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Access and beyond: Gendered barriers to internet use
Access and beyond: Gendered barriers to internet use 17 July 2017 Chenai Chair

Connecting the next billion, is rightly so, an important issue in ensuring everyone has the choice to access the internet. Women, and in particular those with low levels of income and education, are more likely to be the unconnected. However, gaining access is one thing, but what are the challenges that limit men and women’s experience of the internet and present a barrier to access? In this penultimate article reflecting on the finding from Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Rwanda, we look ...

How women in the global South are reclaiming social media to promote body positivity
How women in the global South are reclaiming social media to promote body positivity 11 July 2017 Samukelisiwe Mabaso

I remember flipping through magazines as a teenager and wondering why none of the girls looked like me. In the makeup and hair sections, none of the advice applied to me because I did not fit the categories of slender, fair, blonde, brunette, redhead etc. Instead, I had (and still have) black skin, a booty, and coarse, ethnic, African hair – not ideal for silky high ponies or chic messy buns. So, what did I do to look like the girls in the magazine? I chemically straightened my hair, tried ...

Framing access and power at Stockholm Internet Forum 2017
Framing access and power at Stockholm Internet Forum 2017 22 June 2017 Rafia Shaikh

Hundreds of activists, advocates, journalists, researchers, donors, and just about everyone else converged into the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea – the city of Stockholm – to discuss power and access online. 10 p.m. sun aside, this year’s Stockholm Internet Forum (#SIF17 for easy tracking of the event on Twitter) was stronger than ever before and saw its participants and pa...

Access and beyond: Navigating mobile costs in communication
Access and beyond: Navigating mobile costs in communication 16 June 2017 Chenai Chair

The African market is flooded with zero rating services such as Free Basics (Facebook’s zero rating scheme) and other subsidised data strategies. Do these schemes make internet more affordable and bring access to more people in Africa? The main plus for Free Basics has been that it provides free watered down internet access to those who don't usually have that kind of access, even to selected...

How women in the global South are reclaiming social media to combat femicide
How women in the global South are reclaiming social media to combat femicide 08 June 2017 Samukelisiwe Mabaso

In May 2017, countless South African women took to Twitter and Facebook to share their harrowing experiences of abuse under the hashtag #MenAreTrash. The outpour of tweets and Facebook posts was sparked by the murder of Karabo Mokoena, a 22-year-old woman who was allegedly killed and burned by her boyfriend. Although the wording of #MenAreTrash has caused controversy, that will not be the focal...

Tackling the gender digital divide in Africa
Tackling the gender digital divide in Africa 01 June 2017 Koliwe Majama

The emergence of the internet is touted as an opportunity for women in Africa to "play catch up" after years of being "left out" in the mainstream media. It is said that the internet is a platform of democracy and freedom where women can amplify their voices on and access critical information relating to their well being and empowerment nationally and globally. But what are African women’s re...

Ten facts about your computer: Health, hardware and the toll on women
Ten facts about your computer: Health, hardware and the toll on women 30 May 2017 Sonia Randhawa for GenderIT.org

The top-end of the computer industry is still seen as a sexy place to be. The culture may be designed to wed you to the job, but its a pairing that many professionals envy. And of course, as this week’s protest is designed to highlight, this side of the industry is not where the women are. The women are often in a darker side of the valley, the side that makes the toys that the (pre...

Access and beyond: Motivations for internet use
Access and beyond: Motivations for internet use 12 May 2017 Chenai Chair

Do you remember why you went online for the first time in your life? This is my favourite question that you may not have yet thought about – but it reflects the starting point in becoming a netizen. This is the second in the series of columns on Access and Beyond that chronicles the research conducted by Research ICT Africa in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa and Nigeria. In this column ...

The Internet of Things: Smart devices, quantified self, dolls and vibrators
The Internet of Things: Smart devices, quantified self, dolls and vibrators 27 April 2017 Hvale

If an object has a chip, it becomes smart, and by extension our houses become smarter – and so do our cities, hospitals, toys, phones. But what about the inventors, the creators, the owners, the users of all these smart and tiny things – are we becoming smarter? I am fascinated by the ubiquitous ability of internet technologies to animate things, transform them into hubs, bypass walls and d...

A place for all: On being diverse and inclusive @RightsCon
A place for all: On being diverse and inclusive @RightsCon 27 April 2017 Serene Lim for GenderIT.org

There were countless reasons for a young, Malaysian feminist, internet rights activist, to be excited about RightsCon Brussels. Not least because Belgian waffle is the bomb, but I craved the adrenaline rush of compelling, inquisitorial and powerful discourse on human rights, gender and technology; the sort of interactions that would inspire and spark new perspectives, new ideas, and new friends...

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