[SPECIAL EDITION] Taking the girl's revolution online: Interview with Ghadeer Ahmed

Sat, 09/09/2017 - 06:28
Ghadeer Ahmed created Girl's Revolution on Twitter and Facebook a year after the revolution on Jan 25 2011 in Egypt. In this interview with Yara Sallam she traces the difficult and rewarding journey of talking about women's rights, body, sexuality, violence and harassment and sharing this with many other women and girls online.

Photograph from Girl's Revolution Facebook Page against the ban on wearing skirts in Saudi Arabia

Yara Sallam: How did the idea for the “Girls Revolution” Facebook page come about?

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[SPECIAL EDITION] Expert on my own Experience: Conversations with Neo Musangi

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 17:59
Neo Musangi is a performing and visual artist, academic and researcher. They are non-binary (preferred pronouns: they and them). In this interview Neo talks about various things - sexuality and gender based groups, the women’s movement and feminism, the role of visual and performing art and their disgruntlement with academia, being non binary openly and publicly both online and offline.

Source: Own work by Neo Musangi. Title: Manpower, installation

I begin my interview with trepidation. In my experience in India, trans, gender non-conforming, non binary and intersex people are wary of knowledge projects, and with good reason. There is a history of epistemic violence here - of being surveyed, written about and made into metaphors around fluidity of gender (and even sexuality) with a bare minimum of participation from those who are gender non conforming, non binary, trans or intersex.

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Debrahmanizing Online Sphere: On Larger Questions of Caste, Gender and Patriarchy

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 08:27
A powerful discourse around ‘digitally empowered society’ and ‘knowledge economy’ have been added to the neoliberal Indian vocabulary, while access to basic quality education, teachers, schools, infrastructure and so on are still major issues faced by the underprivileged in India. Identities are being formed around new interactive practices, particularly for young Dalit women. This article probes the ways in which caste, gender and ideology/practices of technology are interlinked in India.

Collage of campaign material from Dalit Women Fight, Savari, Documents of Dalit Discrimination and All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch

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Interview with Maggie Mapondera : A feminist internet must always be grounded offline

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 09:47
In this interview with Maggie Mapondera, she unpacks movement-building and the role of ICTs. Movements are built around shared stories and passions, and ICTs are one aspect of how momentum is built and sustained around a cause. Here Maggie Mapondera shows how women's stories are powerful and can potentially change the world, but we must listen with care and integrity.

Image of Maggie Mapondera

Maggie Hazvinei Mapondera is a Zimbabwe born hybrid feminist, perching at the intersection of grassroots feminism, feminist communication and movement building.

In this interview, Maggie reflects on the current status of technology and the internet in relation to the feminists movement building and women’s everyday organising and participation globally.

Koliwe Majama: Lets talk about your feminist activist journey. What is your passion and drive?

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Observing our Observers in the Age of Social Media

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 17:43
Kerieva Mccormick looks at how young Roma women and girls deal with, understand, and talk about violence and harassment faced by Roma people, online and offline. This article examines the double consciousness experienced by those who live with the reality of exclusion and discrimination even now in contemporary societies, and the ways in which younger generations navigate hostility and celebrate themselves and their resilience.

Mentoring resilience from a Romani feminist perspective.

The work Romani feminists have endeavoured to employ in various sites around the world serves to elicit answers to the question posed by W.E. B. DuBois in The Souls of Black Folk: “How does it feel to be a problem?" (DuBois [1903]1996: 3-4). 1

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An ongoing conversation on feminist autonomous infrastructure: Erika Smith and Kéfir

Wed, 08/02/2017 - 12:54
What began as a small fundraising drive in July 2017 for Kéfir, a feminist libre tech co-op, has transformed into exploring the importance of feminist infrastructure in Latin America. This is an ongoing conversation between Erika Smith, from Take Back the Tech and APC-WRP with members of the collective Kéfir on infrastructure and the internet, labour in movements, and how to set up new collectives that have to exist within and with economic, social and political hegemonies.

What began as a small fundraising drive in July 2017 or Kéfir, a feminist libre tech co-op, has transformed into exploring the importance of feminist infrastructure in Latin America. Tune into this ongoing conversation we will be nurturing here in the near future.

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Did Facebook finally figure out that consent is more important than nipples?

Wed, 05/03/2017 - 10:57
In April 2017 Facebook announced a new tool that will prevent an intimate image posted without consent from being shared further on Facebook, Messenger and Instagram. Erika Smith and Fungai Machirori go deep and debate the pros and cons of this proposed system, and how feminist-friendly and positive about alternate sexualities it is.

Republished from Take Back the Tech!

When you receive calls at all hours from women desperate to get intimate photos shared without consent taken offline, it’s a relief to hear about Facebook’s latest move to address the distribution of non-consensual intimate images. Finally!

Co-author:  Fungai Machirori

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Feminist autonomous infrastructure: Technomagical fires to warm your hearts

Wed, 03/29/2017 - 12:19
iff_lac.mp3 Page type:  In depth

If the flash link above does not display for you, you can listen to the same podcast on Soundcloud. Link below
Technomagical Fires to warm your hearts: IFF podcast

At the Internet Freedom Festival, Jac sm Kee interviews four amazing feminists from Latin America.

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Feminist autonomous infrastructure in the internet battlefield: From Zombies to Ninjas

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 14:49
The Distributed Denial of Women strike borrows the metaphor of the DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack as a radical and subversive tool by activists, but currently DDOS attacks powered by zombie-bots are part of the anarcho-capitalist economies of the internet. Ganesh in their article unpacks the many levels at which gendered labour is extracted, and while positing feminist autonomous infrastructures as an alternative, points to the flaws and the contradictions in the movement and civil society as well.

Guy Fawkes Mask Collage
Article triggered by Ganesh

«Stand up for women and non-binary people in tech.
Join the general strike on February 23, 2017.
Pledge to stay home from work, stay offline, and/or publicly protest.»

The Distributed Denial of Women (DDoW) strike is an international call in protest to unequal conditions of women and genderfluid/queer in technology.

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Educating, Hiring, and Retaining Women in Technology: A Gendered Enquiry

Wed, 02/22/2017 - 09:27
Research suggests that women are underrepresented at every level in technology(McKinsey survey, 2016). Why is this the case? And how do we educate, hire, and retain more women in it? In this article, Radhika Radhakrishnan highlights the underlying realities that women face in technology beyond just a numbers game, and offer insight to such questions by interviewing diverse, pioneering women working in various aspects of the field.

Educating Women in Technology

In India, there are gender barriers that uniquely prevent women from accessing technology right from an early age. From an intersectional perspective, such gender barriers overlap with economic, cultural, and class barriers for women from marginalized backgrounds. For women to be creators of technology and decision-makers, we need to first address such barriers so as to not be closed off within the same groups of women who are privileged enough to enter the field.

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Online privacy through a gendered lens in Bangladesh

Mon, 01/09/2017 - 14:07
The ever-growing advancement of information technology is not without perils. Online privacy has been at stake for a while now. Looking at online privacy through a gendered lens reveals that women are particularly vulnerable because of social, economic and cultural factors. Farhana Akhter looks at the specifics of the law and context in Bangladesh especially the increasing incidents of online violence, illegal surveillance along with legally sanctioned surveillance by the government.

Collage by Namita Aavriti

The ever-growing advancement of information technology is not without perils. Online privacy has been at stake for a while now and the protection of personal information is under attack. We no longer have control over our private data. It is now a commodity up for sale to the highest bidders. And a repository for the state actors who are suspiciously going through it to determine if we can be trusted! Is your privacy more important or national security? This has become one of the most crucial questions since 9/11.

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Reshaping the Internet for Women

Tue, 12/27/2016 - 17:14
Even in 2015 the contribution by women to Wikipedia, one of the largest repositories online of organised knowledge about the world, had not reached 25% of the total. Most of the content online comes from the global North, specifically from white male contributors in North America. What needs to be done to ensure diversity, localisation and gender parity in content online? APCNews speaks to Anasuya Sengupta and Siko Bouterse from Whose Knowledge? project to find out more.

Image Source: Chippers in a Shipyard [Shipbuilding. Three Women Working], 1942, US National Archives.

A conversation with Wikimujeres on how to [edit] the internet to make it truly for, and from, us all

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Harnessing the Internet to Realise Labour Rights in Cambodia: Interview with Alexandra Demetrianova

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 11:44
Do internet campaigns work? This is what Alexandra Demetrianova reflects upon in her research for GISWatch about labour rights violations in garment factories of Cambodia. The internet has played a key role in the struggles of garment factory workers (mostly female) and trade unionists to demand for an increase in their minimum wage. It has also helped change consumer consciousness across the world. Some things cost more than we realise.

Image Source: World Bank Photo Collection on Flickr, under CC License Generic 2.0. Title: Cambodia’s Garment Industry

Do internet campaigns work? This is what Alexandra Demetrianova reflects upon in her research for GISWatch about labour rights violations in garment factories of Cambodia.

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Role of internet in realising sexual and reproductive rights in Uganda: Interview with Allana Kembabazi

Tue, 12/06/2016 - 10:12
In this interview, Allana Kembabazi of Initiative Social And Economic Rights in Uganda, talks about the role of the internet in advocacy and campaigns about high rates of maternal mortality in Uganda and sexual and reproductive rights. In a context where health care is far from sufficient, the internet also becomes an avenue for provision of sexual and reproductive health related information that is not easily accessible otherwise.

Mukono Health Center IV provides relatively better services and is usually crowded. Image Source: Report by Initiative for Social and Economic Rights on Monitoring the Right to Health

The Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) 2016 focuses on economic, social, cultural rights (ESCRs) and the link it has to the internet. Does the internet enable or disable the realisation of ESCRs?

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In Search of Allies: Interview with TBTT campaigners in India

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 16:03
In this set of interviews, Smita Vanniyar speaks to Japleen Pasricha of Feminism in India, and Divya Rajgopal of WhyHate. In separate ways, both these are projects of passion that find ways to reclaim technology for women and also others marginalised on account of gender non-conformity, sexuality, caste, religion and class. They discuss the pros and cons of anonymity, how to address online VAW and how to raise issues that are difficult and troublesome.

Image Source: Cartoon featuring character Karnika Kahen created by Kanika Mishra

In the current world, with so much of our lives online, it is important to remember that the negatives from the physical world also translate online. The patriarchal norms from the offline spaces also occur online. Violence against women and other gender and sexual minorities in an effort to silence them is a common occurrence.

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Technology as lingua franca: Interview with Caroline Tagny

Tue, 11/15/2016 - 00:04
A detailed conversation with activist and writer Caroline Tagny on the various campaigns that she has been part of with Take Back the Tech. The interviewer, Bianca Baldo, focuses on the politics of language in these various campaigns and the importance of content in local language to connect to and bring together people and movements. The role of French as both a language of the colonial oppressor and a common language in countries in West and Central Africa and parts of Canada has particularly played out in these campaigns.

Bianca Baldo: Bringing tech- related violence against women and girls to the table, through the Take Back the Tech Campaign, required numerous initiations and collaborations. Please describe how you became involved with the campaign?

Caroline Tagny: In 2007, I was working for the organisation Alternatives in Montreal when a few of us* started the Take Back the Tech campaign. At the time, I was responsible for coordinating the portfolios of the youth internship program and the ICT program.

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V for Vale: 10 year journey of TBTT! Campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Mon, 11/14/2016 - 16:38
Vale Pellizzer looks back at the 10 year journey of the TBTT campaign in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The campaign has taken various shapes in the complicated realities and social dynamics of this country. The fresh and young design of the campaign promised a new hope for reclaiming your agency for women and gender non-conforming people. In this interview Vale talks about the complexities of translating a global campaign to the local realities.

Initiated in 2006, the campaign Take Back the Tech! in Bosnia and Herzegovina has greatly contributed to raising awareness of how ICTs are connected to violence against women, and it has strengthened the ICT capacity of women’s rights advocates, while creating original and varied content. At the same time, BiH Take Back the Tech! and their campaigners have worked actively on building a community to strategize around eliminating violence against women through digital platforms.

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