Global Voices is a partner of Blog Action Day 2013We talked to Maria Grabowski, who has been a contributor at Global Voices online since 2010 and been involved in Global Voices Blog Action Day participation for the last few years.  Global Voices have been a long term support of Blog  Action Day, visit their website out more about Global Voices and how you can support their work.

What is the mission of the Global Voices

Global Voices aggregates, curates, and amplifies the global conversation online – shining light on places and people, other media often ignore. We seek to build bridges across the gulfs that divide people, to understand each other more fully. We seek to work together more effectively, and act more powerfully.

What does Inequality mean to you and your colleagues at Global Voices?

Global voice started as an initiative to empower free speech all around the world – and the goal remains to empower people who value justice, equality and empathy. Therefore, I believe that fighting inequality is part our very DNA and considered in everything that we do.

What people, organisations, campaigns that tackle inequality do you find inspiring?

One of my personal favorites is HarassMap – a volunteer-based initiative with the mission of ending the social acceptability of sexual harassment and assault in Egypt. The HarassMap deployment acts as an advocacy, prevention, and response tool, highlighting the problem of harassment, as well as offering proactive responses. The HarassMap is based on user-generated content providing evidence from women themselves to pin the point. The tool gives women a way to anonymously report incidences of sexual harassment.

The online mapping is central to their impact, but is only a small part of the whole project. It is combined with on-the-ground activities, social media awareness and blogging campaigns against sexual harassment. It may not end gender-inequality in Egypt by itself, but it certainly provides a framework for change.

Global Voices is proud to partner with Blog Action DayDo you think that inequality can be overcome?

It can! Inequality isn’t something natural, it is created and maintained by people – and therefore it can be overcome by people as well.

What can ordinary people do to help overcome and stop inequality?
It of course depends on the type of inequality and your personal bandwidth, but my short answer would be to start on a micro level and then move to a macro level if you wish to do so. Start with yourself, then your friend, then your family, then your job – and then maybe your government. Gender inequality for example can mean many things, but it is often a question of traditions and habits. Question them every day – and seek arguments in advocacy groups if you need support.

What suggestions and ideas do you have for Blog Action Day participants that they can use in their posts on October 16.

  • Write a personal story on your personal blog. One of the good things about blogging is that it can help build bridges. It allows readers to better understand a part of the world that they may not have known before. In addition, by writing from personal experience it allows readers to see their community through a local perspective often not found in other types of media.
  • See if there is any local initiatives supporting Blog Action Day and find new inspiration in your local network. For example, a Danish NGO, Ibis, is supporting Blog Action Day this year, which might bring new brilliant bloggers from Denmark to the table.
  • Follow along the Blog Action Day campaign and link to other related blog posts as a way to collaborate and reference the campaign.
  • Why is Global Voices taking part in for Blog Action Day?

Because we think that, it is a brilliant initiative where you can share your views and let others inspire you. The whole idea of creating communities across the globe is right down our lane – and we experience every day how coming together can create powerful outputs.