As you post your stories, share your voice and begin exchanging resources, you will notice that there are hundreds of women doing the same thing. Each brings her assets and resources with her and poses questions and solutions. Some of them will resonate with your own challenges and goals. This is the beginning of your strong and supportive online network.
World Pulse’s digital media platform allows you to avoid the sometimes overwhelming and time-consuming experience of navigating the Internet, by giving you the opportunity to connect with other women leading the way about issues you care about all in one place. It gives you access to a group already trying to make change worldwide. You build your networks in our online community by listening to what others have to say, by requesting friendships with those who inspire you, by sharing your own inspiring stories and by befriending supporters, allies and partners. Digital media bridges and promotes the participation of women’s collective voices in the agendas and decisions that impact their lives.
At World Pulse, we bring together the voices, resources, and ideas of women leaders to generate collective impact. This is called crowdsourcing. Crowdsourcing is a method of aggregating submissions from a number of contributors in order to showcase the power of many voices coming together for change. Contributions big and small allow us to mobilize creative solutions from women leaders on the ground—where the challenges occur.
Online crowdsourcing makes information and knowledge available to much larger communities. It also enables us to reach those who might not have access to more traditional and formal decision-making organizations like local government institutions, global organizations or tribal councils.
World Pulse organizes this kind of collective action in the form of our Take Action initiatives and campaigns. For instance, in early 2014, World Pulse launched its WWW: Women Weave the Web Campaign, aimed at crowdsourcing the wisdom of grassroots women leaders like you on issues related to digital inclusion and empowerment. Our campaign engaged women from about 70 countries. We received 590 submissions, presenting solutions and advocating for full access for women and girls to digital tools. These submissions mobilized a series of online and offline actions, such as World Pulse community members participating in Alliance for Affordable Internet's Multistakeholder Coalition in Nigeria, and the creation of partnerships to award strong community leaders. You can read more about this campaign and its effects on our Take Action page on our website.
Here, in María Castañeda’s submission to our WWW campaign, she shares her experience writing her own story from Mexico on a global Internet platform like World Pulse, and discusses the importance of digital inclusion:
Only four weeks ago, I entered the digital world. With all honesty, I share with you that I did not expect how difficult it would be. Not only for the hours and hours writing, editing, sharing and learning.
I did not expect that something so simple would be so difficult: to write what I think.
For me, it was more internal than external barriers. Who am I to give an opinion on a topic? How do I justify my conclusions without an expert behind me? What are they going to think about me?
What I am learning in this process of “digital empowerment” is something just as simple. I am the person that can best write about my own life, my own experiences and how I see the world. I am the first person that has to believe that my point of view is valid and that the message that I want to transmit is important.
- Maria Castañeda | Mexico. Translated from the original Spanish by World Pulse community translator lmortiz. Read her full post here.
The World Pulse platform allows for networks of women change leaders, allies and global partners to mobilize around pressing issues through the Take Action initiatives and campaigns. We have put out calls to women like yourself: share your vision for change! By uniting women leaders with allies and partners, we hope to share solutions for a sustainable future and to hold governments, corporations and international bodies accountable. The collection of these stories and initiatives will generate a ripple effect that will be seen in our local communities and on a global scale.
World Pulse “Take Actions” invite everybody to act, no matter how big or small their efforts, since every story and voice counts in our efforts to build a strong network of change makers and encourage women’s full participation. Read more about the initiatives to Take Action for global change on our website.
It is your story and your voice that empowers women to push for social justice and gender equality around the world. Online platforms and forums amplify your reach and allow you to mobilize others. You can bring the empowerment generated online to your offline community and life, too!
As we begin to wrap up our Digital Empowerment Training, we want to emphasize how important it is to take care of yourself before supporting others. Sharing our own stories for mobilizing for change can be an empowering tool, but it involves challenges, particularly if you are reading someone’s journals and listening—whether indirectly or directly—to firsthand trauma experiences of another. This can take an emotional toll on your body and spirit. There are some simple first steps and tips that you can follow to take care of yourself as you reach out to others.