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*GENDER CENTRED: A thematic bulletin*
APC WRP –, 29 September 2014
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I. THOUGHTS AROUND… Why do the Feminist Principles of the Internet matter?

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On 2-5 September 2014, over 2,400 activists, academics, businesspeople and government representatives from 144 countries actively participated in policy dialogue on issues of internet governance at the ninth annual Internet Governance Forum, held in Istanbul, Turkey. This edition of our newsletter offers snapshots of these debates and features observations and reflections from feminist and queer activists who participated in this forum to discuss issues of sexual and women’s rights, such as the responsibilities of social networking platforms to address violence against women, and the importance of anonymous communication for sexual rights activism around the world.

This edition also contains an interview with a local activist from Turkey on the pathbreaking LGBTI activism in the country, the internet as a basic means for LGBTI refugees to access information, and the impact of the blocking of websites on local activists.

These feminist talks on internet governance help scale over the still relatively thick walls that tend to divide gender issues and internet governance as separate arenas.

Flavia, Katerina and Sonia from the team

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I. THOUGHTS AROUND… *Why do the Feminist Principles of the Internet matter*
By Dhyta Caturani, project coordinator at EngageMedia

The internet is believed to be an open space for everyone to express themselves freely. So why do we need a set of principles to “govern” us?

Read the full editorial at

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*“In our work, the internet is a main stakeholder”: A feminist talk with Hayriye Avatar at the IGF* by Bishakha Datta

The Turkish LGBTI rights organisation Kaos GL turns 20 on 20 September. At the Internet Governance Forum just held in Istanbul, Bishakha Datta interviewed Kaos activist Hayriye Avatar on their pathbreaking LGBTI activism, both online and offline.

*How crucial is anonymity for sexual exploration and promoting sexual rights activism?* by Shaikh Rafia

The complexity of creating an anonymous digital world while not enabling the harassers, hackers or blackmailers is what makes the debate around anonymity important for internet governance. And this was part of the debate that took place during the panel titled “Anonymity by design: Protecting while connecting” at the Internet Governance Forum in Turkey.

*IGF 2014: From Istanbul with love or “honey trap”?* by Kamel Manaf

Looking for love online can be exhilarating and fun. But for LGBTIQ relationships, there is a need for safe, unpoliced spaces to allow for personal and political growth. Kamel Manaf explores how sex and internet activism link and overlap.

*Never mind the nipples: Sex, gender and social media* by Bishakha Datta

This article is based on the speech given by Bishakha Datta at the Disco-Tech event organised by APC that took place at the 2014 Internet Governance Forum in Turkey.

*(Re)govern and (Re)imagine a feminist internet: Sex, rights and internet governance at the IGF 2014* by Caroline Tagny

As a pre-event of the IGF 2014, APC convened a meeting of sexual rights activists, women human rights defenders and gender equality advocates to discuss the intersections between sexuality and internet rights in the framework of internet governance. In a context where discourse on human rights is increasingly taking its legitimate place in discussions surrounding internet governance, thanks in large part to the presence of civil society activists at the IGF, the issue of sexual rights is slowly but surely making its way into the various discussions at the forum.

*Why internet rights matter for Africa(ns)* by Sheena G. Magenya
When I found myself suddenly having to care for and look after my new born child alone, I panicked. I panicked because I had never done this before and the ten minute tutorial on washing and feeding my infant that the nurse gave me at the hospital was lacking in many ways. I had questions, so many questions ‒ but she didn’t have time. I was a woman, as far as she was concerned, and therefore I should be able to instinctively know how to care for and love my child. But I didn’t.

*#WhatAreYouDoingAboutVAW campaign: Social media accountability* by Sara Baker

Read all entries on gender peripheries of the IGF:…

Read also feminist talks on other recent events:

*Emma Watson, trolls and a feminist internet* by Jac sm Kee

*Hands off my internet! Abortion stigmas ‒ accessing and controlling information on reproductive rights* by Bianca Baldo

*International Women’s Media Foundation website hacked*

*Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition alarmed at reports of violence against Leyla Yunus in prison*

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*Queering internet governance in Indonesia*
In Indonesia, sexuality has gradually become a more and more open public discourse. Conflict on discourse of sexuality expands through the use of the internet. On the one hand, the internet has given space to the advancement of human rights including the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people. On the other hand, the technology creates a space which preserves the status quo of discrimination and violence against LGBTIQ people that has previously been evident in offline spaces.

*Video: Feminist talks on a feminist internet*

*Gender Dynamic Coalition meeting – Summary report*

*Feminist Principles of the Internet*

*Tackling gender-based violence with technology ‒ Case studies of mobile and internet technology interventions in developing contexts*

*Tools and Tactics for the LGBTI community in sub-Saharan Africa*

To read more resources visit

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2014 APC Women’s Rights Programme (APC WRP). Except where otherwise noted, content in this newsletter is published by, a project of the APC WNSP, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to share, republish or remix so long as you attribute and the author clearly as the original source.

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9th IGF: Feminist talks scale over the walls of internet governance