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Every year, governments, corporations, civil society, academics and technical experts come together from around the world to convene the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and discuss the public policy issues related to the internet as we know it today, and what its future should look like. The annual IGF is organised by the United Nations in agreement with the host country’s government to convene the gathering. In its 17th year in 2022, the IGF will take place from 28 November to 2 December 2022 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the overarching theme, “Resilient Internet for a Shared Sustainable and Common Future”.

This year at the IGF, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) will be joined by the partners of its Our Voices, Our Futures (OVOF) consortium from two continents, Asia and Africa, to discuss the challenges and opportunities that exist in accessing the internet for women and gender diverse folks in these geographies. Various organisations from six countries – India, Bangladesh and Lebanon from Asia, and Sudan, Kenya and Uganda from Africa – will come together to bring #OurVoicesAtIGF to amplify the voices of structurally silenced women from these countries, advocating for their rightful places and participation in civic space, including online and offline, and legal and policy spaces.

OVOF is a South-led consortium with partners from Asia and Africa who work in their countries to highlight the oppression of women and structural inequalities that they face within and outside of their communities. It works to amplify voices of women who have even been excluded from feminist movements at large, including lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. The consortium also aims to bring forward the voices of those who have been kept away from the discourse of rights because of their choice of labour, like sex workers, or their activism, such as human rights defenders. The partners and consortium members recognise the need to bring these individuals and their community voices to the table of discussion to amplify their needs through policy-making discourse.

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