Locating gender at the Internet Governance Forum 2015

22 December 2015

For nine years, feminist activists struggled to bring gender issues out of the peripheries at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). The 2015 IGF which took place in Joao Pessoa, Brazil, proved that the link between gender and internet governance is being more and more recognised. Women accounted for 38% of onsite participants. Gender, women’s and sexual rights was mentioned in at least 15 workshops on the agenda. One of the six Best Practice Forums, which seeks to produce more concrete outcomes on topical issues, focused on countering abuse of women online. This GenderIT.org edition gathers feminist reflections on the 10th IGF, pointing to evident advances as well as some still pending issues.

EDITORIAL

Finding her place: Gender at the 10th IGF
By Bishakha Datta
A quiet sense of satisfaction- that’s what I felt at this year’s Internet Governance Forum, when gender moved out of the wings and came onto the main stage: here, there, everywhere.

ARTICLES

Trusting our net
Shawna Finnegan and Emilar Vushe, who are the part of the Association for Progressive Communication’s policy programme, engage in a conversation about their highlights of this year’s Internet Governance Forum (IGF). They speak about the value of the IGF as well as barriers to access it, national and regional initiatives, and some of the biggest internet governance issues right now, such as public access.

Let’s talk about the past to understand the internet of the present
Paz Peña starts this feminist talk looking into the past of Chile with the intriguing statement which may resonate with many of us:“The internet is all about the future and the next big thing and gosh, I’m so bored of that. Let’s talk about the past in order to understand the internet of the present and its fights over rights.”

Diversity, gender, women’s and sexual rights: All videos from the IGF 2015 in one place
Flavia Fascendini put together the videos from all discussions at the IGF 2015 which concerned gender issues, women’s and sexual rights, bringing forward the Feminist Principles of the Internet.

Gender and technology have been increasingly recognised as a human rights issue
“Between the belligerence of the “Gamer Gate” (the controversy regarding the last UN report on violence against women), and a very uncommon Stockholm Internet Forum who in its last session, focused on gender issues, the context for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Joao Pessoa was a very interesting opportunity to see how gender would be addressed in the most important internet forum of the world”, writes Paz Peña in her reflection on incorporation of gender perspective in this year IGF.

RELATED RESOURCES

Women’s rights, gender and Internet governance
This issue paper by Avri Doria addresses the degree to which gender and women’s rights feature in internet governance, in multiple interconnected ways including, but certainly not limited to, access, content and representation. Gender and women’s rights occupy a largely rhetorical role in today’s discussion of internet governance.

GISWatch 2015 – Sexual rights and the internet

Queering internet governance in Indonesia

GISWatch 2013: Women’s rights, gender and ICTs

Image: Indoor location services on mobile phone by Intel Free Press . Published under the Creative Commons Some rights reserved international license .

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