Want to know more about gender and governance visit this section to read our latest analysis and news from our GenderIT.org website. GenderIT.org is the result of months of researching, classifying, interpreting and monitoring ICT policies which affect women around the world, but specifically in four regions – Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central Eastern Europe and Latin America.

Internet control points as LGBT rights mediation

Internet control points as LGBT rights mediation

This paper examines how various functional areas of internet governance, such as the assignment of domain names, the policy-making role of private information intermediaries, and intellectual property rights enforcement mechanisms serve as control points over LGBT speech, identity expression, and community formation.

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Internet control points as LGBT rights mediation

Balancing rights and interests: Best practices to counter online abuse and violence

Balancing rights and interests: Best practices to counter online abuse and violence

The IGF Best Practice Forum on Online Abuse and Gender-Based Violence Against Women took place in Joao Pessoa, Brazil in November 2015. Representatives of civil society, academia and the private sector went through some of the key highlights and recommendations from the BPF but opened it up at different junctures for inputs and responses.

Online abuse and gender-based violence are understood as being a part of gender-based violence. In addition to existing structural inequality and discrimination between genders, disparity in access to, participation in and decision making over the internet and technology development are all factors that play a part in their manifestation online and through the use of other information and communications technologies (ICTs).

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Source: IGF::: GenderIT.org
Balancing rights and interests: Best practices to counter online abuse and violence

IGF 2015 Best Practice Forum: Online Abuse and Gender-Based Violence Against Women Report

IGF 2015 Best Practice Forum: Online Abuse and Gender-Based Violence Against Women Report

The 2015 IGF Best Practice Forum (BPF) on Online Abuse and Gender-Based Violence Against Women was both timely and instructive considering the increasing effort by different stakeholders at national and global levels to understand and address the problem of online abuse and gender-based violence against women. It has showed that there are no one-size-fits all solutions, and that greater study is needed to further investigate the range of acts, underlying causes, diversity and scope of impact, and potential responses that can be developed for the issue.

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
IGF 2015 Best Practice Forum: Online Abuse and Gender-Based Violence Against Women Report

Locating gender at the Internet Governance Forum 2015

Locating gender at the Internet Governance Forum 2015

For nine years, feminist activists struggled to bring gender issues out of the peripheries at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The 2015 IGF which took place in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, proved that the link between gender and internet governance is being more and more recognised. Women accounted for 38% of onsite participants. Gender, women’s and sexual rights was mentioned in at least 15 workshops on the agenda. One of the six Best Practice Forums, which seeks to produce more concrete outcomes on topical issues, focused on countering abuse of women online.

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Locating gender at the Internet Governance Forum 2015

Finding her place: Gender at the 10th IGF

Finding her place: Gender at the 10th IGF

A quiet sense of satisfaction. That’s what I felt at this year’s Internet Governance Forum, when gender moved out of the wings and came on to the main stage: here, there, everywhere. In 2013 at the IGF in Bali, the first IGF I attended, gender was there – but with what Fatimi Mernissi, the feminist Moroccan writer who passed away recently, might have called a mild sense of trespass.

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Source: IGF::: GenderIT.org
Finding her place: Gender at the 10th IGF

IGF 2015: Diversity, gender, women's and sexual rights

IGF 2015: Diversity, gender, women’s and sexual rights

We put together the videos of all those spaces at the IGF 2015 were we played a role in our advocacy for gender issues, women’s and sexual rights, bringing forward the Feminist Principles of the Internet.

Feminist talk


Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
IGF 2015: Diversity, gender, women’s and sexual rights

Diversity, gender, women's and sexual rights: : All videos from IGF 2015 in one place

Diversity, gender, women’s and sexual rights: : All videos from IGF 2015 in one place

Flavia Fascendini put together the videos from all discussions at the IGF 2015 which concerned gender issues, women’s and sexual rights, bringing forward the Feminist Principles of the Internet.

Feminist talk


Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Diversity, gender, women’s and sexual rights: : All videos from IGF 2015 in one place

Diversity, gender, and rights: All videos from IGF 2015 in one place

Diversity, gender, and rights: All videos from IGF 2015 in one place

Flavia Fascendini put together the videos from all discussions at the IGF 2015 which concerned gender issues, women’s and sexual rights, bringing forward the Feminist Principles of the Internet.

Feminist talk


Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Diversity, gender, and rights: All videos from IGF 2015 in one place

Trusting our net

Trusting our net

Shawna Finnegan and Emilar Vushe, who are the part of the Association for Progressive Communication’s policy programme, engage in a conversation about their highlights of this year’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF). They speak about the value of the IGF as well as barriers to access it, national and regional initiatives, and some of the biggest internet governance issues right now, such as public access.

Shawna Finnegan (SF): Shall we start with a brief introduction? Emilar, could you tell a little about yourself, what your experience is with internet governance, and about some of your work at the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)?

Emilar Vushe (EV): I am based in South Africa and I work in the policy programme leading the work in Africa.

Co-author: 

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Trusting our net

Trusting our net: Reflecting on the 2015 Internet Governance Forum

Trusting our net: Reflecting on the 2015 Internet Governance Forum

APC staff members Shawna Finnegan and Emilar Vushe interview each other to think through some of the highlights of this year’s Internet Governance Forum which took place in Brazil.

Shawna Finnegan (SF): Shall we start with a brief introduction? Emilar, could you tell a little about yourself, what your experience is with internet governance, and about some of your work at the Association for Progressive Communications (APC)?

Emilar Vushe (EV): I am based in South Africa and I work in the policy programme leading the work in Africa. Some of the initiatives that we are working on in Africa include the African Declaration on Internet Rights and Freedoms, and the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG).

Feminist talk

Co-author: 

Emilar Vushe

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Trusting our net: Reflecting on the 2015 Internet Governance Forum

DiscoTech 2015: Let's talk about the past to understand the internet of the present

DiscoTech 2015: Let’s talk about the past to understand the internet of the present

“Online and offline anonymity is a way to make political resistance in a conservative democracy”. The internet is all about the future and the next big thing and gosh, I’m so bored of that. Let’s talk about the past in order to understand the internet of the present and its fights over rights.

“Online and offline anonymity is a way to make political resistance in a conservative democracy”

The internet is all about the future and the next big thing and gosh, I’m so bored of that. Let’s talk about the past in order to understand the internet of the present and its fight over rights.

:::

Imagine that we’re back in Chile in 1989, and we’re about six months away from finally defeating the Agusto Pinochet dictatorship.

Feminist talk

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
DiscoTech 2015: Let’s talk about the past to understand the internet of the present

Let's talk about the past to understand the internet of the present

Let’s talk about the past to understand the internet of the present

The internet is all about the future and the next big thing and gosh, I’m so bored of that. Let’s talk about the past in order to understand the internet of the present and its fights over rights.

Online and offline anonymity is a way to make political resistance in a conservative democracy.

The internet is all about the future and the next big thing and gosh, I’m so bored of that. Let’s talk about the past in order to understand the internet of the present and its fight over rights.

:::

Imagine that we’re back in Chile in 1989, and we’re about six months away from finally defeating the Agusto Pinochet dictatorship.

Feminist talk

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Let’s talk about the past to understand the internet of the present

2015 IGF: "Gender, technology and online VAW have been increasingly recognised as a human rights issue"

2015 IGF: “Gender, technology and online VAW have been increasingly recognised as a human rights issue”

Between the belligerence of the “Gamer Gate” (the controversy regarding the last UN report on violence against women), and a very uncommon Stockholm Internet Forum who in its last session, focussed on gender issues, the context for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Joao Pessoa was a very interesting opportunity to see how gender would be addressed in the most important internet forum of the world.

Between the belligerence of the Gamer Gate (the controversy regarding the last UN report on violence against women – VAW), and a very uncommon Stockholm Internet Forum who in its last session, focussed on gender issues, the context for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Joao Pessoa was a very interesting opportunity to see how gender would be addressed in the most important internet forum of the world.

Despite all challenges, it’s satisfactory to see how gender, technology and online VAW have been increasingly recognised as a human rig

Feminist talk

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
2015 IGF: “Gender, technology and online VAW have been increasingly recognised as a human rights issue”

Gender and technology have been increasingly recognised as a human rights issue

Gender and technology have been increasingly recognised as a human rights issue

Between the belligerence of the “Gamer Gate” (the controversy regarding the last UN report on violence against women), and a very uncommon Stockholm Internet Forum who in its last session, focussed on gender issues, the context for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Joao Pessoa was a very interesting opportunity to see how gender would be addressed in the most important internet forum of the world.

Between the belligerence of the Gamer Gate (the controversy regarding the last UN report on violence against women – VAW), and a very uncommon Stockholm Internet Forum who in its last session, focussed on gender issues, the context for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Joao Pessoa was a very interesting opportunity to see how gender would be addressed in the most important internet forum of the world.

Despite all challenges, it’s satisfactory to see how gender, technology and online VAW have been increasingly recognised as a human rig

Feminist talk

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Gender and technology have been increasingly recognised as a human rights issue

What do women expect for this 10th IGF?

What do women expect for this 10th IGF?

GenderIT.org asked many of the participants in the Gender and Internet Governance eXchanges (gigX) from three different regions what they expected for this year’s 10th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Brazil, in terms of women’s and sexual rights, gender, and internet governance.

GenderIT.org asked many of the participants in the Gender and Internet Governance eXchanges (gigX) from three different regions what they expected for this year’s 10th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Brazil, in terms of women’s and sexual rights, gender, and internet governance.

Gender and minorities issues to be on the agenda

“We need to maximise the benefits of the internet for people’s rights. I mean we need to find a space on the internet for minorities and for the forgotten who cannot raise their voices in their states because of majority despotism.

Feminist talk

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
What do women expect for this 10th IGF?

Women actively join internet governance discussions

Women actively join internet governance discussions

Little by little, the number of women participating in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has increased significantly, and their presence in panels and workshops and as participants has brought new insights into the discussion of the different matters that are key in IGF debates.

It’s good news to know that more women are actively joining internet governance discussions and that they are starting to take steps so that women’s rights activists and their movement include internet governance issues in their agenda.

Little by little, the number of women participating in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) has increased significantly, and their presence in panels and workshops and as participants has brought new insights into the discussion of the different matters that are key in IGF debates.

Feminist talk

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Women actively join internet governance discussions

Women’s rights, gender and Internet governance

Women’s rights, gender and Internet governance

This issue paper addresses the degree to which gender and women’s rights feature in Internet1 governance, in multiple interconnected ways including, but certainly not limited to, access, content and representation. Gender and women’s rights occupy a largely rhetorical role in today’s discussion of Internet governance.

When speaking of access, there is a noticeable inverse proportionality in the movement against the digital divide.

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Women’s rights, gender and Internet governance

Claiming governance spaces: from Gender and Internet Governance Exchange to Africa Internet Governance Forum

Claiming governance spaces: from Gender and Internet Governance Exchange to Africa Internet Governance Forum

The Association for Progressive Communications’ Caroline Tagny interviewed Chenai Chair, a participant of the Africa Gender and Internet Governance Exchange, on her experience.

The Association for Progressive Communications’ Caroline Tagny interviewed Chenai Chair, a participant of the Africa Gender and Internet Governance Exchange, on her experience.

Chenai Chair is a researcher with Research ICT Africa. She holds an MSocSci specialising in global studies, and a BSocSci in gender studies and industrial relations from the University of Cape Town. Her areas of specialisation include conducting qualitative studies with a focus on gender, youth and the informal sector as well as tracking pricing patterns in the supply side of telecommunications in Africa.

Feminist talk

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Claiming governance spaces: from Gender and Internet Governance Exchange to Africa Internet Governance Forum

Meha Jouini: The internet has allowed me to publicly express my identity as an Amazigh woman activist

Meha Jouini: The internet has allowed me to publicly express my identity as an Amazigh woman activist

Maha Jouini is an Addis Ababa-based Tunisian blogger, and women’s rights and indigenous rights activist, with a special focus on the Amazigh community. APC’s Leila Nachawati met Meha in Addis Ababa during the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) in September and here is what they talked about.

Maha Jouini is an Addis Ababa-based Tunisian blogger, and women’s rights and indigenous rights activist, with a special focus on the Amazigh community. She collaborates with the Campaign to End Child Marriage and is on the executive board of the Regional Coalition of Women Human Rights Defenders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). She is also a translator for Global Voices.

Feminist talk

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Meha Jouini: The internet has allowed me to publicly express my identity as an Amazigh woman activist

Internet governance: Who sets the rules?

Internet governance: Who sets the rules?

When it comes to decision making, policies and advocacy, in most cases women are usually left behind especially in relation to ICTs. I must say that I am pleased with the representation of women at the African Internet Governance Forum and before I continue I must commend the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) for making this possible and continuing to give young women and youth opportunities for participating in such forums.

When it comes to decision making, policies and advocacy, in most cases women are usually left behind especially in relation to information and communications technologies (ICT).

I must say that I am pleased with the representation of women at the African Internet Governance Forum and before I continue I must commend the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) for making this possible and continuing to give young women and youth opportunities for participating in such forums.

The gender and internet governance exchange

(gigX) has been a wonderful experience, especially learning how to strategise and bring forth women’s issues into internet governance policies.

The feminist principles of the internet are key points to help push forward the issues of women into the agenda especially attaining to gender equality and freedom of speech and expression.

How then does the African Internet Governance Forum relate to women rights? It has become such a cliché that women rights are always an after thought. Only after policies are made do women’s rights movements show up to ensure that they hold a space in the proposed policies.

Times are changing fast and if you are not at the table then you’ll be on the menu. This phrase was frequently used in the different discussions had during the African School on Internet Governance (AfriSIG) workshops.

Getting more youth and women involved in policy making especially in relation to internet rights and freedoms is very important. Africa being young in internet policies and without much content online calls for more participation by women and youth to claim their place on the internet so that they can govern how it’s used.

One important thing is that “he who knows why is always at the mercy of he who knows how” and this is one of the issues hindering Africa’s full participation in internet governance.
So how then do we use this lacking need to push for women’s issues on the agenda of internet governance?

More women based content need to be curated and documented on the internet. Women need to use the internet to voice their successes, triumphs, failures and sadness because this is the only way women can create their own safe space and hold a share of internet governance.

One of the main issues affecting women was freedom of expression and cybersecurity .The two are intertwined together and they affect how women use the internet. Cybersecurity affects women self-expression on the internet given that trolling and hacking affects women more than men on the internet especially in relation to women bodies.

Which begs the question of who sets the rules of what should and should not be done on the internet in relation to self-expression? This is why it’s very important for women to be at the table and voice their opinions on how the internet is governed especially in Africa before it becomes yet another issue of gender imbalance of women representation on the internet.

Editor’s note: The original title of this blog post was changed after publication due to repetition with a previous title from 2012.

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Source: Internet Governance ::: GenderIT.org
Internet governance: Who sets the rules?

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