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The internet provides women with an endless amount of information right at their fingertips. However, not having any knowledge as to what the internet has to offer unknowingly holds them back. Because of this it is important we advocate the many opportunities the computer has to offer and encourage women around the world to learn more. Awareness can be successful through social media and word of mouth.

After more women become aware of the opportunities the internet has to offer it is important they have the right resources to take advantage of it. Computer trainings offered in remote areas would be idle for women to thrive on the internet quickly. Training would need to include distinguishing between valid information and invalid information along with internet safety tips. From there women would be able to learn and teach others creating a chain reaction within their community. The hard part of this is having computers available for the women to both use and train on. This would have to be address on a community bases, but if one computer could be provide to each community it would make a huge difference. With one computer one women could use it and the others could watch and learn.

Like anyone who has not had the chance to use and learn how to use a computer the women lack the basic computer skills that hinders the women’s success. As a volunteer of the Power Women Group in Kibera Kenya I became more aware of the resources the women need to take full advantage of what the internet has to offer. One of the major and more obvious needs is basic computer training. For example, email and Skype are the most effective way for communicating with volunteers and customers the women have around the world. Therefore these skills are imperative in order for the women to continue selling their products and keep volunteers up-to-date. Another need was where and how to find information. Google was a foreign concept to them and can be difficult to navigate if you are not trained how to use it.

If women learn how to Skype it can become a much greater use then simply talking to others overseas. It would be idle if there was a resource for women to be trained over Skype by a real person who can answer all there questions. This would provide endless opportunities for women to teach each other no matter where you are in the world! This could include anything such as computer skills, business skills or life skills. This could also open the door to women learning more about different business programs they can use to keep track of their budget and further what ever initiatives they may have for the future. This is something we are trying to implement for the Power Women Group in Kenya. This has proven to be a valuable practice and could be used for women all over the world.

Overall, we can all contribute to bringing awareness of the endless opportunities and knowledge the internet has in store. The next step is finding creative ways to train the women so they can use the internet to be successful in the future.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to WWW: Women Weave the Web .

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Comments

Dear Hmaqnussen, You are so right! If only women know the resources available for them online they would gladly accept to learn the computer and take advantage of the internet. As for the Skype it is also very important and I like the idea. I didn’t know how to use the Skype until I joined world pulse and participated in the Skype calls. It is really interesting.

Nabiye Tal, Founder/CEO- IEVAWC. @nabiye, @ievawc

Yes, women should know the basics of computers for free internet access tool from there on intern training, skype, facebook will facilent to access parqu'elles have a weapon of defense and will be independent not only beneficiaries but also productive; they will take care that the internet is a catalyst that connects with others interested in the world. I'd like continued with success in this love.

Brigitte

Dear Hmagnussen,

The information and description that you have given us on what you are doing through the Power Women Group in Kenya, are encouraging in that this is down to Earth empowerment in action. You have outlined both the successes and the hurdles that you are meeting, and this is so helpful, as this digital action campaign spreads. Your description of the very real lack of equal access and materials is once again a strong reminder of a hurdle that must be solved. It is exciting to have your first hand account of what is going on with the Women Power Group. Thanks for including the wonderful photo.

With love in sisterhood,

Tam

Dear Heather,

I was so interested by your piece above that I read some of your other entries and then discovered your blog - which is how I found out your first name. I am awed by what you have embarked upon and by the passion that shines through in what you have written. What I like most is how you put the Power Women first, and show how they have found the courage within themselves to change attitudes. I think you have a gift for this kind of work and are a good communicator so I do wish you luck for the next stage. I also like the FB page you helped set up

With very best wishes,

Fiona

Fiona McKenzie

Dear Hmagnussen,

Thank you for your input! It is excellent advice, and having been on the ground to observe different tactics in person, it makes you a wonderful resource of insight. Skype is such a wonderful tool.. I live in Portland and was able to attend a World Pulse meetup in which we skyped with women activists in in India. It was so inspiring. I also read Half the Sky, which began my interests in championing women's empowerment. Are you still living in Kenya? How did you come about that opportunity, and/or have you found ways to meaningfully participate in this global movement from your home in the US?

Sincerely, your sister, Grace

Hello Heather!

Thanks so much for your piece and for your ability to articulate the challenge of lack of awareness about the internet's power as well as lack of access to it. It's hard for anyone to be motivated by something new or different if she doesn't understand how its presence can benefit her life.

I like how you point to the specific examples of Skype and Facebook since these tools can have immediate and positive connecting power! I think we all need tools that can help us in the short term as well as the long term. It's my hunch that if women experience success with Skype or social media that they can build confidence that will provide motivation for further learning.

I too have discovered your blog and wish you much success with your job search and pursuits to empower women around the globe!

Best wishes from an American sister on the west coast, Kristie

I am in tears reading all these comments and know how much people I don't even know support all the different things I believe in. I am even more touched that people went out and read my blog and has encouraged me to go back to writing. These comments give me the support I need to keep going even when obsticles seem impossible to over come. I am going to work with the women in Kenya to see if I can get them to write on this website from their perspective. I do not live in Kenya anymore but I am still in touch with the women in Kenya. I discovered this particular group of women when I volunteered with International Volunteer Headquarters in June.

Currently I am working with my local cable station to promote women empowerment events. Tonight we are holding a free Zumba class that we will tape and send the video to Kenya. The women want to exercise and dance because they feel this helps them keep going physically and emotionally. From this event I am hoping to start a campaign "I choose to" or "The choice to...." and have other feel in the blank as to what they are choosing to do to empower others. Because everyone has a choice in life and with that choice they can make the world a better place.