“Cyberela” bridges digital divide

ceminaAs activists around the world celebrated International Women’s Day this week, this is a great opportunity to highlight the progress and barriers women and girls still face around the world. In the tech world, women are still disproportionately affected by the digital divide – the lack of economic and educational opportunities to access the Internet and other communication tools. However, there are many organizations around the world that are charged to close the gap. One group is using new media along with radio to do this.

Brazilian nonprofit Communication, Education and Information on Gender (CEMINA) was founded in 1988 to educate poor women how to create and produce their own radio shows. The organization also works with local community radio stations across Brazil to run “telecenters,” where both women and men can learn various Internet tools. In 1999 CEMINA started “Cyberela,” an initiative that identifies enterprising women to create their own radio programming and upload them online. The radio programs are geared towards other women in their communities who feel empowered by the discussion topics such as education, agriculture and health care, which give way to spark action.

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