Video: Virtual Activism, Real Change: Women & Democratic Transition in the Middle East

WLP President Mahnaz Afkhami discusses the intersection of women, democratic transition, and technology, focusing on the current context of the Middle East, at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Conference, "Internet and democratic change - Net activism, empowerment and emancipation," October 26, 2011 from 11:30-12:10 GMT, followed by discussions on specific MENA countries, and closing remarks by Sweden's Secretary of State, Hanna Hellquist. 

 

Recent events in the Middle East/North Africa region have demonstrated how the use of technology has impacted every aspect of life and has become a driver of change across the world. Dissidents have used texting to mobilize demonstrations. Citizen journalists have documented events and sent images and news items abroad to mobilize international public opinion. Twitter has been used to send alerts on street harassment of women and location of shelters for victims of violence.

 

Learning portals and special web sites have been created to provide a space where young men and women can discuss democratic processes and best practices. Among the other questions, we need to consider how do we further empower women in the Global South to make more expanded use of technology to gain knowledge, experience, and to develop networks of solidarity and how to eliminate the gender gap in the use of technology in the Global South.

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