Bring Back Our Girls has been a twitter phenomenon, capturing global attention on the 234 Nigerian school girls missing due to internal terrorist regimes. This horrendous incident occurred on the 15th April, taking a few weeks for awareness to capture the world. I became aware of this movement a week ago and have since actively followed, retweeted and researched the development of the #bringbackourgirls.
I personally support and participate in this online ‘clicktivism’ because being a young woman in the 21st century, I know and believe that education should be granted to all, regardless of race, religion, culture or gender. With the admiration of activist Malala Yousafzai and her powerful words “Let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons,” (Yousafzai, 2013)I hope to one day be an activist involved with human and especially women’s rights.
Clicktivism is the online activity of sharing, liking, commenting, retweeting information about a concern or cause, whereas activism is the physical act of doing something such as protesting. (thetrashlab, 2013) Despite the criticisms of clictivism being ‘slacktivists’, activism would not be possible without the online support of the clicktivists.
However, here I am, sitting at my computer screen, here in Australia, and not in Nigeria protesting and pressuring the government on a physical level. But does that mean that my support is insignificant? Despite the fact I may just be involved in the ‘clictivism,’ creating awareness is the biggest and most difficult step in order to make a difference. That’s why the involvement of high profile celebrities (as pictured below) furthermore perpetuates awareness and involvement.
Whilst I might not be able to make a physical contribution to the issue in Nigeria and I am absolutely privileged to have the freedom, rights and opportunities to attend university (which is even financially supported and encouraged by the government), I am able to fully appreciate and maximise the chances I have here in Australia. The youth of the world are the future, (Strauss, 2011) we have power and we have the ability to make change, whether it be online or in the real world.
Further Related Readings/Videos
Yousafzai, M 2013, ‘Our books and pens are the most powerful weapons’, transcript United Nations, The Guardian, 12 July, accessed 07/05/2014, http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/12/malala-yousafzai-united-nations-education-speech-text
thetrashlab, 2013 Slactivists vs. Activists (online video), 15 April, viewed 07/05/2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EQFKKJBjwE
Strauss, J 2011, Youth movement in a culture of hoplessness, Aljazeera, 8 October, accessed 07/05/2014, http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/spotlight/occupywallstreet/2011/10/2011107172820297149.html