Empowering Women in the Age of Tech
More than a decade ago, feminist blogger Jessica Valentina1 already predicted that the next wave of feminism will no longer involve bra burning on the streets but take place online. And she was right.
Online is where conversations about women’s concerns mostly take place. This is where women and young girls speak up and raise awareness on certain issues, call the attention of the public, and invite people to their causes. Other women’s rights movements are conceived online, including the Eff Your Beauty Standards, Me Too, and Time’s Up hashtags. Sometimes, people use social media to promote street protests, such as the One Billion Rising movement.
With its ability to connect people, the internet has made women empowerment more accessible. People, regardless of gender, have access to information and source materials to educate themselves on the plight of women and young girls. They now also have different platforms where they can voice out their beliefs and advocacies.
The accessibility of online spaces also helped amplify the voices of two of the youngest and staunchest icons of our time: 17-year-old Swedish environmental champion Greta Thunberg and Pakistani activist for female education Malala Yousafzai, who also holds the distinction of being the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. The digital space allows these women to make their voices resonate around the world, for them and for the future generation of females.
But there’s more to tech than being a protest medium. Technology also unlocks innovation to today’s societal challenges. Using their mobile phones, everyone can maintain a savings account, which builds financial literacy. Pregnant women in rural areas also stay connected to a midwife and get maternal care advice through smartphones. Working moms can perform their professional duties remotely from home while taking care of their family.
Girls can now acquire knowhow and training in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) via online education facilities. Information technology lessons, computer classes, and other confidence- and skill-building courses empower young girls to excel in fields that were once only offered to men.
Technology has the power to blur the lines that divide men and women. By investing in technology and digital solutions that build women’s tech prowess, more women will be able to come out of their shell and contribute to a better society for all.
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