What’s the deal with Facebook’s new ‘Women Connect’ campaign?

WomenConnectLogo

Hmmm, dear Feministing readers, how do we feel about this?

Facebook recently released an application called “Women Connect” to raise awareness and promote women’s causes worldwide. According to Facebook, the application is part of their “Diversity campaign” and is meant to be “an online platform for organizations and causes to connect and share information with supporters about issues of gender equality and women’s empowerment.”
This sounds all good, but it’s also a bit vague! So what does it do?
As an app it has several functions, many of which on their face seem pretty useful and positive. The main page displays a kind of counter module that makes connections between organizations and related causes. It also has “like” buttons for other Facebook pages that promote women’s issues. (It’s currently highlighting some cool but notably generic and uncontroversial organizations/campaigns like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Women for Women International, and the ONE Campaign.)
Facebook is even framing their creation of this app as “contributing to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)“, linking the Women Connect application to MDG Pledges, a website encouraging people to make pledges that support the MDGs. As Eesha wrote so eloquently yesterday, this is important because investing in women is really crucial for global development! But, as she also pointed out, things can get tricky when global corporations get involved in the business of development.
I think the new campaign has a lot of potential an am interested in seeing how it unfolds, and if it is able to be successfully incorporated into folks’ everyday Facebook experiences.
What do you think? Will this app help raise the visibility of women’s issues on the world’s largest and most influential social media platform? Can you see yourself using this app to really connect with other women, organizations, or issues that are important to you as a feminist? Do you already use Facebook to do that in other ways, and if so will this app help you do that in a better or more engaged way?
Go visit the Women Connect page on Facebook, and then come back and dish about it in the comments section!

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is a writer and advocate focusing on race, gender, and sexual and reproductive rights. In addition to her work at Feministing, Lori is an Associate Director at Planned Parenthood Global. Lori has previously worked at the United Nations Foundation, the International Women’s Health Coalition, and Human Rights Watch, and has written for a host of print and digital properties including Rookie Magazine, The Grio, and the New York Times Magazine. She regularly appears on radio and television, and has spoken at college campuses across the U.S. about topics like the politics of black hair, transnational movement building, and the undercover feminism of Nicki Minaj. In 2014, she was named to The Root 100 list of the nation's most influential African Americans, and to the Forbes Magazine list of the "30 Under 30" successful people in media.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

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