The following research was undertaken by the Association for Progressive Communications Women's Rights Programme together with our partners. This research explores the intersection between the internet and violence against women, women's rights, sexuality and sexual rights.
Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DGIS), this project is based on a strong alliance with partners in seven countries: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, and Philippines. The research involves case studies in those countries, analysis of social media platform policies and reporting mechanisms and an exploration of legislative trends and solutions. Published papers and their summaries can be accessed through GenderIT.org, listed below:
This briefing document highlights key issues on internet regulation that are relevant for gender equality and sexuality. It also brings to the debate findings from various research initiatives undertaken by APC and key partners, including a cross-country research initiative - EROTICS - that is being conducted in five countries: Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa and the United States.
It is obvious that the discourse around content regulation has shifted mostly towards the protection of children from harmful content and child pornography on the internet. Any references to gender-related concerns were dropped, including even problematic conceptions that women and children need the paternalistic protection of the state or international bodies from harmful content. One can speculate that this could possibly mean (in a positive sense) that women are no longer viewed only as “victims” and because of their own agency do not require the protectionist attitude of the state. Or, on the other hand, women’s movements, feminists and others working on gender have encountered and realised the hazards of demanding protection from the state, in the interests of their own freedom of expression and because of their alliances with civil society, non-governmental organisations and social movements.
This discussion paper asks if new technologies are re-shaping or facilitating trafficking, and/or if the use of ICTs in trafficking will change the way we understand other issues. The paper is a joint publication of AWID and the APC WRP The first section of this paper lays the foundations for discussing ICTs and trafficking and defines these terms. The examples were provided by activists and advocates around the world who are working on trafficking or ICTs or on both issues. The paper then goes on to explore three pivotal and at times controversial questions in relation to the role of ICTs and trafficking. Does the role of ICTs matter or is it a fashionable distraction from serious countertrafficking work? Can we talk of trafficking in images or does trafficking only apply to people? Is consideration of privacy in relation to ICTs contrary to counter-trafficking work or an essential part of a broader movement to create safety and freedom for individuals and communities? Finally, the paper asks what action can and is being taken, by governments, feminists, NGOs, and other actors.
This paper explores the connection between new information communication technologies (ICTs) and violence against women (VAW). From the perspective of representation and rapid dissemination of information and communication enabled through ICTs, the paper looks at domestic violence in the homes, sexual violence and women in conflict affected areas. It presents case studies, strategies and analysis on these different areas. The study is the part of APC WRP issue papers series on ICTs for women's rights.
This briefing relies on new research into how new technologies are being used by abusers and by women fighting back. The cases were uncovered in research commissioned by the Association for Progressive Communications in 12 developing countries in 2009.