by Jasmine Davis
When women have access to the Internet, they have access to millions of articles, videos, stories, friends and more. Bringing women around the world online gives them a chance to learn and interact with the world beyond their immediate area. While women in some countries have the ability and means to travel the globe, others aren’t so lucky. That’s where the Internet comes in. Learning about and meeting people from countries helps expand your world.
When women get online, it also does more than let them passively absorb content. They can create and interact and build new worlds together. Female empowerment begins with doing - whether that’s through independent filmmaking, writing articles online or even commenting on blog posts. When you create, you’re showing that you have a unique and independent point of view.
Sites like Women’s Annex offer women around the world the chance to show off their creativity and brilliance. Women like online filmmaker Lisa Stock are able to display their creations and get feedback from around the world.
Of course, the Internet does more than just allow women to showcase their talents. They can make money from their creativity through online film distribution and other means. Afghan girls who might not otherwise be able to have a career are suddenly able to bring in money from writing or filmmaking. Online scholarship platforms, like Examer’s social media testing program, give women the chance to get money for their schooling.
As I wrote about last week, when women gain economic power, societies do better. Female empowerment happens as a result of these online interactions. Social media helps spread the word about what’s happening, and the cycle is strengthened. People start paying attention. It becomes about more than just one person typing at a computer. Suddenly, there’s a community based around female empowerment - all because somebody thought to connect these women to the Internet.
Women in Afghanistan and countries all over the world are experiencing this firsthand. Programs like the Afghan Development Project are putting computers and Internet access into the hands of more Afghani women than ever. More and more women are making films, writing blogs and joining our community of creators and commenters. Female empowerment isn’t some distant goal - it’s here, right now!