Within days of her highly visible and publicised speech, Emma Watson became the subject and target of violence. The threat and reality of using women’s sexualised bodies as weapons to humiliate them, shut them up or blackmail them into submission are increasingly prevalent expressions of violence against women online. Jac sm Kee, APC´s Women´s Rights Programme manager, shares her insights on the emerging reactions, and also criticises the framing of the UN #HeForShe campaign, as it seems to position women as passive subjects needing to be rescued.
On 1 September 2014, APC, Tactical Tech and Web Foundation brought together over 150 techies, human rights defenders and rights activists in Istanbul to attend the ninth Internet Governance Forum to a peer-learning event called Disco-tech.
On 8 June during the APC Member Meeting in Barcelona, Spain, our organisational members elected a new board of directors for the next three years. APC is proud to have a board on which the majority of directors are women and based in the global South.
I was shocked and terrified when I received the above comment in reply to my Facebook status. And it didn’t stop there. The person also sent me a private message on Facebook threatening to rape me. No, this was not a random person I befriended on Facebook.
Over the years, APC’s Women’s Rights Programme (WRP) has actively participated at the Internet Governance Forum in order to raise questions, issues and linkages between feminism and the internet. The participation of gender advocates in this space has grown every year and this year’s WRP delegation included 23 feminist and queer activists from diverse countries, in addition to many feminist allies from across the four sectors of internet governance. Here is a list of gender and sexuality events that took place at the 2014 IGF in Turkey.
Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition alarmed at reports of violence against Leyla Yunus in prison
The Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRD IC), of which APC is a member, is alarmed at reports of violence against Leyla Yunus in prison. Yunus has been in jail since 30 July, when she was arrested on trumped-up charges of treason and other crimes. The WHRD IC requests the transfer of Yunus’s violent cellmate to another cell and an immediate and transparent investigation into the above-mentioned assault, as well as calling for Yunus’s immediate and unconditional release. The coalition is also demanding that she be urgently provided with any medical attention she may require.
APC and other member organisations of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition sent a statement to the UN Human Rights Council’s 27th session to address the fact that women human rights defenders (WHRDs) are targeted for murder, kidnapping, torture, rape and harassment because of who they are and because of the work they do worldwide. As the Council strengthens its work on women generally, the statement notes the critical need to integrate analysis and reporting on WHRDs who demand protection, respect and fulfillment of all human rights.
ISHR makes this statement on behalf of members of the Women Human Rights Defender International Coalition, an international network of women’s rights, human rights and sexual rights organizations. We address this simple fact: in the global North and South alike, women human rights defenders are targeted for murder, kidnapping, torture, rape, and harassment because of who we are and because of the work we do. As the Council strengthens its work on women generally, we note the critical need to integrate analysis and reporting on women human rights defenders who demand protection, respect and fulfillment of all human rights.
APC endorses statement submitted by Human Rights Watch at the 27th Session of the UN Human Rights Council on 11 September 2014.