Three key issues for a feminist internet: Access, agency and movements

23 May 2016

The Feminist Principles of the Internet arose from the first Imagine a Feminist Internet meeting in 2014 in Malaysia. The meeting brought together 52 women’s rights, sexual rights and internet rights activists from six continents to discuss one question: “As feminists, what kind of internet do we want, and what will it take for us to achieve it?” The principles cover the topics of access, agency, expression, economy, movements and public participation. In this edition, we have inv ted partners from our #ImagineaFeministInternet network to dive into the topics of access, agency and movements and weave in some of the conversations that took place at the second Imagine a Feminist Internet meeting in July 2015.

EDITORIAL

Feminist Principles of the Internet: Two years later
By Dhyta Caturani
Two years after the initial birth of the Feminist Principles of the Internet, Dhyta helps us frame this edition where we see how feminists put the principles into practice in their own contexts. “As an evolving document, we need to constantly revisit it to make sure that it stays relevant, or else we should clarify, revise or even change it in accordance with the new circumstances and our needs,” she emphasises.

ARTICLES

Feminism online in West and Central Africa: Identities and digital colonisation
This article by Caroline Tagny examines the challenges that women’s rights and sexual rights activists face in online feminist organising and participation in internet governance decision-making processes in West and Central Africa. It focuses particularly on linguistic barriers, and the expression of sexual or gender non-conforming identities in a context of digital colonisation in the sub-region.

The Do-It-Yourself Feminist Internet: Cyber feminist actions from Latin America
Informed by resistance, dissident identities, intersectional approaches, issues of sexuality and universal access to the internet, we seek a collective answer to the question: Is a feminist internet possible? This reflection is a joint undertaking with Latin American women activists advocating freer and more equitable technologies and working to saturate the net with feminist content and decolonise the media. This is the challenge Florencia Goldsman expands on in this article.

Data: The new four-letter word for feminism
The discourse of data in network capitalism has unleashed an ethical crisis of self and society. As the all-pervasive grids of surveillance and big data ideology take over control of social behaviour and democratic politics, women seem to be increasingly disciplined by state authority and neoliberal capital alike. Can feminism offer a way out? This is what Anita Gurumurthy and Nandini Chami invite us to explore with them in this article.

FEMINIST TALK

Women’s safety? There is an app for that
There are myriad mobile phone apps meant to be deployed for personal safety, but technical wizardry perhaps makes it easy to lose sight of the fact that technology is not a saviour but a tool or an enabler. In this feministl talk, Rohini Lakshan​​é reminds us that technology alone cannot be the panacea of a problem that is deeply complex and, in reality, rooted in society and governance.

RELATED RESOURCES

Feminist Principles of the Internet

GISWatch 2015: Sexual rights and the internet

GISWatch 2013: Women’s rights, gender and ICTs

This edition was produced with support from the Ford Foundation.

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