WOMEN'S RIGHTS UNDER THREAT ONLINE &
Jac sm Kee - Focal point for APC WNSP's work on women's
rights. She coordinates the EroTICS research (Exploratory Research on
Sexuality and the Internet) and APC's "Take Back The Tech!"
Women's rights to expression and
information are increasingly under threat. The UN estimates that 95% of
aggressive behaviour, harassment, abusive language and degrading images in
online spaces are aimed at
As more and more women go online using
computers and mobile phones, many are silenced through acts of violence,
sexism and censorship. The first object that is destroyed by a violent partner
is often the women's cellphone.
It's critical that we are able to speak
out and share our ideas to challenge attitudes and beliefs that sustain
violence against women.
Girl gamers have built online communities
to counter the stereotype that only boys play video games. They post their
thoughts, do game reviews and highlight games which are sexist. They are
sending a clear signal to companies that produce games like Grand Theft Auto
which includes rape of sex workers as part of its gaming strategy that this is
completely unacceptable. And the video game industry is shifting its
approach in game development to become more gender aware and inclusive.
It's critical that we are able to use the
interneti to share information and opinions and document and tell
our own stories including the stories of violence and discrimination that many
women and girls face every day.
All too frequently websites that
distribute information and call for support on women's rights are closed down.
The One Million Signature Campaign has
been calling for the end of discrimination against women in Iran since 2007. Try accessing its multiple websites. They
are consistently blocked.
Last year the Pink Chaddi campaign was
launched as a peaceful protest against violent attacks of women who were
accused to violating Indian “culture” for frequenting pubs. The campaign's
online face was a vastly popular Facebook group which was consequently broken
into and defaced. When the group owner complained to Facebook, Facebook
disabled her account - instead of helping her retake control. The group
now avoids Facebook.
This year, Take Back The Tech! calls for
action to defend our right freedom of expression and information – the basic building blocks for us to be able to come
together, organise for change, inform public debate, define culture, build
safe spaces and end violence against women-- Take action! Take Back The Tech!
How can you Take Back The Tech!?
Check the website daily from November 25
to December 10 and take action.
Get creative! Explore technology! Defend
our right to freedom of expression & information!
And Take Back the Tech!