Hi! I am working in social development sector for more than a decade. I always related economic empowerment of women as the founding stone towards gender justice and equality. It gives women the support to fight back, increases their self confidence and enhance their resilience power.
I believe being a part of the economic empowerment group in World Pulse platform; I will get a chance to meet likeminded people so that together we can work towards a bigger goal to use this digital platform for women’s economic empowerment. One may question, how someone is going to use this digital platform for women’s economic empowerment? I feel digital world provides us plethora of opportunities to connect women with a larger audience. Moreover, digital literacy helps women to improve their chances of economic empowerment. Women linked to different skill sets can be benefitted differently. For example skilled women can use the digital platform for job search, networking, business development and enhancement of their personal knowledge. Whereas women with poor educational background, can also be benefitted through digital platform. For example in India; rural cyber cafes are quite popular. Village women often use these cyber cafes to register themselves for different safety net programmes offered by the Government. Local community based organisations provide rural women necessary support to use the platform effectively for their socio-economic wellbeing.
Moreover, digital platform has created many new jobs where women can employ themselves. In the last one decade India has experience tremendous growth in information and communication technology. Because of cheap labour and skilled manpower, India is a favourite country for outsourcing job. This new development has created job opportunities for women in call centre and IT sector.
Economically empowered women are more conscious and better equipped to deal with any challenges. As part of my job, I got a chance to interact with victims of trafficking, sexual violence and domestic violence. Such victims often go through severe trauma and uncertainty about their future. In most such cases I have noticed that their engagement in livelihood generating activities enable them to regain their self-esteem. Such engagements also enhance their social circle and make a way for reintegrating them back into an active social life.
I believe in spreading knowledge. In 2002 I bought my first computer and got an internet connection at home. Just after buying the computer I taught all my family members about how to operate it. I feel very happy when I see my mother is using face book and how she got connected again with her friend circles again. Digital empowerment gives one the confidence and open up avenues for improving quality of life. I spread the same awareness among people so that they in turn share their knowledge and experience the change. In addition to social media and electronic media, local platforms and cultural groups can be used to spread awareness about digital literacy and how it empowers women and society as a whole.