Feminist reflection on internet policies

Changing the way you see ICT



Imagining a feminist internet 20 years after the launch of Section J

Posted Mon 13 Apr 2015 - 22:26

Is it still possible to imagine a debate on a feminist internet within the context of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)? This question has been resounding since the last session of the CSW took place in March 2015.

The exclusion of women’s rights activists from both the negotiation of the political declaration and the CSW Methods of Work resolution resulted in the failure of the Commission to confront the real challenges that women and girls around the world face. Women and the media is one of those imperative issues. Twenty years after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and Section J on women and the media, a comprehensive and up-to-date recognition of the critical role that the media and ICTs play in both advancing and stifling women’s rights is still in the pipeline.

We hope you find this GenderIT.org edition useful, with its analysis of what happened around Section J at the 59th session of the CSW, as well as what did not happen, and ideas on how to strategise around this space in the future.

Image by Leo Reynolds used under Creative Commons license.


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).