Gender & ICTs
From 19 to 22 March 2013 Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) met in Istanbul for a Training of Trainers workshop on digital security. Participants were selected by the WHRD International Coalition. With increasing online threats to the freedom of expression and association and because they are women, WHRDs face many unique threats online that can hinder their activism.
‘The internet is an unregulated space where you can connect to other people… It is a new frontier, it is a new imagination that makes things possible… It is this space that is so central to our existence and being.’ – Jac sm Kee, APC Women´s Rights Programme
How does the relationship between sexuality and the internet play out in different countries? What does this mean for sexual rights?
The 57th Commission on the Status of Women took place from 4 to 15 March 2013 at United Nations Headquarters under the theme “Elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and girls.” Setting a milestone for internet and women’s rights, this year’s conclusions include a paragraph on violence against women related to information and communication technologies.
Banned: advertisements promoting sex-selection on Google, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo.
Banned: searches from India with the words ‘sex’ or ‘sexual’ on Microsoft Bing.
Banned: porn cartoon Savita Bhabhi, depicting the sexual exploits of a married Indian woman.
The discourse of censorship is well-known to most people, as India’s right-wing moral brigades routinely flock to the streets to
So you’ve got proper online security, strong passwords, and great software all good to go. But are there other kinds of threats you may face online? What about abuse, verbal violence and harassment that no firewall or plug-in can prevent?
‘I faced sexual harassment and it was published in [a prominent newspaper], and then it was put up on the internet.
Last month, Cambodia-based APC member Open Institute organised a training for students from several local academic institutions in Khmer, covering a wide range of tools like social networking for citizen journalists and FLOSS, or free and open source software. The training’s focus was to build capacity in using ICTs to promote gender equality.
Do you know how to use your web browser in a secure manner? What is the benefit of adding that “s” after http? Are you aware of the security features on the email you use? What sensitive data do you keep about you or your community, and what would people have access to if your computer, laptop or mobile phone was stolen?
A password is your first line of defence – for your computer, email, and information. So firstly, make sure your computer is password protected (under the ‘admin’ account option), so your prying brother doesn’t get his hands on that flyer for the new weekly queer event. Or those letters from your lover.
Imagine the life of an Indian gender or sexuality rights activist. What work do they do? Who do they interact with? What threats do they face? Here are some snapshots (created by participants).
Read more in GenderIT.org .
The internet is an important part of many of our daily lives, work and activism – but how many of us actually understand what it is?