Open Net Initiative-Asia: Gender Research Framework on Censorship & Surveillance Practices

APC and the women’s programme are taking a closer look at internet censorship and surveillance practices from a gender perspective, which takes into account its potential impact to women’s rights and realities and how gender considerations affect the development of research methodologies. In collaboration with APC WNSP member, Heike Jensen and the Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia, the project aims to develop a research framework that can be applicable not just to the project partners in Asia, but to future research initiatives that are looking into the area of online surveillance and censorship. The project will:

  1. Help develop an understanding of how gender are influencing and determining factors in the political, economic and social spheres where censorship and surveillance occur
  2. Raise specific questions and potential indicators for the participating Asian countries, based on how the project is applied in other regions and in global ONI publications.
  3. Build capacity of an ONI-Asia research network to further engage in research and advocacy work in this area that centralises gender considerations towards equality, protection of rights and democracy.
  4. Through interviews with women’s rights and communication rights advocates, review of existing literature on related policy and research and a feedback process with the ONI-Asia research partners, the first draft of the gender research framework has been developed. The framework is currently being reviewed through its implementation in the research of Malaysia. The research looks at censorship and surveillance practices as they impact on gender relations, and studies actors and their interest at the government level and within civil society. It also looks at gender related aspects in policy formulation while examining the social, political and economic impacts of those practices on gender relations. Research and advocacy plans have ended and will be implemented by the end of 2009.

    ONI-Asia is part of a larger Open Net Initiative project, a collaborative initiative that aims to investigate, expose and analyse internet filtering and surveillance practices in an un-biased way.

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