This edition of GenderIT.org explores the online safety of women human rights defenders from the perspective of national security and counter-terrorism. While online & offline security measures adversely impact on women’s and sexual rights, women and sexual minorities are still two of the most invisible stakeholders in national security debates.
One of the first steps to address violence against women is documenting the problem. APC’s Connect Your Rights! Campaign has conducted a survey of 40 women human rights defenders from across Latin America, Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, on their online experiences, their security concerns and their training needs.
Earlier in October, APCNews crossed paths with three participants at the Africa Internet Governance Forum. Grace Githaiga of Kenya, Towela Nyirenda Jere of South Africa and Lillian Nalwoga of Uganda kindly agreed to provide perspectives on internet governance in Africa.
Recent acts of violence against teenage girls Amanda Todd and Malala Yousafzai have sparked discussion about the internet’s role in perpetuating violence against women. One of the ways APC has been working to end technology-based violence against women is through a new mapping project that will help document such cases.
It is not uncommon for women and girl techies to be patronised, harassed or discouraged by male colleagues. The @AsikanaNetwork is a group of women in technology who want to provide support for each other and help further their skills in a safe environment.
It’s short, but it matters. In no more words than a Twitter message, Brazil made many internet rights activists happy in September. It’s worth revisiting this message and putting in context.
This special edition of Global Information Society Watch 2011, “Internet rights and democratisation: focus on freedom of expression and association online” features updates from six countries on the state of internet rights and an introduction from the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Jillian York.
“South Africa has adopted some of the more problematic elements of the new post-9/11 surveillance regime, many of which have been authored in supposedly liberal democracies, while failing to incorporate key safeguards that may have been incorporated in these democracies,” says Jane Duncan in an interview for the forthcoming Global Information Society Watch.
“Unfortunately I hold a pessimistic view with regards to content regulation in Saudi Arabia. That said, I think a good starting point is demanding more transparency with regards to blocked content,” says Rafid Fatani in an interview related to a forthcoming report he wrote for the Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch 2011 Update I).
“Both the issues of human rights and the rights of internet expression are still in the margins of the mainstream political stage in Indonesia,” says Ferdiansyah Thajib in an interview related to a forthcoming report he wrote for the Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch 2011 Update I).
The International Partnership Group for Azerbaijan – of which APC is a member – has made a coalition submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review of Azerbaijan. The report, for which APC has contributed its expertise on “restrictions on freedom of expression online” is for consideration at the 16th session of the UN Human Rights Council’s working group in April/May 2013.
Women’s rights and tech activist Nighat Dad writes about the Taliban attack on 14-year old activist Malala Yousafzai, a young girl whom she had the privilege of working with and who has inspired her own work.
During three days at the end of September, the Colombian capital Bogota was host to the Latin American and the Caribbean fifth preparatory meeting for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). A tale from the Latin American and Caribbean preparatory meeting to the Internet Governance Forum.
On October 9, the Supreme Court of the Philippines will decide on the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. This cyberlaw has been contested from day one, after internet activists had pointed to truly problematic provisions incompatible with internet rights.
Since the outbreak of the Arab Spring in 2011, government has shown much desire to regulate the internet. The uprising in the Guba district in March 2012 has shown the pivotal role that social media can play in Azerbaijani political life, Vugar Gojayev told APCNews, in an interview for the forthcoming Global Information Society Watch report.
The media in Pakistan has been tardy to address threats to internet freedom – especially Urdu media. There is little to no coverage of internet rights violations and censorship the electronic media, Bytes for All told APCNews about in an interview for the forthcoming Global Information Society Watch report.
“The main issues that should be focused on in Argentina today are freedom of expression, access to information and free circulation of culture,” says Nodo TAU in an interview related to a forthcoming report they wrote for the Global Information Society Watch.
APCNews speaks to Jamie McClellan, director of member organisation May First/People Link about the political importance of using free and open sourse software.
It’s been a year of increasing debates about the internet and human rights among governments in the UN. Read this account of the main developments since 2011 and the challenges ahead.
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