“One of the strongest tools a young woman can have is her cell phone” said Executive Director of Global Girl Media, Amie Williams.
Last week I was a facilitator for Global Girl Media’s Como Amar/How to Love webisode series on reproductive rights Press Conference at the Feminist Majority Foundation in Beverly Hills, California, when I heard this. Just when I thought we were wrapping up this press conference, Amie surprised me with these mind-provoking words. I imagined the countless viewers of 600 million adolescent girls living in developing countries and how their lives can be exposed if only they had an iPhone. Countless pictures, videos, blogs, vblogs and posts from their everyday lives, vastly exposed to the world, at the touch of a button.
This is what most excites me about Web 2.0 – the potential it has to achieve solutions for today’s global women’s empowerment movement.
In all global women’s empowerment movement – or any movement in general - whether it be to end child marriage or educate girls, almost all its grassroots movement includes raising awareness. No rocket science here right? It’s obvious that in order for our voices to be heard we need an audience and that’s why we need to raise awareness about our issues dear to us. But just how do we go about doing that?
This is where Web 2.0 comes to place.
By giving the average citizen the opportunity to participate in the creation and consumption of content and be able to interact with people online is already raising awareness and getting our voice across.
Once people hear about the battles we are trying to tackle for today’s global women’s empowerment movement then come fundraising, tools and people to regenerate the raising awareness process. This creates a rippling effect needed to reach out to every woman and girl who needs help.
The role of Web 2.0 is to get the word out there and connect with others who are passionate as us – whether it is a girl living in rural Soweto, South Africa or inner city Los Angeles, California like me (my profile picture of Tebogo from South Africa and myself from USA depict this).
Web 2.0 is already providing me with the tools to not only empower myself but others surrounding me. As a Global Girl Media reporter I underwent an intense media training program where I was taught how to handle camera equipment, edit and produce short stories, blog, conduct interviews and even gained an international understanding of women in the media as I worked with Global Girl Media reporter from South Africa named Tebogo. Together we reported on the International Women’s Media Federation Conference in late March 2011. Since then I knew the tools that Web 2.0 provides can empower everyone at my reach.
And to think all this empowerment can happen at the touch of a button.Voices of Our Future Application: Empowerment and Web 2.0