The Heart of the Post – 2015 Development Agenda and the Future We Want for All
Global Thematic Consultation
APC’s Women’s Rights Program (2012)

Information  and  communication  technologies  (ICTs)  create  new  scenarios,  new  ways  for  people
to  live,  and  these  reflect  real‐life  problems.  Women  need  to  assert  their  rights  here with determination  and  without  delay.  Women  may  not   have  been  an  active  part  of  policy­‐making conversations  when  internet  governance  started,  but  the  rapid  pace  of  change  online means they  need  to  participate  now  to  ensure  that  the  future  of  the  internet  is  shaped taking  into account  women’s  rights.  For  people  who  have  little  access  to  other  kinds  of publics  due  to  the multiple  forms  of  discrimination  they  face ­‐ including  gender,  age, class or  sexuality  ­‐ the  internet  can  be  a  particularly  important  space  to  negotiate  and realise  their  rights.

For  women,  the  internet  is  a  vital  public  sphere  due  to  barriers  of  access  to  media  or political representation.  Inequalities  that  women  face  in  terms  of  economic  power,  education and access  to  resources  also  affect  access  and  participation  in  shaping  the  internet,  its debates  and policy.  This  explains  why  the  internet  has  become  an  increasingly  critical public  sphere  for  the claiming  of  citizenship  rights  and  civil  liberties,  including  women’s rights.  For  those  who  have little  access  to  other  kinds  of  “publics”  due  to the  multiple  forms  of  discrimination  faced  – including  based  on  gender,  age,  economic  status  and  sexual  identity  – it  can  be  a  particularly important  space  for  the  negotiation and fulfilment of their rights.


This paper will explore the following issues:

  • Self, body and autonomy
  • Culture and society
  • Economic power and development
  • Public and political participation

Download the paper here.


Going visible: Women’s rights on the internet