Take Back the Tech! is a call to everyone, especially women and girls, to take control of technology to end violence against women (VAW). It is a global, collaborative campaign project that highlights the problem of technology-related VAW, together with research and solutions from around the world. The campaign offers safety roadmaps and information and provides an avenue for taking action. Take Back the Tech! leads several campaigns at various points in the year, but our biggest annual campaign takes place during 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (25 Nov - 10 Dec).
During campaigns, Take Back the Tech! announces actions that combine creative and strategic use of information and communication technology (ICT) with the issue of VAW. Campaigners organise actions that respond to their local priorities, such as workshops on online safety, media monitoring on rape reporting, solidarity actions on the streets and in online spaces, and discussions on women’s right to privacy.
Take Back the Tech! was initiated in 2006 by the APC Women's Rights Programme and has grown into a diverse movement of individuals, organisations, collectives and communities. It is the result of research papers published in 2005 that looked at the connection between ICT and VAW, an issue that received little attention or discussion at that time. After sharing the findings with women's rights and communication rights advocates in different spaces, APC found this to be a critical issue that compelled further attention and deeper engagement.
Take Back the Tech! sets out to:
Create safe digital spaces that protect everyone’s right to participate freely, without harassment or threat to safety.
Realise women’s rights to shape, define, participate, use and share knowledge, information and ICT.
Address the intersection between communication rights and women’s human rights, especially VAW.
Recognise women’s historical and critical participation and contribution to the development of ICT.
The campaign has been taken up, adapted and owned by individuals, groups, networks and organisations in places such as Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Cambodia, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Germany, India, Kenya, Macedonia, Mexico, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, the UK, Uruguay and the USA.
In 2014, Take Back the Tech! was awarded the inaugural GEM-TECH award from UN Women and the International Telecommunication Union for Efforts to Reduce Threats Online and Building Women's Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs. In both 2014 and 2008, Take Back the Tech! received an Honorary Mention for Digital Communities from the prestigious Prix Ars Electronica.