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The internet has transformed the way bodily autonomy is addressed now in South Asia by giving women avenues to learn and share experiences of their bodies with others. This freedom has not only enabled conversations around bodily rights, but also highlighted women's health issues like never before. However, despite this newfound voice, the important question is whether the internet has been fair to women when they share their experiences with the world. Has it given women the freedom to share their bodies' experiences online, or are we only seeing content limited to certain groups that highlights the experiences of certain types of bodies? As the conversation transcends, it is important to explore the close-knit relationship between bodily autonomy and censorship, and the politics of identity in South Asia.
Bodily autonomy is the right to one’s own body and how to govern it without the interference and influence of societal norms or pressures. A Human Rights Council 2017 resolution highlights the elimination of discrimination against women and girls, and all member states are required to do so through local laws and policy actions. This discrimination also extends to women and gender-diverse folks and the choices they make for their own bodies. However, living in South Asia, an environment that is already highly charged with colonial and patriarchal structures, we see that women and gender-diverse communities do not have the absolute right to bodily autonomy, and states and technology companies alike play a pivotal role in censoring their expression in mainstream and digital media.
Continue reading at GenderIT.org.