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An interview with Helen Nyinakiiza, who has recently joined Association for Progressive Communication as an individual member. Helen is a passionate digital security trainer, and in this interview she talks about the use of technology and internet rights in Uganda, the digital divide around gender and region, and how she does her trainings.
Online harassment has taken various forms on the internet, including doxxing, intimate violence, stalking and so on. In this article, Part 2 of the series, Maya Ganesh explores a different way of thinking through this contemporary phenomenon by using an approach that emphasises 'design-thinking'. Possibilities that are explored include whether the system or platform can predict or respond to interactions that are escalating. However we also need to acknowledge that design, no matter how good, cannot solve social problems or harassment, but can be part of how we deal with it.
We can no longer ignore the pervasive datafication of our lives - the ways in which our habits, illness, abilities, relations are abstracted, and our bodies made into data by an intersecting range of institutions and processes. In this article, the gendered, sexualised and racialised nature of surveillance is unpacked, so we maintain a focus on the power relations involved. Surveillance affects racialised groups, the gender non-conforming, people with disabilities, and other marginalised populations disproportionately.
Judith Owigar speaks about her journey entering into tech spaces, and also about their work with Akirachix in Kenya helping other women along the same journey marked by trials, exclusions and success. While speaking about the barriers of education in science and technology (STEM), she says that what inspires her work in many forums around women in tech in Africa, is that eventually a woman should have the space to make her own choices.
This edition on gender, labour, technology examines how gendered labour is embedded in the making of digital devices in the hardware industries spread across Asia, how inequities of gender and other dynamics of caste, race, ethnicity continue to play a role in allegedly emancipated corporate spaces across the globe, and the disturbing strands of gendered labour of volunteering and managing even in movements. Rightly so it is pointed out by many who were interviewed that it is not necessary that digital technology or the internet in and of itself plays a role in empowering women and gender non conforming people, but that it can be one of myriad tools in this long struggle.
The Distributed Denial of Women strike borrows the metaphor of the DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack as a radical and subversive tool by activists, but currently DDOS attacks powered by zombie-bots are part of the anarcho-capitalist economies of the internet. Ganesh in their article unpacks the many levels at which gendered labour is extracted, and while positing feminist autonomous infrastructures as an alternative, points to the flaws and the contradictions in the movement and civil society as well.
Multinational companies often put in place a policy for diversity and inclusiveness at the workplace, but does this guarantee the everyday, actual practice of accepting people from marginalized communities, and especially women from such communities. In this article, Christina Thomas Dhanaraj, examines what it means to be Dalit in corporate India - the continued invisibilising of caste, sexism and gender inequity and the effectiveness (or not) of diversity policies.
Research suggests that women are underrepresented at every level in technology(McKinsey survey, 2016). Why is this the case? And how do we educate, hire, and retain more women in it? In this article, Radhika Radhakrishnan highlights the underlying realities that women face in technology beyond just a numbers game, and offer insight to such questions by interviewing diverse, pioneering women working in various aspects of the field.