Gender & ICTs
Beirut's girl geeks aim to close tech gender gap
04 August 2011
The Express Tribune has named 5 Take Back the Tech! campaigners as among the most influential “Twitterati” in Pakistan. Thanks to the MDG3 funding, these women are using ICTs to raise the visibility of violence against women on and offline.
Raahnuma.org was one of the winners of the Take Back the Tech! Fund. They provide support and resources for anyone who is suffering abuse, including where they can find medical, psychological and legal help.
The first time she was sexually abused, she was 14 years old. She broke into tears while telling me her story. I met this girl at the “Take Back The Tech” event, in Peshawar, where she came to me after my session on sexual harassment and cyber legislation.
Denouncing sexual abuse in Pakistan is a risky move. But after over six years of abuse by her biological father, a young woman who attended an APC Take Back the Tech! workshop in Peshawar could contain herself no more.
APC’s two-year research into sexuality and the internet reveals that contrary to popular opinion sexuality online is about much more than porn. As the EroTICs research is about to publish its complete findings next month, experts Clarissa Smith, Katharine Sarikakis and Pramada Menon critique.
The EroTICs research team in Brazil studied the complex relationship between sexual minorities and internet policy. Their findings show that these groups were routinely ignored in debates surrounding internet regulation.
For years sexual rights activists in repressive societies have been using the internet as a means to communicate, organise and express their sexuality without fear of persecution. Thanks to EroTICs, this vibrant ecosystem of human connections is being studied for the first time.
Controlling — or filtering — what people can and can’t see online related to sex however well intentioned can have a profoundly negative impact. Censorship affects not only sexual expression but blocks access to sexual education and important movement-building tools for LGBTI activists.