Gender & ICTs
The Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) capital city of Kinshasa, dubbed the “capital of rape” by the UN special rapporteur Margot Wallström, is a city fraught with violence and remnants of a war-regime. But women in the city are taking charge of their lives and demanding for more security, more services to help women survivors of violence, and an end to the impunity for those who rape, torture and kill women. Si jeunesse savait, a local organisation that works with youth and women in the DRC will be training four organisations in the use of ICTs to help prevent further atrocities and end violence against women (VAW). Seed grants of 5000 US each will go to four organisations, to support their work to end violence against women. The grants are being distributed by the APC’s Women’s Networking Support Programme (WNSP) as part of its Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women project, which addresses the third millennium development goal, violence against women.
After Maria Rocha attended an APC Feminist Tech Exchange she set up a Facebook profile for Primorosa Preciosura – her organisation’s “safe house” for people of diverse sexualities. She didn´t really know what the benefits might be but wanted to try out some of the skills she had learned at the workshop. Months later she was at the United Nations in New York representing lesbian and trans women from the heartland of Argentina’s conservative Catholic North.
Women in Uganda’s rural areas will learn about domestic violence against women through the use of different ICT tools to build awareness around the issue, but they will also learn to report and prevent it – and the mobile phone will be playing a big part in their campaigns – from frontline SMS, to around-the-clock hotlines. Other tools being used include web 2.0 and online publishing tools, as well as radio. Four organisations that work with women and ICTs are being awarded with small grants to implement these projects through the APC Women’s Networking Support Programme’s (WNSP) Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women project, which targets the third Millennium development goal on equality for women.
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.