This year, the UN put forward a theme for their annual major gathering on women’s human rights: access and participation of women and girls in education, training, science and technology. That got us thinking.
As an organization, MADRE was founded on the model of close partnership and communication with grassroots women’s organizations around the world. Over the years, technology has allowed us to expand and deepen this founding principle by facilitating easier, faster and cheaper communication with our partners.
With the aid of technology, we can video chat with women on other continents with the click of a button. We can help introduce grassroots women leaders to online audiences and increase support for their work through the use social networking sites. And we can stay in constant contact through the ever-expanding world of email and mobile technologies.
Such close communication has always been at the heart of MADRE’s work, but new technologies have undeniably aided us in deepening these connections, in responding more quickly to the priorities of our partners and in widening our supporter base.
But even as new communications technologies have enabled MADRE and many of our sister organizations to amplify our voices and accelerate our work, we cannot forget the question of access. For many, technologies like a reliable internet connection or a working computer are still luxuries not available to all.
We recognize the need to expand access to technology so that all women and their families can reap these benefits. We know that women are the engine of change, and technology can serve as an integral tool to realizing this change. As technology constantly improves, people’s capacity to use technology to secure women’s human rights around the world must improve as well.