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Tackling the gender digital divide in Africa

Koliwe Majama on 1 Jun 2017
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.

Its 2016 and Facebook is still terrified of women's nipples

Japleen on 10 Nov 2016
Facebook's arbitrary policy on women's nipples has angered many, who find their content removed or accounts suspended or banned. Japleen Pasricha writes about being repeatedly 'punished' by Facebook for posting content on the social media platform that is feminist and bold, about young women growing up and even images of protest by women in Manipur against the oppression of the Indian army and the rape of women.

Trafficking in Women: female objectification

Vera Vieira on 30 Sep 2016
A conservative estimate is that 42 million people are prostituted worldwide, of which 90% are exploited by pimps, and every year 2 million people are added to this number. Latin America has 10% of trafficking in persons for sexual activities - nearly half of the victims are children and youth under 18 years. Human trafficking is considered the third most profitable form of crime in the world, losing only to drugs and weapon trafficking, and increasingly social media and networks of trust are being used for recruitment.

Social media: Why can't I just leave? Why is it hard to stay?

Flavia Fascendini on 20 Nov 2014
I am a social media user, for several years now. I think Facebook, in particular, and the way it sets what is possible and what is not possible for its users, is slowly imitating the circle of life but in such a way that it narrows down our options, rather than opening them up. We start feeling more and more trapped after investing so much of our data, history, affections and expectations in our pages. I want a life online, but I want it my way – which means something diverse, not binary, something changing, sometimes questioning or indecisive.

Facebook: The king laid bare and the drag queens

Florencia Goldsman on 6 Oct 2014
The social network created by Mark Zuckerberg recently suspended the profiles of drag queens whose pages were under their stage names. The performers suddenly found themselves blocked from their accounts and were sent messages with instructions on how to replace their stage names with their legal names, according to Facebook’s “real name” policy.

DJ'S CHOICE OF THE WEEK: Male virginity, female masturbation and Koolaid

Tarryn Booysen on 6 Oct 2014
DJ's choice is a weekly section by GenderIT.org, exploring the depths of the web to provide you once a week with a top 5 of creative, interesting and informative pieces and resources on gender and ICTs. Delight yourself with this selection of “sparks”: Good readings, interesting links, videos, pictures, cool authors to point to, amazing tools, and much more. Send us interesting material to genderit at apcwomen.org or tweet us your links using #genderit.

DJ's CHOICE OF THE WEEK: Underwear, sucking and gaming

Tarryn Booysen on 25 Aug 2014
DJ's choice is a weekly section by GenderIT.org, exploring the depths of the web to provide you once a week with a top 5 of creative, interesting and informative pieces and resources on gender and ICTs. Delight yourself with this selection of “sparks”: Good readings, interesting links, videos, pictures, cool authors to point to, amazing tools, and much more. Send us interesting material to genderit at apcwomen.org or tweet us your links using #genderit.

Solidarity with imprisoned activists, with or without Facebook

on 6 Aug 2014
On the 23rd of June, I opened Facebook and found news that two friends had been arrested after participating in protests on the other side of the world. Natalie Lowrey is an Australian environmental activist who was arrested in Malaysia on 22 June during a peaceful action against Australian-owned Lynas Corporation's rare earth plant in Malaysia. Yara Sallam is an Egyptian feminist activist who was arrested in Egypt on 21 June during a peaceful demonstration against the country's anti-protest law. These two women human rights defenders (WHRDs) and friends who I had met at different moments in my activist life were now in jail, and I was alarmed and worried.

Digital misogyny: “It felt like 514 people had raped me all over again”

Nana Darkoa on 19 Jun 2014
In March 2013 Sitawa Wafula appeared as a guest on Kenya Television Network (KTN) where she shared how she had survived rape as a teenager, and her ongoing struggle with bi-polar disorder and epilepsy. An excerpt of her interview was shared on KTN’s Facebook page and to the horror of Sitawa, her friends and family, she received approximately 514 negative comments.

Transparency and accountability: Finding points of agreement following the #fbrape campaign

Shawna Finnegan on 13 Jun 2013
Last month a coalition of women's organisations led a campaign to hold Facebook accountable for its content policy. In particular, how it deals with hateful speech and representations of gender-based violence shared by its users. In response, freedom of expression advocates have expressed concern and criticism over the precedent set by demands for Facebook to remove hateful content from its site. This has spurred debate over gender-based hate speech, the interdependence of human rights, and the impact of sexist online culture. Debate over how to balance freedom of expression with the right to protection from incitement to discrimination is constantly being reframed in the context of new technologies and political realities. Despite this ongoing debate, there is clear space for agreement on the need for transparency and accountability in how Facebook and other internet intermediaries deal with abusive content, and takedown requests. This point has been made by advocates from a variety of backgrounds, including the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression.

#fbrape is about gender-based hate speech, not about censorship

Chat Garcia Ramilo on 13 Jun 2013
On May 21 more than a hundred organisations lead by "Women, Action & the Media”:http://womenactionmedia.org/, the journalist Soraya Chemaly, and “The Everyday Sexism Project":http://www.everydaysexism.com/ started a campaign to “Take action to end gender-based violence on Facebook":http://www.womenactionmedia.org/facebookaction/. Within a week, "Facebook accepted":https://www.facebook.com/notes/facebook-safety/controversial-harmful-and-hateful-speech-on-facebook/574430655911054 weaknesses and lapses in implementing their policies and their own community standards and committed to take steps to improve their content policy in identifying and removal of gender-based violent content on their platform. But not all advocates of freedom on expression online celebrated with us, arguing that Facebook should not be in the business of censoring content even if it is hate speech. This is not a new debate. It is a debate that feminists, who care deeply about freedom of expression, have faced around issues of misogyny and gender-based violent content. What is new is how these arguments play out online. What is crystal clear to those of us who are backing this campaign is that this is not a call to counter the right of users to free expression. The network of women's organisations behind this action understand that internet freedoms are critical to asserting women's rights and are staunch advocates of freedom of expression online and offline.

How women around the world are taking part in combating gender-based hate speech on Facebook

Nighat Dad on 13 Jun 2013
Sexist, gender-based violent speech is a norm today. Sign in, check your home page and somewhere on that or over the timeline you’ll be linked to a page or a photo which only serves to demean the existence of woman. What’s worse is finding some of your friends making jokes about it. But should that be a norm too? Finding your friends making rape and other gender-based jokes? No, it’s NOT funny! Stand up and shout out, haven’t we taken enough already?

How funny is this, Facebook?

Flavia Fascendini on 28 May 2013
“Take action to end gender-based violence on Facebook” is this campaign’s call that asks companies whose publicity appears on explicitly violent Facebook pages and profiles to help pressure the social networking platform to re-examine its response to violence against women and girls.

Blaming the victim

erika on 18 Dec 2012
It was a bit like ping-pong - reporters, activists, and representatives from civil society organisations in a hot debate on privacy in Facebook. Some pointed out how Facebook (FB) from its inception is designed to encourage giving up your innermost secrets – or at least your relationship status. That privacy configurations change frequently on FB and it's hard to keep up or understand the implications of a change.

Tell me what social network you use and I'll tell you what your struggle is

This article, written by Florencia Flores Iborra for GenderIT.org, analyses some current cultural practices on some of the more popular online social networks, and the ways in which the publication policies of these platforms support or restrict the proliferation of certain behaviors relating to respect for the rights of women on the internet.
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