Gender & ICTs
In one of Colombia’s war-torn areas, women are documenting their testimonies of violence and creating short radio programmes about their life and experiences; meanwhile, in Bogotá’s urban areas, displaced women are learning how to conduct online awareness campaigns about violence against women; and members of the lesbian, gay and transgendered community are using web2.0 to advocate for peaceful, non-violent relationships. The Take Back the Tech! Fund will sponsor eight organisations that work with women and ICT to help put an end to violence against women.
As part of its work on the third millennium development goal to end violence against women (VAW), the APC women’s programme is giving out seed grants to grass roots organisations in 12 countries. South African partner and coordinator Women’sNet is implementing the small grants and distributing them to four innovative projects that are as varied as the communities they will be working in. From working with rural paralegal offices to improve service delivery by the criminal justice system, to teaching young black lesbians to use tech to speak out and document incidences of violence against them, to teaching young women in townships to become watch dogs on violence against women, to video diaries for survivors of violence.
Five different organisations in the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) are receiving small grants as part of the APC Women’s programme’s – Take Back the Tech! to fight violence against women project. Female students, women and girls who have survived violence and abuse will learn how to use different technologies to signal cases of abuse, build awareness around their experiences and help support others victims. Read more about these innovative projects, which will be taking place until March 2011.
Seed grants of $5000 USD are being disbursed to four Mexican non governmental organisations to help end violence against women. The projects work with women and girls from as young as fourteen in Mexico City, Morelos and indigenous communities in Oaxaca. The four projects, which were selected from over 50 applicants, will make videos using cell phones, podcasts and blogs.
When Espacios de la Mujer which runs three day women´s centres for victims of violence on the outskirts of Buenos Aires first became involved in APC’s Take Back the Tech! Campaign last year they confessed to having no idea about ICTs or what value they could have. And they made mistakes including trying to teach their staff how to use a computer using one computer and a projector! However as they got involved with ICTs they began to see how the training started to get women at the three refuges talking to each other and reviewing and strengthening their identity and mission. Now they are using their Take Back the Tech! Fund to produce their website for use by other local activists working in the community who need to know more about violence prevention and treatment of victims. Read about the other Argentinian fund winners.
In Brazil’s major centres Recife/Pernambuco, Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo women who have been victims of violence will receive ICT training through a seed grant programme set up by the APC’s Women’s Networking Support Programme (WNSP) as a part of it’s work on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG3): Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women. Seed grants of about 2800 US dollars will be distributed to grassroots women’s organisations in Brazil who are using technology to end violence against women. The six winning organisations vary from legal groups, to black women’s groups, to lesbian and graffiti groups through virtual libraries, videos, radio and other means.
An unlikely, but real conversation that took place between a .xxx domain representative (which is exclusively for pornographic sites) and a feminist; the consequences of having a .gay domain; and thoughts about privacy on the internet from a victim of violence. These are some of the topics you can read about in the GenderIT.org blog from the APC team, that was blogging from the fifth Internet Governance Forum, the UN international arena to debate the internet.
In a workshop organised by the APC’s women’s programme during this year’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF), one of the panellists took off his tie as he began to speak. As an unmistakeable element of IGF culture, the suits worn by government and corporate representatives are a subtle reflection of scant will to discuss issues that affect women from their perspective. The presence of young women activists in this year’s IGF from India, South Africa, Brazil and the Congo, tweeting and blogging with humour and enthusiasm about issues like security, freedom of speech, pornography, social rights and other IG issues presented at the forum, were a stark contrast to the presence of so many suit-clad, middle-aged men. Photo by
I am writing these words from the world capital of rape. I’m not the one who named it that way, but Margot Wallström, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations, with regard to violence against women. So you understand, I am in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a country where women face the cruelest and most brutal violence in the world.
Lalaine P. Viado shares insights on indicators of violence against women from a workshop geared towards strengthening information and knowledge sharing around VAW, where the APC WNSP was invited to talk about http://takebackthetech.net. Recognising that official data can only be as good as governments’ understanding of VAW, the workshop was held to help build international indicators.