I am Urmila Chanam from India, Founder of Breaking the Silence Campaign and this Women's Day I organized the World Pulse International Women's Day Skype program.
‘Breaking the Silence’ Campaign organized the World Pulse International Women’s Day Skype Program on 8 March 2017 in partnership with radio partner, Radio Active 90.4 MHz from 5-11 pm IST for callers from all over the world. The event was held from the studio of Radio Active, 1/1-1 Atria Towers, Palace Road, Bangalore 1. The objective was to use the digital platform, Skype, to lead discussions on the use of internet, digital skills and World Pulse as an agency delivering digital empowerment of women and also offer a rich experience sharing from 7 panellists from different walks of life and diverse industry.
The theme of the program was to raise awareness on the power of internet and digital skills in both professional and personal life and the role World Pulse plays in digital empowerment of women.
The expected outcome of the program is promotion of World Pulse and its programs, demonstrate use of Skype and other digital tools to conduct such an online international event, translate how different professionals and their industry use internet, its applications and digital skills for its operations, encourage people to begin to use internet and get ‘online’ and promote women empowerment through access of accurate information and opportunities.
The program was held via Skype through the username urmilavoiceofthevoiceless. The panellists were added in the group call and the callers request for friendship were accepted and then added to the group call. Any communication needed when the audio was failing or for additional instructions and communication to either panellists or callers, the chat box was used.
Video recording and photographing was done of the panel discussions and fed into the event Facebook page in real time to extend the benefit of the discussion to others and to mobilize more people to call.
The recordings of the Skype program will be developed into a radio program on Radio Active 90.4 MHz and be made available to everyone on sound cloud.
The profiles of panellists:
- Urmila Chanam:I am Urmila Chanam from India, Ambassador for World Pulse, the largest social network connecting women across 190 countries in the world and your host at theWorld PulseInternational Women's Day Skype Program. I am a menstrual health activist, global campaigner of women's right to dignity and good health, a public health professional and journalist. Founder of ‘Breaking the Silence’, a digital action campaign I am a believer of use of internet, digital tools and technology to scale my on-ground outreach program to change behaviors around menstrual hygiene. I spoke about how grass root level initiatives for social change may be amplified by use of internet, digital skills and social media.
- Joseph Munjattu:The second panellist on theWorld PulseInternational Women's Day Skype Program on 8th March 2017, 5-11 pm IST is Joseph Francis Munjattu, a social scientist based in Bengaluru, India and public health expert with India Health Action Trust (IHAT) with domain expertise on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment national program and technical support in key intervention areas. Joseph will throw light on the use of the internet, digital skills and social media in knowledge management of public health programs in India. And you thought being online was a waste of time!
- Pinky Chandran:The third panelist on theWorld PulseInternational Women's Day Skype Program on 8th March 2017, 5-11 pm IST isPinky Chandran, Founder and Director ofRadio Active CR 90.4 MHz, Bengaluru's number 1 community radio station committed to widening communities' involvement in broadcasting. She is a believer of media in change and works on issues of waste management and the people in it. Pinky is a radio journalist and will talk about the role of internet, digital skills in the area of electronic media and community building.
- Stella Paul:Our fourth panellist on theWorld PulseInternational Women's Day Skype Program on 8th March 2017, 5-11 pm IST isStella Paul, World Pulse’s lead ambassador and an international journalist. She trains other journalists in gender sensitive reporting and teaches women from vulnerable communities to use social media for self-defense.Stella is a woman who will not just march confidently but take along other women with her!
Krish Menon:Our fifth panelist on theWorld PulseInternational Women's Day Skype Program isKrish Menonwho has a career spanning over 2 decades in the top media companies in India in leadership roles. Currently, the Chief Marketing Officer in Sakal Media Group, he has leadAsianet News,Dainik Bhaskar,Red FM,Radio Mirchito name a few. Krish is one of the most brilliant producer/director of advertisements for television and print media in the country. Krish will share how digital tools, internet and social media is central to the Television and Radio media and his personal journey with it.
Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale:Our sixth panelist on theWorld PulseInternational Women's Day Skype Program isOlutosin Oladosu Adebowale,Founder of the award winning social enterpriseTosin Turns Trash to Treasure 5Tbased out of Nigeria where she teaches women who have been battered and victims of domestic violence to turn tailor waste into merchandise and earn their livelihood and dignity back. A women's rights activist, writer, change maker she uses the internet to raise awareness among people on the ill effects of domestic violence, to link to opportunities and a brighter future. Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale will share her personal journey of 'back then in those days' and 'now'.
Upasana Chauhan:Our final panelist in theWorld PulseInternational Women's Day Skype Program, 8th March, 5-11 pm IST isUpasana Chauhanwho is with UN Women Inter Agency Youth Working Group in New York with a goal to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 5 of 'Gender Equality'. A blogger she is currently working on the Gender Equity Bill for New York City. An Indian by origin and birth, Upasana is a believer of building a global sisterhood to achieve gender equality and empowerment. Upasanawill throw light on the power of forging connections, bonding and sisterhood on the internet space.
The callers were from different parts of the world like Pakistan, Nepal, Canada, India and USA. They introduced themselves and raised questions of their interest. Their questions were addressed by the panel.
The interactions and key discussions
UrmilaChanam says, “ OnInternational Women’s Day 2017, I chose to talk about the use ofinternetanddigital skillsbecause there is a profound co-relation between the two, where study shows that the access of internet by women globally is minuscule perhaps explaining the levels of compromise on opportunities. Through this program we attempted to convince people to be online and start their journey in the digital world".
In response toKirthi Jayakumar's question on facing resistance onsocial mediaUrmilasays, “In any area of work, it is important to talk to your family, make them understand, get their support and don't give into pressure.#BeBold#StayStrong#Sticktowhatyoubelive#Connect, connect, connect!”
Skype call with and this is a bit of conversation with him. Krish Menon says, "We have different digital platform. Using website, applications, social media… people are able to access the local to international information shared by the organisation instantly.Media has different sectors to join. If we have to empower the business we should know to use computer. The different profession in the media need different skills in digital technology for the development of organisation and business." Krish Menonsays "Screens are going smaller the day by day. Try using Digital media as much as possible; it will give you power, time, instant information and connectivity".Krish Menonsays, "This International Women's Day my message is for girls and women to join the wired world, learn digital skills and become masters of their own life and be in charge. If you are keen to use knowledge translation mechanism in which ever industry you are, you will have to be sensitive to use digital skills and the internet and capture stories in real time".He adds that reporters on ground use I-pad and applications to capture stories on ground and share with the base HQs. Without digital skills or knowledge about using the internet in television media, the speed of coverage will get compromised. And if you are a News channel, the whole essence of business is speed of getting the news and dissemination so imagine what all goes behind the scenes!
Stella Paul(Environment Journalist) on Skype with us says, "People are turning around their life just by using digital media. Technology as a tool is empowering us a lot. Today is a movement, and the social media is space for the movement to grow and enriching." She says "Use Social Media for Social good"
Olutosin Oladosu Adebowalesays "Without internet I would not have a voice.We need to bring more women online".
Demystifying digital technology is the first step, to overcoming initial apprehensions", says Pinky Chandran. UrmilaChanam and I connected through Facebook, in our shared vision onMenstrual Hygiene Awarenessto work together onBreaking the Silence Campaign. Social media is a bridge between people with shared goals. We all have stories to tell, we just need platforms to share, to voice and to be heard and what better than connecting and networking. After all we are in the age of convergence".
Joseph Munjattusays "The internet and digital world made me a professional in public health. Engage and be strengthened with information and technology.” Joseph Munjattusays "Break stereotypes by using the power of social media tools."
Upasana Chauhansays "We should do whatever we can with whatever little resources we have. It could be a pen or a phone, start somewhere".Upasana Chauhansays "Networking gives the power to connect the like -minded people, initiatives, visions and to be a support system".
Tamarack Verrall from Canada says, “Hi everyone. The internet has given me a way to get the real news from writers I trust. It has also made it possible for me to be in actual contact with others who envision a very different world, a world in which women and girls are respected and free, and our voices listened to, that we can be in a very different relationship with each other, taking care of the Earth, ending war. This program is a strong example of how we are now able to communicate with each other! Tamarack Verrall's wish is for women to forge strong digital connections globally, as these networks are truly creating the change that we all want.”
Amoit Idewa from Kenya says, “World Pulse and the internet at large gave me a voice and increased my confidence, I have also connected with amazing women leaders who are now on the Advisory Committee Board of an Organization I founded. Every woman requires digital skills herein lies opportunity.”
Kirthi Jayakumar from Indiasays "The core thing that activates everything is technology and the use of digital tools".
Shilok Mukkatifrom India says "The biggest contribution that I have done for my community is to champion the cause of communicating our issues, identifying what solutions we want, be a major stakeholder in the space, where people talk about themselves, in a manner, language or dialect they are comfortable. Shilok Mukkatisays "I found my voice throughcommunity radioRadio Active CR 90.4 MHz, but connecting on social media gave me a whole new#identityand so many many morefriends".
Sayantan Haldar from Indiasays, "As an artist, I believe that the digital world gives you more#powerand apart from power what it gives you is a sense of satisfaction that there is someone to see your work, and listen to you".
Tiffany C Purn from USAsays, "I always get excited when women come together and digital media offers one more tool of connectingcross borders. This is magical! We need to come together, think creatively and have fun".
Upasana Chauhana panellist was just getting into the IWD 2017 conference in New York while connected to the World Pulse International Women's Day Skype Program and shared visuals of the event happening in that part of the world. The visuals made the participants and other panellists feel we were present in that event happening in UN Women’s office and it facilitated the understanding of the power of use of digital skills and internet.
Another milestone ofWorld PulseInternational Women's Day Skype Program was a group of community women from Lagos in Nigeria bought data to attend to the call! With Olutosin were 6 other women who sat all the while from 5-11 pm IST to listen to the program.
Jensine Larsen, Founder and CEO gave a welcome address in video on the eve of the World Pulse International Women’s Day Skype Program.
The World Pulse International Women’s Day Skype Program was conducted successfully to engage callers and the online community to consider digital empowerment as an important facet of women empowerment generating interesting discussions on use of technology to bridge gaps in understanding. The panellists brought in their individual expertise and there was cross-learning happening in the call where important questions were raised by callers and panellists to each other. The gaps included poor internet connections not allowing callers to connect successfully or stay long, poor audio quality of panellists sharing due to connectivity challenges, due to time zone differences most of the calls came when the panel had already completed sharing, few callers were new to Skype and had poor knowledge of muting their speakers thus rendering noise to the conversation. The World Pulse team, Breaking the Silence and Radioactive worked closely together, each a domain expert in digital media in a different space.
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This program was conducted to increase the number of women who are 'online' and on World Pulse which gives women the digital skills and tell your story to the world. Log into www.worldpulse.com and register today! Become a member and make a difference!