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[COLUMN] Sanitary Panels on facing threats online (COMIC)

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 07:21
Sanitary Panels is an ironic yet hard hitting series where social commentary masquerades as humour and makes us rethink many of our assumptions. This comic explores aspects of gender and technology including discrimination faced by women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and careers. In this comic Sanitary Panels looks at how police and society react when women complain of threats, harassment and violence online.

[COMIC] Sanitary Panels on facing threats online

Thu, 06/21/2018 - 07:21
Sanitary Panels is an ironic yet hard hitting series where social commentary masquerades as humour and makes us rethink many of our assumptions. This comic explores aspects of gender and technology including discrimination faced by women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and careers. In this comic Sanitary Panels looks at how police and society react when women complain of threats, harassment and violence online.

Sanitary Panels is an ironic yet hard hitting series where social commentary masquerades as humour and makes us rethink many of our assumptions. This comic explores aspects of gender and technology including discrimination faced by women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and careers.

In this comic Sanitary Panels looks at how police and society react when women complain of threats, harassment and violence online.

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Online violence faced by outspoken activists: the case from Egypt

Wed, 06/20/2018 - 09:43
Online violence and harassment mirrors the realities of persecution in the "real world" and extends the avenues for prejudice and discrimination. In Egypt, outspoken activists and Nubian people supporting the cause of Nubians to their own land and also speaking out about race and skin colour-based prejudice face virulent online attacks and are also banned by the Egyptian government.

Toxic Twitter: Amnesty International report on social media and online violence

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:21
Twitter, in particular, can be a powerful tool for women to make connections and express themselves - from high-level female politicians to journalists, activists, writers and bloggers, to women who simply want to know what’s happening around them. It is allegedly the space where ‘every voice has the power to impact the world’. But as revealed by the report by Amnesty International, Twitter is also a platform where violence and abuse against women flourishes, often with little accountability. This article gives the main highlights from the report "Toxic Twitter"

Toxic Twitter: Amnesty International report on social media and online violence

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 08:21
Twitter, in particular, can be a powerful tool for women to make connections and express themselves - from high-level female politicians to journalists, activists, writers and bloggers, to women who simply want to know what’s happening around them. It is allegedly the space where ‘every voice has the power to impact the world’. But as revealed by the report by Amnesty International, Twitter is also a platform where violence and abuse against women flourishes, often with little accountability. This article gives the main highlights from the report "Toxic Twitter"

Collage of images from video report by Amnesty International on #TOXICTWITTER

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Online violence faced by outspoken activists: the case from Egypt

Mon, 06/18/2018 - 06:01
Online violence and harassment mirrors the realities of persecution in the "real world" and extends the avenues for prejudice and discrimination. In Egypt, outspoken activists and Nubian people supporting the cause of Nubians to their own land and also speaking out about race and skin colour-based prejudice face virulent online attacks and are also banned by the Egyptian government.

Image source: Wikimedia commons. Woman holding knife, protest and march against street harassment in Cairo, Tahrir Square, 6 Feb 2013. Photograph by Gigi Ibrahim

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Online GBV in Palestine means losing out on women's participation

Mon, 06/11/2018 - 12:37
In recent times there has been a dramatic increase in the use of internet and social media by Palestinians. In this context there is also a rising wave of online gender-based violence that leads to intimidation of women and self-censorship, which means that often women are withdrawing from social media platforms that are an arena of political and social confrontation against the Israeli occupation, building historical narratives as well as talking about internal issues within Palestinian society.

Image from 7amleh campaign on raising awareness around digital security

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For women in the press like Rana Ayyub, it’s scarily easy for online threats to turn physical

Thu, 06/07/2018 - 10:25
On 24 May 2018, the Office of the Human Rights Commission, United Nations put out a statement that the Indian government has a duty to protect its citizens and journalists from threats and in particular about the severity of threats against Rana Ayyub, journalist and writer based in India. This article looks at the severity of violence faced by the journalist, including physical threats, doxxing, fake videos and tweets etc.

Image sourced from Wikimedia Commons. Photo by Zuhairali

Article reprinted with permission from The Print

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Talking community networks at AfChix TechWomen Summit 2018

Tue, 05/29/2018 - 10:30
In this report back from AfChix TechWomen Summit 2018, Kazanka Comfort talks about the inclusion of young women in science and tehcnology programs in university, discussions around the possibilities offered by community networks to own and manage infrastructure by the people. In particular Kazanka looks at how women are affected by sectarian conflict and working with ICTs and training in difficult contexts.

Kazanka Comfort representing APC at AfChix 2018. All images sourced from author

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[COLUMN] COMIC: Male ego

Wed, 05/02/2018 - 10:32
Sanitary Panels is a comic that explores aspects of gender and technology including discrimination faced by women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and careers. Here is an ordinary scene at a coffee-shop.

Sanitary Panels is an ironic yet hard hitting series where social commentary masquerades as humour and makes us rethink many of our assumptions. This comic explores aspects of gender and technology including discrimination faced by women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education and careers.

Image description: Comic using stick figures

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[COLUMN] Gender and community networks: Candid reflections 10 years later

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 10:06
In this column on community networks and gender, the writers will explore how communities can provide and run their own internet infrastructure, the existing forms of community networks, the legal and policy environment in which they have to exist and what are the gender dynamics around these networks. The first column asks a fundamental question - what would be the costs of women NOT having access. And further how community networks allow for the re-imagining of many social relations around infrastructure.

Image source: Author

This monthly column series speaks to the research project: Local Access Networks: can the unconnected connect themselves?. This research explores the topic of self-managed infrastructure, from a community-run approach as well as opens up the understanding around community networks and their possible relationship with feminism and gender.

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[COLUMN] Sanitary Panels: Your average MANEL (comic)

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 11:18
Sanitary Panels does a web comic series on gender and technology including discrimination faced by women in STEM education and careers. Here is a poster for yet another manel i.e. a panel with only male speakers on a topic on which many qualified women experts are there.

The participation of women in panels in conferences related to technology and science is often very low, and reduced to a tokenistic gesture. And many times women are relegated to panels where issues relevant to gender are discussed as if these are not relevant to men.

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Making privacy a constitutional right: Interview with Y. K. Chang

Wed, 03/28/2018 - 09:05
Interview with Y.K. Chang who has recently been appointed as the Personal Information Protection Commission in South Korea - one of the first few women from civil society to reach this position within government in the country and possibly the region. GenderIT interviewed her on her journey, her ambitions for her new position and what she sees as the grave problems regarding privacy and security especially for women.

Image source: Y.K.Chang

Interview with Y.K. Chang who has recently been appointed as the Personal Information Protection Commission in South Korea - one of the first few women from civil society to reach this position within government in the country and possibly the region. GenderIT interviewed her on her journey, her ambitions for her new position and what she sees as the grave problems regarding privacy and security especially for women.

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[COLUMN] How young womxn in the Global South are reclaiming social media to foster change in educational spaces

Mon, 03/19/2018 - 08:58
In the final column on reclaiming social media for women's rights, gender justice and parity, Samukelisiwe looks at how girls and young women have fought for their rights in the global South; and how Gen X, Y and Z has redefined the use of the internet and is reshaping politics both online and onground.

Original image sourced from
Wikimedia commons

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[COLUMN] Comic: How to interview women in STEM

Wed, 03/14/2018 - 09:27
Sanitary Panels does a web comic series on gender and technology including discrimination faced by women in STEM education and careers. Here we show what happens when women in technology are singled out and interviewed.

You know what women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) say - We are waiting for the day that we are not so unique, and there are many of us in these fields.

Sanitary Panels does a web comic series on gender and technology including discrimination faced by women in STEM education and careers. Here we show what happens when women in technology are singled out and interviewed.

Image description
How to interview women in STEM

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What are we looking for? : Research on Community Networks

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 09:00
Community networks offer an alternative to how connectivity, especially in remote areas, is largely determined by the market or state infrastructure. In this article Tigist Hussen explores the place of gender and feminist analysis in community networks, and specifically in the Zenzeleni network in Mankosi, South Africa. What she finds is surprising, humbling and insightful for researchers and practitioners working with local community networks.

Image sourced from website of Zenzeleni Networks. Licensed under CC attribution-noncommercial-sharealike

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Participation, creativity and design in research methodology around ICTs

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 10:45
In the field of research around gender and ICTs, there is particular attention required to the question of research methodology. How do women use ICTs, what do they need them for, what is the power dynamics around access and distribution? In this specific research project around potential use of ICTs, Catalina Alzate shows how participatory action research, design and creativity can be pulled together to enrich and deepen the process of research.

Image sourced from author. Visualisation of daily routines as part of interaction design process in research.

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Why we need a ‘feminist digital economics’

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 12:19
In the digital economy, what needs to be further examined and understood is how women, gender non-conforming and other vulnerable groups are impacted. Becky Faith proposes a framework of feminist digital economics to unpack the ways in which gendered labour could be unpaid or not adequately compensated in the current context, and also how ‘the future of work’ including automation and machine-learning would impact on women.

Collage by Flavia Fascendini

There is a prevalent discourse that technology empowers women and ‘technology triumphs over poverty’; this is reflected in Sustainable Development Goal 5.B, “Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women” (UN, 2017, 5.B). But it is as yet unclear what the balance is between our personal, sexual and economic empowerment, and our position as women embedded within networked digital economies.

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[COLUMN] SANITARY PANELS ON WOMEN IN STEM

Thu, 01/11/2018 - 11:05
Sanitary Panels does a web comic series on gender and technology including discrimination faced by women in STEM education and careers. Here are two comics on circles of complicity around sexual harassment and STEM careers for women.

Sanitary Panels does a web comic series on gender and technology including discrimination faced by women in STEM education and careers. Here are two comics on circles of complicity around sexual harassment and STEM careers for women.

Image description: One panel

Panel: Concentric circles.
Text in inner most circle: Sexual harassers and abusers.

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Flesh rather than word

Tue, 12/19/2017 - 11:51
In 2017 the Independent Expert for Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression and the Yogyakarta +10 principles acknowledged the specific social, cultural, health and other issues that are faced by those who are gender non conforming, and non-binary. This article looks at the online lives of those who challenge, play with, question and disrupt the gender binary, and do more - who are visibly and obviously queer.

Image source: Second Life avatar of Nadika Nadja
THE QUEER SUBJECT AND VIOLENCE IN ONLINE AND OFFLINE SPACES

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