Quiet Moments of an Advocate for Women and Women’s Rights….

Author's name: 
Lenlen Mesina
Philippines

An invitation to talk about online safety to young women and girls on a radio show came…

There I was preparing to make myself heard,

There I was trying to think through what information I can share about women, VAW and ICT

Then there I was, standing, listening, trying to understand what it is about ICT that I should know…

The language of violence against women and women’s rights is something I am very familiar with,
Protecting, promoting, fulfilling women’s rights became almost a second language to me…

I thought I can be helpful… my experience, knowledge, and advocacies on protecting, promoting and ensuring women’s rights will directly translate into how women can ensure online safety.

But NO…the online world, the internet and other new tools introduced in the age of information and communications technology have a different language.

Online safety and security is far more complicated than that of ensuring that an abused woman is in a safe place and space in a shelter or in a trusted person’s care.

While the show is on air and running…I felt very awkward,

The advocate in me became very quiet and silent…I became not the speaker but the listener.

I even asked myself, “why am I standing here?”…

“Why am I a part of the show when I could have learned more by listening while in the comfort of my home…?”

But what the heck, I was there to try to share what I know and what I understand,

But my quiet moments standing and looking at other resource person/s (hello cheekay!) became my time to listen and learn.

It became part of a process…I am not less of an advocate for women’s rights because I need to learn and understand more about the new technologies and various aspects of it.

I have resolved from that night onwards that I would like to become an advocate for women and women’s rights offline and online…

And, that would mean for me, I suppose a lot of quiet moments and listening time to study and understand how it goes in the online world.

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