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India: Women Empowerment and Videoblogging

This post is part of our special coverage Global Development 2011.

WAVEWomen Aloud Videoblogging for Empowerment (WAVE) is a platform and program aiming to get women from semi-urban areas of India to voice their opinions on topics that matter to them through online video tools.

WAVE's tagline reads: “30 women, 30 regions, videoblogging every day”, and indeed, there are many different videos on the site covering a wide range of topics from what seems to be every region in India.  The women who participate were chosen by universities or NGO's to be a part of a 9 month mentorship program where they were provided with training, equipment and a stipend in exchange for their videos.

WAVE’s philosophy is that young women in India need to be heard and encouraged to analyze the problems in their communities and go on to become leaders who provide effective solutions in order for society to become socially and economically empowered.

Twenty-four year old Chinju Prakash from Trivandrum, Kerala works for SPACE, an NGO developing and delivering programs in New Media and Information Communication Technology. In one of her videos she shows us the Kalavara, a canteen run exclusively by women and we get to hear what the experience has been like for these women who are now able to make a living for themselves.

Preeti Jain is a 27 year old from Bilaspur, Chattisgarh. Through her videos she aims to focus on an indigenous community of Chattisgarh to raise awareness about their issues. In this next video, she focuses on their odd customs for arranging marriages: departing from the norm in India, the young men of the Baiga tribe meet and choose their wife during social events such as dances, and then let their parents know.

Salam Babina Devi is from Imphal, Manipur and volunteers full time at a grassroots organization dealing with women and child development. Her videos focus on cultural aspects of Manipur, like this next example on dance:

In Manipur every significant social and religious event is celebrated with its special form of dance. Here are glimpses of tribal, folk and classical dances from the hills and valley of an ancient land.

Visit WAVE for more stories and videos from women from different corners of the country.

This post is part of our special coverage Global Development 2011.

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