freedom of expression

Silence is not the solution - women bloggers stand up to trolls

Grady Johnson on 18 Nov 2011
The net is not neutral. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the experience of women bloggers. Women bloggers face an unprecedented level of harassment and abuse online - both in terms of the volume and vitriol of attacks. But now women writers everywhere are standing up and speaking out against cyberharassment.

Commentary to the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders

Kateřina Fialová on 13 Sep 2011
The Commentary to the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders maps the rights protected in the Declaration and explains in what parts of the document are they protected, unpacks what each right entails and which are the common restrictions and violations of those rights, and lastly highlights good practices and recommendations regarding those rights. It pays particular attention to the specifics of the situation of women human rights defenders and the particular challenges they face, The guide is based mostly on information received and reports produced by the institute of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

Connectedness or alienation?

ItsAllMaya on 13 Sep 2011
Women's human rights activist Edna Aquino remarks on how ICTs have impacted her work, presenting both new opportunities and new risks. In her interview with new GenderIT.org writer, Maya Ganesh, Edna argues that activists using ICTs must be mindful of alienating women with the use of excessive jargon, and must always be keenly aware that there are inherent risks in online communications. However, she argues that these problems can be remedied through secure online communications training and capacity building.

ICT skills gap = online security risks

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza on 13 Sep 2011
GenderIT.org contributor Mavic Cabrera-Balleza interviews Mary Jane Real, outgoing coordinator of the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition about the use of internet and information and communication technologies by women human rights defenders, the opportunities they present as well as the digital security risks women human rights defenders confront. Real goes on to share her ideas on how the risks could be minimized or eliminated.

“Defending yourself means defending your community”

Jennifer Radloff on 13 Sep 2011
In the second part of the interview with c5 and anonymous, the trainers from the secure online communications workshop provide strategies for mitigating some of the dangers for women's human rights defenders. While examining the practices of policy-makers, internet intermediaries and every day users, they conclude that security means more than just awareness -- it requires behavioural change.

The changing face of women's rights activism: be careful what you say online

Jennifer Radloff on 13 Sep 2011
Jennifer Radloff, GenderIT.org contributor, and Running Toddler, a participant of a recently hosted workshop in secure online communications for women human rights defenders, interviewed the workshop's trainers, c5 and anonymous. In this first part of the interview, the trainers talk about their experience in training activists and human rights defenders to use technology securely, and the challenges inherent in communicating safely as feminists and women's human rights defenders, and the importance of awareness that these technologies can both serve us and put us at risk.

Internet rights are women's rights!

Kateřina Fialová on 13 Sep 2011
A couple of years ago I stumbled across GenderIT.org while browsing the web for information about women's rights, human rights defenders and the internet. I was hooked, but I never thought that I would be invited to write an editorial.

Secure communications essential to women's rights defenders

Grady Johnson on 29 Aug 2011
Grady speaks to women's human rights defenders from India and Philippines who use ICTs in their work. They share their views how the right to freedom of association is exercised by women through ICTs. Speaking from their own experience, they dispelled some of the common myths surrounding the internet and ICTs use.

MEDIA BRIEF: Censorship, sexuality and the internet

APC on 9 Aug 2011
What is sexual content on the internet? What are sexuality and sexual rights? Which communications rights are critical for people's sexual rights? What are the most common threats to people's sexual rights? What are some of the methods and impacts of censorship of "sexual content" on the internet? These and other issues are highlighted by the media brief published by APC as part of the EroTICs research.

EROTICS: Sex, rights and the internet - an exploratory research study

Jac sm Kee on 9 Aug 2011
How is the internet a key public sphere for the struggle for sexual citizenship and the exercise of sexual rights? What is its value to a diversity of users, especially those most marginalised or discriminated against because of their sexual, gender or other forms of social identity? Why do arguments for the regulation of the internet anchor on the moral imperative to regulate sexuality? Who are the key actors influencing processes of decision making, and what are the ways in which the potentially liberatory impact of the internet is being constricted and narrowed? The 3 year EROTICS research project delves into the complex world of sexuality and internet regulation, and uncovers interesting insights to these questions from Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa and the US. The full research findings and a synthesis chapter is presented in this report.

Internet in South Africa is more than meets the eye

Grady Johnson on 26 Jul 2011
Grady gives a glimpse into the final research of the EROTICS research in South Africa that explored lesbians and transgender people use of the Internet, and how content regulation measures can constrain the internet's democratising and empowering potential for LGBTI persons in the country.

Lebanon: Free speech is a gateway crime

Grady Johnson on 20 Jul 2011
The recent controversy surrounding the Gay Girl in Damascus (who turned out to be anything but) has this blogger scratching his head. Why are we all so focused on how MacMaster misled us, and not on the real issue?

EROTICS in Brazil: The complex universe of sexuality on the internet

Flavia Fascendini on 28 Jun 2011
Sexuality Policy Watch and the Latin American Centre on Sexuality and Human Rights teamed up together to conduct the EroTICs research in Brazil. In an interview with Flavia Fascendini, they talked about their participation in the project as an opportunity to address the nuanced impact of new Internet legislation on sexuality. They approached this complex issue from two sides: looking at legislative and public policy on the one hand, and at expressions of sexual minorities on the other. Their next step will be to discuss the findings with other researchers and actors in the fields of communications, gender and sexual rights.

India and South Africa: The hidden story of sex on the internet

Esther Nasikye on 23 Jun 2011
After two years the EROTICS research has revealed that sex on the internet is much more than just pornography, but instead it includes a vibrant ecosystem of individuals sharing and discovering their sexuality online. Not only that, the internet provides a space for sexual and identity rights activists to organize and advocate for change.

Lebanon and USA: Where is the line for sex on the internet?

Mavic Cabrera-Balleza on 22 Jun 2011
GenderIT.org contributor Mavic Cabrera-Balleza speaks with EroTICS researchers Melissa Hope Ditmore and Kevicha Echols as well as LGBT activist Nadine Moawad about the role of the internet in our sexual lives. They talk about the effect that filtering and censorship have on sexual expression and access to information, particularly for youth and LGBT persons.
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