Women in community networks in Latin America: The story of Belem

This comic is inspired by the interviews I conducted with seven women who work with community networks in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil. I wanted to capture our experiences working as women in CNs in Latin America in the form of an illustration which collects all of our stories. I imagined Belem as a figure who brings a 'balance' to the stories shared with me and with the limited contexts that I am able to imagine.

All of the women spoke of difficult days, days of relief, and days when letting things flow was the great learning. Only one woman continued her work in the field, considering it an essential service. All eight women continued their work in isolation. At least four of them questioned the impact of simply providing internet access and six of the eight women cited the local content network as the great potential of community networks. Five of them were sorry they could not do more about community connectivity. Five of them reported overload on the sum of jobs in and out of home.

The interviews had several formats, online meetings, audios or texts, but all the stories brought me the warmth of knowing that we are not alone.

Continue reading at GenderIT.org.

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