By APCNews 20 November 2015
The issue of technology-related violence against women and girls has reached the mainstream. Finally, media outlets are writing about it, state actors are debating it and internet platforms are exploring ways to address it. But the most important conversation is happening between women who engage with the internet and those who have faced such violence. The most valuable insights and ideas come from you.
Despite global attention, technology-related violence against women is still minimised and misunderstood. Discussions often focus on harassment and hate speech, rather than women’s autonomy, agency and safety. We see developers designing safety apps without consulting women who have experienced violence online or those who work with them. We see solutions that focus on concerns specific to one part of the world, rejecting the diversity of women’s experiences.
There are a multitude of stories and strategies that can have a real impact on policies and norms. We want to amplify the voices of women and girls who live in contexts deprioritised by social media platforms, who identify as queer and transgender, who don’t fit the media’s picture of the “ideal victim.” We want women and grrls shaping the conversation for each other and for decision-makers.
The best step we can take to counter violence against women is to share our knowledge with each other. For 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, get together, share your strategies and take back the tech!
- Share stories
We’ll be posting stories of strategies from different parts of the world on our website. Share the stories we’ve collected — and your own! Tweet @takebackthetech or map your story anonymously on our site. Keep in mind that people who do not support survivors may be watching our Twitter handle and hashtags. Here are some of our strategies for knowing what to expect, how to respond and how to stay safe.
- Organise offline
Online activism is always located in offline spaces. What does it mean to create safe spaces to discuss strategies for a broader space that is unsafe and insecure? Meet with your community to discuss the dynamics of tech-related violence and get strategising. Let us know about your action by contacting us at email@example.com or @takebackthetech.
- Transform tools
So many safety apps out there, how do you know what to choose? Use our reviewing tool (coming soon!) for yourself or with your group to determine what apps best respond to women’s real concerns. We’ll also crowdsource recommendations for app developers. Tweet
takebackthetech or write to ideastakebackthetech.net to contribute your insights.
- Chart the way forward
You’ve seen our digital safety roadmaps. Now make your own! Use our template (coming soon!) to create a roadmap that addresses experiences, strategies and resources specific to your community. Share them with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or tweeting @takebackthetech to let other women learn from your path.
Shape the narrative around violence against women. Share strategies and solutions to strengthen solidarity. Let’s raise our collective voice and take back the tech!