Gender & ICTs
Women survivors of domestic violence in Pakistan have long endured twofold abuse – not only at home but by a government that does not protect them. In 2009 there was hope the government would step up to protect women from domestic violence – the National Assembly passed the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill, but the bill expired after the Senate failed to pass it. However, a Pakistani women’s rights organisation is working to reintroduce the bill in parliament – through the use of information and communication technology, and after training from APC.
From radio dramas by a student theatre collective, to an sms helpline for migrant Filipinas working abroad, to web-based technology to help victims of violence in ex US military bases, five 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.
APC’s ‘What can you do to end violence against women? Take Back The Tech!’ video is the featured video on the United Nations’ Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign this week.
“Her story might have daunted me but her strength and courage overwhelmed and even empowered me … I was impressed by how she had taken the bold step of coming forward, taking her life in control and deciding what was best for her,” said Sana Masood in a digital story she created about an acid attack survivor at an APC Feminist Tech Exchange workshop in Pakistan, and which recently won an award in the International Red Cross’ “Young Reporter” competition.
Inter Press Service (IPS), Manila, Philippines
Filipino women fight assault over internet
06 January 2011
One of our APC staff spotted a Take Back the Tech! bumper sticker on the back of a taxi in Johannesburg earlier this month during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence. Word about the campaign certainly got around!
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As part of APC’s MDG3: Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women campaign, international news agency IPS has partnered with APC to report on the intersection of ICTs and violence against women around the world. In these three articles, IPS reports on how women are targeted for cyber crimes in Pakistan, are using technology to build self-esteem in Argentina, and are experiencing greater gender-based violence due to an increase in ICT use in Uganda.
“Abuse seems to follow me, wherever I go.” A woman speaks of the sexual abuse she experienced as a child in her digital story called The Goddess.
Pakistani women are jump starting their ICT knowledge through the use of ressource data bases and platforms for violence against women (VAW), that will allow women who have and are experiencing violence to access help. Survivors of VAW are learning to tell their stories in digital format to share their stories with others, heal and become more empowered through the process. The funds which are helping these projects get off the ground are a part of the APC Women’s Networking Support Programme’s Take Back the Tech! to end violence against women campaign, as part of its work on the third millennium development goal (MDG3) on equality for women. In Pakistan, the campaign is being spearheaded by BytesforAll and the Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA).