What do we want to accomplish in 2017?

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By APC for APCNews

03 January 2017

For years, the internet has had a transformative effect throughout the world. Despite the increasing curbs on freedoms and rights, APC will continue to work on promoting access to a free and open internet to improve our lives and create a more just world.

What does this mean specifically and what do we wish to accomplish in 2017?

  • A more feminist internet. 2016 brought us a new improved version of the Feminist Principles of the Internet, which works towards empowering more women and queer persons – in all our diversities – to fully enjoy our rights, engage in pleasure and play, and dismantle patriarchy. In 2017, we will continue to work on bringing attention and awareness of the importance of promoting a feminist internet.
  • Reshaping the internet for women. In 2015, the contributions by women to Wikipedia, one of the largest online repositories 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? With your help, we will continue to find out.
  • Gathering more voices, experiences, insights by women, through our new Digital Stories platform. “I didn’t think I had a story but I realise I do. It is a story of personal transformation. I had hope listening to the stories of others.”
  • A new, more inclusive Internet Governance Forum. If IGF 2016’s motto was “Enabling Inclusive and Sustainable Growth”, we aim for an IGF 2017 with effective inclusion and equity, especially of young women from the global South. Or, as GenderIT puts it: “Mujeres jóvenes en Foro Gobernanza de Internet x menos discursos y + inclusión y equidad #IGF2016” (Young women at the IGF. Less speeches and more inclusion and equity).
  • More empowerment of African communities demanding #AfricanInternetRights. Have you read the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms? We will continue promoting its use as a way to empower African human rights defenders, with a special focus on youth, in the context of government-directed internet outages and other breaches of fundamental rights.
  • More autonomy and empowerment of social movements and organisations through adoption and use of free software alternatives to corporate software and services. What alternatives to private-owned technology do you use? Help us find and spread them.
  • Community networking, which was at the core of our focus during the last IGF, will remain a priority for APC in 2017. We aim for community networks from all continents to get together to exchange experiences regarding technology, training and regulation.
  • More generally, an internet that is free from arbitrary and disproportionate interference, and which can be used to combat discrimination and violence and to promote peace. An internet where corporate and governmental control cannot limit the enjoyment of human rights for all regardless of the national frontiers. Free and open access for all people, all the time, to the entire internet.

This is APC’s wish list but it is also more than that. It is a declaration of intent, our commitment to continue the work we have been doing to promote social justice in a scenario of increasing curtailing of freedom of expression and other fundamental rights. With the help of our members and partners, we hope to continue to do it as long as large parts of the world do not have affordable, reliable or sufficient connectivity, and as long as women and LGBTQI communities remain misrepresented, online and offline.

Will you help us? Join our network .

(END/2017)

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