobs Africa will unfold over the next seven years with the goal of impacting the lives of one million people through job creation for high-potential but disadvantaged youth in six African countries - Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, and South Africa - all of which have dynamic and growing services sectors and offer the potential for continued ICT development.

  9. The Kakenya Center for Excellence seeks to empower and motivate young girls through education to become agents of change and to break the cycle of destructive cultural practices in Kenya, such as female genital mutilation and early forced marriage. These future leaders will improve their community, their nation, and the world. We challenge ourselves to come up with the best educational system for young African girls and we promise to share our model with others. Kakenya is now fulfilling her promise to her community. As the founder and president of Kakenya Center for Excellence, a girls’ primary boarding school in Enoosaen, Kenya, Kakenya believes that education will empower and motivate young girls to become agents of change in their community and country. The Center opened its doors in May 2009 and currently has 155 students in grades four through eight. It has become a beacon of hope to the girls and parents in Enoosaen. Kakenya was honored with a Vital Voices Global Leadership award in 2008 and as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2010. She was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Shake the World” in 2011 and counted among the Women Deliver 100: The Most Inspiring People Delivering for Girls and Women. She was a featured speaker at TEDx Midatlantic Conference in 2012 and honored as a CNN Hero in 2013. Her story has been the subject of a Washington Post series, a BBC documentary, and many magazine articles. I personally have met Kakenya in Washington, D.C., in 2008. She is a remarkable woman. Kakenya received an Award from Vital Voices.

  10. The Zawadi Africa Education Fund is a program designed to provide scholarships to academically gifted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds from Africa to pursue higher education in the U.S.A,Uganda,Ghana ,South Africa and Kenya. The Zawadi Africa Education Fund is based on the highly successful Kennedy/Mboya Student airlifts of the 1960′s, through a partnership with individuals and institutions with an interest in creating leadership. In 2002, Dr. Susan Mboya, daughter of Tom Mboya, created the Zawadi Africa Education Program to help young African women obtain a college education. This pilot program was loosely based on the 1960′s student African Student Airlifts. As with the original airlifts, the program pairs US universities with talented but needy young women from East Africa.

  11. Global Fund for Women is dedicated to advance the rights of women and girls worldwide by increasing resources for and investing on women-led organizations and women’s collective leadership for change. The Global Fund for Women supports democracy movements and efforts to secure land, labor and property rights.

  12. Vital Voices’s mission is to identify, invest in and bring visibility to extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential to transform lives and accelerate peace and prosperity in their communities. Economic empowerment program VV Grow offers fellowships, research, mentoring, and advocacy.

  13. In July 2010, the United Nations General Assembly created UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women. UN Women offers a free access to its Digital Library.

  14. Women for Women International works with socially excluded women in eight countries where war and conflict devastated their lives and communities. Women who enroll in a one-year program learn job skills and receives business training so they can earn a living. They come to understand their rights and how fight for those rights in their homes, their communities and their nations. They learn how to become leaders.

  15. Women’s Campaign International was founded in 1998 by former Pennsylvania Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies. WCI focuses in areas that fundamental to women’s equality through building skills tat help women become effective agents of change. WCE does this trough trainings, workshops, and technical assistance.

  16. Women’s Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP) works in 20 countries worldwide. WLP gives women access to ICT trainings.

  17. Camfed educates girls and supports young women to become leaders of change. They provide school fess, supplies, and uniforms to support girls from primary school trough secondary school, college and beyond. They help women learn how manage money and launch small businesses. They also train them as health activists and teachers.

  18. CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE provides educational and leadership opportunities for millions of girls and help them gain skills they need to succeed in school and beyond.

  19. The Women’s Refugee Commission is the only organization solely dedicated to improving lives and protecting the rights of displaced women, children, and young people.

  20. United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) provides international leadership to create learning societies with educational opportunities for all populations. It also provides expertise and foster partnerships to strengthen national educational leadership and the capacity of countries to offer quality education for all. Free training

  21. The Global Literacy Project, Inc. (GLP), is a New Brunswick, New Jersey based nonprofit and tax-exempt [501 (C) 3] organization, conceptualized for the purpose of fostering community-based literacy initiatives throughout the world.

    • The GLP initiative began in 1999-2000 with Dr. Olubayi Olubayi from Kenya; Mr. Denniston Bonadie from St. Vincent & the Grenadines in the Caribbean; Ms. Diana Dade, Dr. Thelma Tate and Ms. Sivan Yosef from New Jersey, USA; Dr. Edward Ramsamy, originally from South Africa; Dr. Emeka Akaezuwa from Nigeria; Ms. Kavitha Ramachandran, an Indian-American; and Mr. Wendel Thomas, from St. Croix and Dominica in the Caribbean. Ms. Camille Mahon (New Jersey, USA) joined the board in 2008. • Our initial project was the shipment of 17,000 books in Summer 2000 to Africa. However, we have now expanded our mission to address the Caribbean--partnering with Caribbean agencies for community developmnet, as well as South Asia (India) through two local NGOs.,_Asia_and_the_Caribbean.htm

We can create a world in which every woman is treated with dignity, respect; every girl and boy is loved, and every family has hope for a brighter future.

We’re able to apply for jobs online, get relevant health information, education information, weather report, bus schedules, and even how to make a chocolate cake recipe. All information we need is available at the tips of our fingers. We can use our social media network strategies to inspire and launch a global women’s movement to empower women across the globe.

You and I are digital citizens. We are a new breed of grassroots journalism. We’re equipped with cell phones, laptops, and digital cameras which we own or borrowed from our friends. We’re transforming the news into a global conversation. Our leadership is about service. We serve our communities and countries. At its core, grassroots journalism is about people, like you and I, and for people in our villages, cities, communities, and countries. In order to strengthen digital citizenship and make digital literacy part of the mainstream education for women and girls in every country in the world.

I thank you each one of you for your courage, passion, making positive changes in your communities, villages, towns, ashrams, and countries. Thank you for your service.

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Comments 11

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Mary S
Apr 18, 2014
Apr 18, 2014

Hi Svetlana

Many thanks for sharing so much information and links about digital literacy.

You may want to add some to the Campaign Resources section


Apr 18, 2014
Apr 18, 2014

Dear Mary,

Thank you for reading my blog and making a suggestion to add to the Campaign Resources section.

Wishing you a great Easter weekend!

With gratitude,


Apr 22, 2014
Apr 22, 2014

Dear Svetlana, Thank you so much for all of the time and effort you put into creating your blog. You have clearly done a great amount of research and condensed it into a format that is accessible, clear and understandable. You answered a lot of questions for me and stimulated new interest in digital literacy, particularly the digital stories. The power of stories is what links us all in our hearts and moves us to add our gifts and contributions to the mix.

Much appreciation and gratitude for your offering. Bheki

Apr 23, 2014
Apr 23, 2014

Dear Bheki,

Fist, thank YOU very much for making extra time for writing a note to me! It's most kind and thoughtful of you!

I sincerely thank you.

It's interesting that you mentioned the aspect, role, and importance of the digital stories.

I was intrigue by the very same aspect.

You eloquently described the critical role of stories to connect us!

I'm very happy that it sparked new creative ideas for you!

Please keep in touch!

With much gratitude,


Apr 24, 2014
Apr 24, 2014

Wow, what an unbelievable gathering of information! I found especially meaningful the connection between literacy and digital literacy and why both must continue to be supported. the efforts with basic literacy have made a difference. The can as well with digital literacy. It is the "next" thing. This transformation will go faster.

Thank you for not only taking th etime to educate yourself byt to research and educate others. I think this information will be very important tot eh World Pulse Community. Again, thank you for making this effort and contributing to our knowledge and action.

There are some quotes I will highlight;

"Digital literacy is the ability to effectively and critically evaluate, analyze, create, and implement information using a range of digital technologies. Digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy. it builds upon the foundation of traditional forms of literacy. " Svetlana Kim, April 2014

Warm Regards,


Karen O. Moore

Apr 25, 2014
Apr 25, 2014

Dear Karen,

Greeting from the San Francisco Bay Area!

Thank you for your kind note.

  1. You absolutely right that digital literacy does not replace traditional forms of literacy.

  2. The technology is changing rapidly and effecting the ways we communicate with each other. I used to live in the former U.S.S.R. We had to wait in many cases for at least 10 years or longer to have a landline.

I'm delighted to hear that you have found information useful. It means that you really took time to read, analyze, and evaluate.

These are characteristics of literacy! Congratulations!

May your curiosity, intelligence, and desire to learn more remain with you!

With much gratitude,


Leslie Stoupas
Apr 29, 2014
Apr 29, 2014

What a wonderful list of resources you have provided, and I especially enjoyed the idea you have brought together about literacy, digital literacy and education. Not only do you offer traditional views about education, you also explain where those views must transform in order to keep up with the times and move us all into the 21st century TOGETHER!

Raquel Daniel
Apr 29, 2014
Apr 29, 2014

In a time when people find it hard to write and research, I found this post and I am blown away!

Keep up the good work. I would need some of your research for my trainings. I will definitely tell you before i take it and I will sure credit you when I do use it.

Have a great day ahead!

Sisterly, Raquel

Apr 30, 2014
Apr 30, 2014

Hello Raquel,

Thank you for your time to read the post and share your feedback.

You're most welcome to use for your trainings. Let me know if you need any additional information.

I've been following 'women's leadership' for over 12 years.

Wishing you all the best,


Jun 21, 2014
Jun 21, 2014

Dear Svetlana -

I am a graduate student volunteer for World Pulse that analyzes data for the campaigns. Today I am finishing my recommendations from the voices of women in over 50 countries regarding digital literacy. I came across your article again, and as I do quite often, re-read your outline of definitions of digital literacy. As a library and information sciences student, I quickly stopped and began asking myself if I have covered every aspect of digital literacy in the recommendations I chose to highlight. Although I try to be specific, choose actionable recommendations and only work from the voice of World Pulse community members, I found I had indeed covered everything. Because of the resources you provided, I plan to include inspirational quotes that cover all aspects of digital literacy to illustrate the way women are approaching the subject and to ensure that global leaders understand that the women know what they are talking about! (For example, I have an amazing entry from a woman from Argentina regarding the weather and how it is affecting access to ICT's in her country. How does that fit with digital literacy? It deals with access, sharing information, reflecting on implications of the information and solving problems. In other words, it is not an anomaly in the literacy submissions, but a perfect example of what digital literacy looks like!)

Thanks for your work in compiling this resource list. It was an inspiration and great support to me as I bring the voices of women around the world to present solutions represented by World Pulse.

All my best!


Jun 21, 2014
Jun 21, 2014

Dear Tiffany,

Congratulations to you! Thank you for all your great and meaningful work!

I so appreciate you for sharing your thoughts and comments. Women from 50 countries! Wow!

I enjoyed reading about a woman from Argentina. I'd love to connect with her in the future.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

I'll be happy to assist you in any way!

With gratitude,