Article by Suzy Newing, TeachUp! Communications Intern
Every year on March 8th, countries from around the world celebrate International Women's Day. IWD aims to celebrate the economic, political and social achievement of women from disperse areas of the globe, and to connect organizations, NGOs, women's groups, charities and powerful women in a spirit of recognition for the successes women have made and continue to make in the world today.
On this day, countries mobilize together to hold events that correspond to a particular theme that concerns women. This year, the themes range from connecting girls through ICT and helping them find the path to a bright future, ending violence against women, empowering rural women to end poverty and hunger, celebrating women's leadership and innovation, and encouraging women's success in the global workforce.
Since its inception in 2002, Digital Opportunity Trust has been committed to the cause of women around the world. Therefore, IWD is an immensely important day for the global DOT community as a whole. Whether we have been working towards empowering women through the knowledge of ICT, business, leadership and life skills in Africa and the Middle East or revolutionizing the way young girls learn and interact through technology in schools in the USA, Mexico and China, DOT has consistently sought to empower women, and create a global community of female leaders of change.
So far DOT has seen incredible success in its dedication to women, and has become a leader in transcending gender barriers, investing women with vital self-confidence and belief in their futures, empowering women to become active agents and leaders in today's technology driven global workforce through professional skill training, and connecting women from different areas of the world through ICT.
DOT USA is proud to be a part of this commitment to women, and to be connected to so many communities of strong, innovative, creative and influential women from around the world. Everyday our program operates with the skills and enthusiasm of hundreds of female Interns, teachers, and community members and we strive daily to engage and empower the future generation of women in Mississippi and Louisiana's schools through the use of innovative technological tools. We firmly believe that, with the crucial integration of technology in schools, the young girls of today can become the powerful women of tomorrow who will contribute towards creating a global workforce that celebrates equality, dynamism, innovation and progress.
Today we would also like to share what International Women's Day means to the DOT USA women and the importance of being connected to a global community of women through DOT.
Nuria Arias, Executive Director
"Having the opportunity to know and work with women around the world, I am so inspired to see how much creativity, innovation, and potential we have to make a real difference. I count myself lucky to be part of such a large network of women working together to better themselves, their communities, and the world. Technology continues to connect us, showing us that we are all working towards a change, a brighter tomorrow, and together, we can achieve it."
Asia Veal, TeachUp! Intern
"To go from, "It's a Man's World," to the way society is today and be able to look to other women and see that they are doing what they have set their mind to is very inspiring. For me to be able to reach out to women that ultimately have the same goals in life that I do, has helped me to understand that if there is a will, there is a way. I think it is a beautiful thing for us to be able to work together to achieve common goals."
Millicent Baker, TeachUp! Intern
"Throughout the years, I have met many women of different cultures through work, school, and social networks. Each one has managed to change my perspective on many different subjects, which has, in turn, helped form my outlook on my own future. I have learned the hardships in different countries as well as my own, whether they be educational or economical, and have found an interest in different causes because of this."
Devon Foucha, TeachUp! Intern
"As time and technology have progressed, it has not been uncommon to see people around the world use social media and other lines of global communication to connect, raise awareness, and create meaningful social and political change. Technology is a new and limitless tool in rallying support, initiating revolutions, and facilitating freedom. In the case of women, being connected has resulted in a global impact on the expectation of women's rights.
Unfortunately there are still so many places where women are not treated with equality in society or under the law. Injustice, abuse, and servitude comprise the daily lives of millions of women around the world, and for years, the global population was blind and unaware. As technology has progressed and people all over the planet became connected, however, the world stood shocked and dismayed at some of the injustices they saw. As a result, numerous women's rights groups and non-profit organizations have risen to the challenge to demand rights for all women. I can see where global connectivity has made a difference and helped save and improve the lives of women from all walks of life.
Though we all still face struggles of different kinds, I do see progress. Where there is not progress, there is at least awareness; and that is the first step in creating any lasting change. Seeing individuals strive to make a difference in the lives of people they'll never meet has allowed me to look into the future with hope, hope that someday no woman will stand alone."
Brittany Nicole Burks, TeachUp! Intern
"Making a difference in someone else's life is something I strive to do daily. With just one smile a person's day can change from terrible to incredible. With the use of technology I can send my smile out of the four walls surrounding me, across the gulf, and over the sea. Being globally connected to women around the world has made a huge difference in my outlook of the future because of the knowledge, lessons, and friendship that can be shared from person to person. Having live interaction and conversations with women who I might have never have gotten a chance to meet in person is so amazing because I no longer have to read about different cultures in books or encyclopedias. I can also help less fortunate communities in ways I could not have before by being able to understand their needs and asking what they want me to do. The gratefulness and the smiles that I see have the same global meaning, and that is how I know our future will just keep getting better and better."
Santrella Miller, TeachUp! Intern
"Being able to communicate with women around the world is an extremely rewarding opportunity! I have the chance to communicate with women all around the world who work in various careers and are making a difference. Being able to communicate with these women allows me to learn about different parts of our country and world, hear new perspectives and seek advice with situations I may be faced with in my career. Working with Digital Opportunity Trust, I am able to communicate with other female TeachUp! Interns if needed. This gives us a voice to influence the world. For example, through DOT, I can see what ideas and projects Carolyn Marks, a TeachUp! Intern, is currently working on in South Korea.
Through global connectivity, the future for women will be excellent. It gives women from all walks of life the ability to communicate and connect in ways not available to us just a few years ago. Being globally connected also gives women a voice in our communities, allowing us to give support and work towards bettering the world around us."