International Women’s Day

Mic Check with Anna Oloshuro Okaro

One of the best things about my job is that I get to attend all kinds of events where I get to listen to (and sometimes interview) some really interesting people.  A couple of years ago I started the “Focus” series where I get off-the-cuff video footage of speeches, press conferences, live events and interviews I collect when I am out and about with my camera.  Today I am launching the “Mic Check” series to be a complementary audio version of “Focus.” I am doing this because of the high demand from my fans mainly in the developing world who don’t have easy access to video and have told me audio is better.  I hope “Focus” and “Mic Check” will continue to serve my mission of advancing social justice through media and technology.

My first “Mic Check” is with Anna Oloshuro Okaro (above), a Maasai farmer from Tanzania and women’s rights activist who was the keynote speaker at Oxfam America’s International Women’s Day celebration March 10, 2012. She was recently awarded Oxfam Women’s Leadership Award in Washington D.C. for her advocacy work on women’s issues and poverty.  Okaro talks in her speech about the food security crisis around the world.

Okaro has an interesting life story.  After a devastating divorce that left her broke, she fought against cultural norms to not only rebuild her life, but to also advocate for women in her community to have better access to education and the right to own livestock and land.  She even helped to build a computer center with a mobile recharger powered by solar panels.

Note: This recording is in Kiswahili with English translation.

Women, Technology & the Digital Caste System

While many attendees at the Mobile World Congress have focused mainly on all the latest and greatest mobile tools, a discussion that has gone largely under the radar is the so-called “digital caste system.”  Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt said in his keynote before MWC12 that for the “aspiring majority” of five out of seven billion global citizens, “the web is still a scarce resource.”

“For most people the digital revolution has not arrived yet. Every revolution begins with a small group of people. Imagine how much better it would be with another five billion people online,” he said.  “Smartphones are part of the solution, but having a smartphone is not enough to get you online.”

Read the full article here