Cybercrime legislations and gender

The new edition of examines the issue of cybercrime legislation through a gendered perspective and its implication on women, in collaboration with the ICT Policy Monitor Latinamerica and the Caribbean team of the APC. The focus of this edition was catalysed by issues and questions raised by our readers on the increasing pervasiveness of cybercrime legislations in different regions, and their potential impact on women’s communication rights. The articles in this edition portray the current cybercrime landscape and its gendered dimensions in different regions of the world – including India, Burkina Faso, Chile, Brazil, Venezuela and Bolivia.

As always, we began to investigate the issue with many questions: What is meant by “cybercrime”? In what kinds of spaces would cybercrimes be considered as being committed? How do they differentiate and affect ideas of the public and the private? How can this affect women as users and developers of the internet, e-mail, cell phones and other information and communication technologies (ICT)? Can cybercrime restrict the exercise of individual rights to privacy, freedom of expression and civil liberties? Can the rhetoric of fighting cybercrimes in effect be used to restrict the exercise of women’s communication rights? How can the issue of cybercrimes be analysed from a feminist perspective? Is this issue currently part of the women’s movement’s agenda? How the criminalisation of online sexual expression and practices as well as the sex trade affect the sexual rights of women?

In this edition of, our team of writers together with the APC Policy Programme in Latin America Minitor team present the many facets of this challenging policy area. Their different approaches and stances clearly demonstrate the difficulty of drawing a clear line between protection of women’s rights from violation and empowering their status as users and definers of ICT and the information society.

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