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Pakistan: Exploring technology-related violence against women

Posted Wed 13 May 2015 - 15:19

Welcome to the first in a series of seven mini-editions we’re putting together to highlight the project End violence: Women’s rights and safety online. Each edition focuses on one country in which the research was conducted, and brings together articles, major findings, and interviews with the research teams.

In this edition we look at Pakistan, where religious and cultural controls over women intersect with technology, language barriers prevent intermediaries from addressing abuse, and justice has a slippery meaning. Using the voices and stories of three women survivors and research led by human rights organisation Bytes for All, this edition explores various facets of technology-related violence against women in Pakistan.

editorial

It is not yet time; we must reclaim our space

Juliet Were on Wed 15 Apr 2015 - 21:35
Juliet is a development practitioner with a special focus on women, peace and security. As a researcher, trainer and evaluator at Isis-WICCE, she has interfaced with women and men in post-conflict Uganda, Liberia, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal, documenting their perspectives on war and armed conflict and providing them space to contribute to the global discourse on post-conflict reconstruction. She is an ardent advocate of gender and ICT issues.

It is exciting to be a part of this edition, and especially that it is 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – a blueprint that brought energy and enthusiasm to the women’s movement. It enhanced the liveliness of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action, and reaffirmed that “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”. Today, in a number of dialogues with communities, sentiments like “these are the Beijing women” pop out, an indication that our message has taken root and that it is causing discomfort to the patriarchal systems and structures. Violence against women is rooted in patriarchy and thus any progress observed in the feminist discourse in the past 20 years has been an effort in dealing with societal attitudes, practices and behaviours. And for attitudes and behaviours to shift, Section J on “Women and the Media” has played a central role. A key element in this success is the creativity and innovativeness that women have brought on board using information and communications technologies (ICTs).