Framing access and power at Stockholm Internet Forum 2017

The Stockholm Internet Forum 2017 focused their discussions on the links between access and power. In this article Shaikh Rafia Sarwar examines how access is linked to women's empowerment and particularly their economic empowerment. And whether the debate around access should focus on economic, cultural and social empowerment of women through and outside technology, rather than ensuring access to devices and internet via civil society projects.

Photo taken by author at SIF 2017

Hundreds of activists, advocates, journalists, researchers, donors, and just about everyone else converged into the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea – the city of Stockholm – to discuss powe“r and access online. 10PM sun aside, this year’s Stockholm Internet Forum (#SIF17) for easy tracking of the event on Twitter) was stronger than ever before and saw its participants and panelists talk about some real hard and somewhat depressing questions.

[COLUMN] Access and Beyond: Navigating mobile costs in communication

Africa is flooded with zero rating services such as Free Basics (Facebook’s zero rating scheme) and other subsidised data strategies. Do these schemes make internet more affordable and bring access to more people? In this column Chenai Chair examines whether ordinary people perceive such schemes as useful.

Photograph by Omaranabulsi under CC BY-SA 3.0 license


IGF Best practice forum on Gender and Access (2016): Overcoming barriers to enable women's meaningful internet access

This is the final output resource produced by a community of participants in IGF best practice forum (BPF) on gender and access in 2016. This is also the second resource produced by the IGF BPF on Gender, which in 2015 published an extensive resource on online abuse and gender-based violence. The BPF Gender’s outputs are considered living resources that will be updated and changed as additional input and comments are received.

[COLUMN] How women in the global south are RECLAIMING SOCIAL MEDIA to combat femicide

In this new column on reclaiming social media for addressing women's issues and feminist concerns, Samukelisiwe Mabaso begins by looking at the rising rates of femicide in South Africa (and other parts of the world). Various spontaneous movements led and powered by women have arisen and use technology and social media to amplify their voices and ensure their demands are met.

In May 2017, countless South African women took to Twitter and Facebook to share their harrowing experiences of abuse under the hashtag #MenAreTrash. The outpour of tweets and Facebook posts was sparked by the murder of Karabo Mokoena, a 22-year-old woman who was allegedly killed and burned by her boyfriend. Although the wording of #MenAreTrash has caused controversy, that will not be the focal point of this column.

Tackling the gender digital divide in Africa

The coming of the digital age and of information technology promises that those 'left out' or excluded from development will be to access their rights and enjoy a higher standard of living. But what is the truth for African women - are the experiences of all 'marginal' women being lumped together and how far away is the promise of equal access and gender equity.

Republished from author’s blog Koliwe Majama

The emergence of the internet is touted as an opportunity for women in Africa to ‘play catch up’ after years of being ‘left out’ in the mainstream media.

Gendering Surveillance

With our work on Gendering Surveillance, the Internet Democracy Project hopes to make more concrete the multifaceted ways in which widespread surveillance shapes, and harms, our lives.

At the time of writing this, we start with presenting you with three case studies on this site, examining the intersection of gender and surveillance in a variety of situations. Over time, we hope to further add to these.

[COLUMN] Access and Beyond: Motivations for internet use

In this column, Chenai Chair explores motivations of internet use through the ResearchICT Africa study in Rwanda, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. Business, local and global communication, social ties, and curiosity seem to be the main motivators. By understanding why people go online, we can better shape interventions for a connected society.

Field picture taken from 2011 survey: Source Research ICT Africa.

Do you remember why you went online for the first time in your life? This is my favourite question that you may not have yet thought about – but it reflects the  starting point in becoming a netizen.

This is the second in the series of columns on Access and Beyond that chronicles the research conducted by Research ICT Africa in Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa and Nigeria. In this column I focus on motivations for internet use.

Technology-mediated Violence against Women in India: Discussion paper

Archival image(1978) of women’s protest against rape laws outside Supreme Court of India

Technology-mediated Violence against Women in India:
How can we strengthen existing legal-institutional response mechanisms?

A discussion paper from IT for Change
January 2017

In January 2017, IT for Change initiated work in the area of forging an effective legal-institutional response to technology-mediated violence against women in India, with support from the WWW Foundation.

Did Facebook finally figure out that consent is more important than nipples?

Republished from Take Back the Tech!

When you receive calls at all hours from women desperate to get intimate photos shared without consent taken offline, it’s a relief to hear about Facebook’s latest move to address the distribution of non-consensual intimate images. Finally!


Working out access on our own: Community projects, gender and internet

As our cities turn smart and countries turn digital the gender gap in terms of internet access is disturbing. The lack of access directly relates to the loss of rights of women and minorities. Sadly there is a long way to go before we close this gap. Chinmayi S K explores projects that attempted in innovative ways to address the digital gender gap online.

Image from Rights Con Brussels 2017 website

Wikipedia describes internet access as “the process that enables individuals and organisations to connect to the internet using computer terminals, computers, mobile devices, sometimes via computer networks“.

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