Showing up for those who go out on a limb
Today we celebrate International women’s day this year under the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. Diverse stakeholders including intergovernmental organizations, civil society, and others continue to advocate and make great strides to advance gender equality in technological spaces and spheres. However, women and girls across the gender spectrum and sexual identity face challenges that threaten their meaningful participation in digital spaces. Some of the key issues include harmful cultural norms and practices, online gender-based violence, limitations to freedom of speech, through moderation, and increased security concerns due to surveillance. These issues are an extension of realities in offline space.
Because of the reality of these injustices, intersectional feminist movements organize, protest, and engage in activism for structural and systemic transformation which often is met with resistance. In the recent past feminist action has been curtailed by forces of political and social oppression limiting the progress of equality and inclusion. This often translates to forms of physical and emotional violence and insecurity.
It is incredibly paramount to show up and support feminist movements that go out on a limb to continually push the needle and claim spaces, take action, and create change. One of the ways to do so is to share resources and tools that safeguard and sustain hope for this great work toward gender equality in technology.
Helpful resources and guidelines that support feminist action and movements in times of crisis
Models of Feminist Helplines for people facing Gender-Based Violence in Digital Spaces
Embedding digital security in feminist movement building
Pushing forward: Preventing violence against women in online spaces
The Empowering Internet Safety Guide for Women
The safe sisters guide – https://safesisters.org/resources/
Digital safe tea https://pollicy.org/projects/digital-safetea/
Secure web browsing: https://www.torproject.org/; firefox
Secure communication – Signal with an access pin
Surveillance Self-defense: https://ssd.eff.org/
Secure email – https://proton.me/mail
Digital Traces My shadow – take control of your data https://myshadow.org/
Digital security helpline – https://www.accessnow.org/help/
Digital Society Africa – email@example.com
The FTX: Safety Reboot is a training curriculum made up of several modules for trainers who work with women’s rights and sexual rights activists to use the internet safely, creatively and strategically https://en.ftx.apc.org/shelves/ftx-safety-reboot
Call to Action
Digital rights movements need to work more collaboratively with Feminist organizations to ensure equality, by adopting feminist perspectives and approaches in addressing the gender digital divide.