Panel Discussion - Take Back the Tech!: Reclaiming Technology for Women's Rights

Church Center, 777 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017, 22 February 2011

APC women's programme staff in 2009 Photo: APCAPC women’s programme staff in 2009 Photo: APC

Join the Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Networking Support Programme in a panel discussion – ‘Take Back the Tech!: Reclaiming Technology for Women’s Rights’.

In Lesotho rural women are using cell phones to access prices and form agricultural co-ops. In Colombia and Pakistan survivors of violence and women’s rights organisations are using social networking tools and digital stories to document abuses and give a voice to survivors.

Women’s right groups were early adopters of internet and technology and there is a growing movement of women and girls who are taking up technology to address intractable problems of gender discrimination and inequality and advance women’s rights.

But as we know technology is a double-edged sword. The UN estimates that 95% of aggressive behaviour, harassment, abusive language and denigrating images in online spaces are aimed at women.

On this panel organised by the APC women’s programme speakers will share the experiences, challenges and successes of projects that are making a positive difference in women’ lives including:

  • how the queer movement is using the internet for mobilising and for the exercise of sexual rights
  • how Take Back the Tech! small grants are funding more than sixty groups in 12 countries that are using information technologies in their work to end violence against women
  • how dozens of Feminist Technology Exchanges are building the capacity of women’s rights organisations to use information and communication technologies in campaigning, monitoring and documentation.

We will also be launching “I Don’t Forward Violence” – a new action under the Take Back the Tech! campaign. “I Don’t Forward Violence” calls on internet and mobile phone users to take action to create an online and offline culture that does not tolerate misogynist or violent images of women and girls.