Blogs

Ten facts about your computer: Health, hardware and the toll on women

This article takes a look at where our hardware comes from, the electronics factories situated in primarily Asian countries, and the challenges facing the people, primarily women, who work there, through ten issues that impact upon women workers in the electronics industry. Ten facts that illuminate the gendered nature of the labour that is embedded in our hardware.

Photograph of Seagate Wuxi China Factory Tour by Robert Scoble, Original image

The top-end of the computer industry is still seen as a sexy place to be. The culture may be designed to wed you to the job, but its a pairing that many professionals envy. And of course, as this week’s protest is designed to highlight, this side of the industry is not where the women are.

The Architectures of Online Harassment (Part 1)

In this two part report on a workshop on thinking through online harassment, Maya Ganesh of Tactical Technology Collective teases out the nuances of how online harassment takes place, technologically and socially. The article looks at what troubles and concerns us about online harassment of women, and what could be the possible new directions opened up by using a design-thinking approach. Part 2 of the article will unpack further the design-thinking model.

On January 3, Caroline Sinders and I conducted a workshop at Tactical Tech about applying design-thinking approaches to understanding and addressing online and offline harassment. I write about the results of this workshop in two parts, the first, this one, dealing with the framing of online harassment in the context of speech, and why this needs to be reconsidered.

A painting of an African feminist internet

Addressing the internet gender divide in Africa can only be achieved through the deliberate creation of a feminist internet, and this was affirmed by the Gender and Internet Governance eXchange (gigX) workshop that was held on 10 October 2016 in Durban. We need a feminist internet that works to empower all of us in our diversities, creates equal power relations, and dismantles patriarchy in all of its forms.

A signboard in a school in Uganda. Public Domain Image: source
Article republished from APC blog, 11 Nov 2016.

The internet remains one of the historical developments transforming human behaviour, greatly impacting on the social, economic, cultural and political spheres of life at an incredible speed.

‘There’s someone else just like you’: inside India’s asexuality networks

Asexuality is often dismissed as experience or identity, even by those within the medical community. However in recent times the internet has played a valuable role in both affirming the choices of those who identify as asexual, and in building networks of support and conversation. Given that it is still very difficult to speak openly about any sexuality in most physical spaces in India, the internet is the only place where digitally-connected asexual people or aces can safely (and anonymously) speak about their experiences.

This article was originally published on Deep Dives
Cover Image: Jasmine Dreyer, 2015. Image Source

When Naqshpa* was a teenager, her friends swooned over Hrithik Roshan’s toned muscles and papered their walls with posters of Rahul Dravid. Meanwhile, they called Naqshpa a ‘kid’ because she didn’t feel that way about anyone.

[COLUMN] Gender Binary: Second Life, First Loves

In this column, Nadika Nadja explores the world of gaming and how it opened up realms of experience for her. Second Life, an enormous immersive multiplayer game, and many other similar environments on the internet, have been revelatory and powerful spaces for people to discover aspects of themselves, particularly in terms of gender and sexuality. From shame and fear, to play and sex, and to finding comfort zones and support online, Nadika sketches out her journey for us.

Some of the biggest questions people have had are about oneself. “Who am I?” “Where did I come from?” Archaeology, which studies the evidence that human communities leave in the land, helps answer at least a part of the “Where did I come from?” question.

Defining their place: Gender at the Internet Governance Forum 2016

The Internet Governance Forum has been valuable as a multistakeholder space that facilitates the discussion and dialogue of public policy issues pertaining to the Internet. Over the years several feminists, activists and others interested in diverse representation have been participating in IGF and observing how concerns related to gender, sexuality, and the internet are raised and addressed. Smita Vanniyar writes a short report on IGF 2016 in Guadalajara, Mexico, and how gender and sexuality are still largely a concern for the women activists and queer people present, rather than for all.

Photograph taken by Smita Vanniyar

The internet has played a huge role in my life. When I first learnt about internet governance, I wanted to know more and more. I was eager to do my bit in making the internet more welcoming for women, queer persons and other minorities. The 11th Internet Governance Forum (IGF), held in Guadalajara, Mexico from 6-9 December, 2016, was the first international IGF which I attended.

[COLUMN] Taking action: Making climate justice and climate action a reality

In the final column on gender, ICTs and climate change, Sonia Randhawa explores what are the possible actions that individuals can take -- in the face of impending climate change and the devastating and inequitable effect it has on people. At an individual level, we can reduce our carbon footprint. We also need to get involved in the climate movement. The climate emergency is with us now, and we need to mobilise to ensure that it forces a better world, rather than a continuation of injustice and reinforcing of inequality.

In this final column of GenderIT’s series on climate change, I apologise for the apocalyptic picture painted in the last four articles.

[COLUMN] Finding solutions: Using ICTs to face the climate emergency

In her fourth column, Sonia Randhawa looks at whether ICTs can play a role in finding solutions to climate change. However while ICTs seem like an ideal technology for building networks and connections between people, it remains out of reach for most people, especially women who are often at the forefront of struggles in relation to climate change. Community radio is far more accessible for disenfranchised and marginalised groups, and those in the global South who now have to contend with the impact of climate change.

Daily reports keep coming out about the myriad ways in which our planet is changing. We are rapidly approaching the cap of 1.5 degrees Celsius agreed as the upper acceptable limit of global warming at the Paris talks in 2015.

Beyond the offline-online binary – why women need a new global social contract

The non-territorial, transborder Internet has added layers of complexity to the human rights debate. The idea of substantive equality – a compass for human rights and the key to gender justice – must be interpreted anew and afresh, as the force of digital technologies complicates the nature of social relations and institutions. The easy binary divisions of online and offline cease to make sense in an increasingly digitised world.

Original artwork by Flavia Fascendini

The non-territorial, transborder Internet has overlaid layers of complexity to the human rights debate.

ESC rights, gender and internet: Learnings from the GISWatch report

The GISWatch report 2016 looks at the link between economic, social, cultural (ESC) rights and the internet in several countries, and from a multitude of systems of governance, whether that of socialism and the welfare state, or the semi-functional welfare schemes in parts of Asia and Africa (Uganda, Cambodia), and even the relatively privileged parts of the world, like Spain. Here is a synthesis of the reports that deal with gender, sexual orientation, sexuality and women human rights defenders.

Image depicts China’s popular vlogger Papi Jiang

The Global Information Society Watch report last year (GISWatch) dealt explicitly with internet and sexual rights, and this year the report examines the link between economic, social, cultural (ESC) rights and the internet.

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