giswatch

The politics of sex

Kateřina Fialová on 13 Nov 2015
“For many, sexuality goes to the heart of who we are as human beings,” writes Alan Finlay, the editor of the latest Global information society watch (GISWatch) report and also the guest editor for this edition of GenderIT.org. The 2015 GISWatch brings stories on the politics of sex and sexual rights online from 52 countries worldwide. Through interviews with authors, and a selection of links to online reports, this GenderIT.org edition draws on and highlights the stories published in GISWatch, ranging from the challenges and possibilities that the internet offers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LBGTQ) communities, to female genital mutilation, the right to legal abortions, to the rights of sex workers, criminalization of sexual expressions or sex education in schools.

[EDITORIAL] The politics of sex and sexual rights online

on 13 Nov 2015
This GenderIT.org bulletin focuses on the politics of sex and sexual rights online – the topic of the Global Information Society Watch 2015. Through interviews with authors, and a selection of links to online reports, it draws on and highlights the content published in GISWatch. Since 2007, the GISWatch provides a space for collaborative monitoring of the implementation of governments commitments towards the creation of an inclusive information society.

Restraining alternative sexual practices – Thailand's new Dangerous Behaviours bill

Lamia Kosovic on 12 Nov 2015
Thaweeporn Kummetha is an active journalist and blogger and works for the Thai Netizen Network. She wrote on cyber sexuality in Thailand, and the use of the internet in the sex trade in that country. Kummetha was interviewed by Lamia Kosovic, who is a lecturer at the Gender and Women’s Studies Department at SUNY Plattsburgh in New York, and an instructional designer at University of Maryland.

GISWatch 2015: Not revenge, not porn: analysing the exposure of teenage girls online in Brazil

on 12 Nov 2015
The term “revenge porn” has become popular internationally for describing a virtual form of violence: the act of an ex-partner making private sexual images or videos public online. Authors, Mariana Giorgetti Valente, Natália Neris and Lucas Bulgarelli of InternetLab – Law and Technology research Center explore and analyse the exposure of teenage girls online.

“Putting locks on our chastity belts...”: A discussion on sex education for teenagers

Florencia Roveri on 12 Nov 2015
A number of reports in this year's GISWatch focused on the everyday reality when it comes to sexuality that many teenagers face when using the internet. Mariana Giorgetti Valente from InternetLab - Law and Technology Research Center in Brazil, Lin McDevitt­Pugh from Netsheila in The Netherlands and Nieke Jahja from the Center for Civic Engagement and Studies in Indonesia approached this topic from different angles.

GISWatch 2015: Sexual rights and the internet

on 12 Nov 2015
The Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) 2015 presents stories from around the world on how the politics of sex and sexual rights activism takes place online. The topics of the 57 country reports gathered in this year GISWatch are diverse, ranging from the challenges and possibilities that the internet offers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LBGTQ) communities, to female genital mutilation, the suppression of sexual rights such as same-sex marriage and the right to legal abortions, to the rights of sex workers, violence against women online, and sex education in schools.

GISWatch 2015 - Dealing with sexting in schools in the Netherlands

on 1 Nov 2015
Sexting is defined as the publication of images that are in conflict with sexual decency and falls under Article 240 of the Dutch Penal Code. Lin McDevitt-Pugh of NETSHEILA, takes a look into the laws and policies put in place to deal with sexting in schools.

Gender dynamics need to be addressed in communications surveillance in Uganda

Flavia Fascendini on 4 Dec 2014
The incident involving the prime minister highlights why there is growing concern over the governance and regulation of communication surveillance, and how it is being used to infringe on one’s right to privacy in Uganda. Because this case affected a high-ranking Ugandan official, the question is, how safe is the ordinary Ugandan? And from a gender activist perspective, what are the gender concerns in the emerging policy and regulatory environment? Two recent studies on internet freedoms in Uganda were conducted by Unwanted Witness and Collaboration on International ICT Policy in East and Southern Africa (CIPESA). While both studies review the communications surveillance environment in Uganda, there is no specific focus on issues of concern by gender. However, both studies did raise various concerns that are relevant to women’s use of the internet and social media.

Women and cyber crime in Kenya

Naomi Kamau on 16 Jan 2014
Kenya has been one of the first African countries to adopt and innovate ICTs. With this have come both benefits, but also a rise in cybercrime and technology-based violence. A recent study by the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANET) on women and cyber crime in Kenya explores this violence. To unpack the findings of this study, Naomi Kamau spoke to the team behind the study: Alice Munyua, an associate at KICTANET, vice chair of the government advisory committee (GAC) and chair of the global IGF, she is also a representative of the African Union Commission at ICAAN; Victor Kapiyo, an advocate of the High Court currently working as a programme officer in the human rights protection programme at the International Commission of Jurists Kenya (ICJ Kenya); and Grace Githaiga, an associate at KICTANET, affiliated to the Media, Empowerment and Democracy in East Africa (MEDIEA) Research Programme.

GISWatch 2013: Setting the agenda on women’s rights, gender and ICTs

on 4 Dec 2013
In the 2013 Global Information Society Watch’s institutional overview entitled "Whose internet is it anyway? Shaping the internet – feminist voices in governance decision making":http://www.giswatch.org/institutional-overview/womens-rights-gender/whose-internet-it-anyway-shaping-internet-feminist-voice, Heike Jensen calls the attention to the hegemonic framing of issues and agendas in the internet governance field. “Any mainstream political agenda of issues already represents the outcome of power struggles among groups of privileged men, and the outcome of the subsequent policy debate largely reflects which groups of men have achieved dominance, or in gendered terms, which groups of men now represent hegemonic masculinity.” These processes of agenda setting and framing successfully serve to alienate many women, and keep them from entering the political process, and prevent them from immediately seeing how those issues connect to their own lived realities or the political issues they find most critical. Women’s ability to set the agenda is key to internet governance, and it relates to a power relation which we constantly work to subvert with GenderIT.org. It is also a key outcome of this year's "GISWatch":http://www.giswatch.org/2013-womens-rights-gender-and-icts, the focus of this GenderIT.org edition: setting women’s agenda and exploring and showcasing how ICT issues “connect to lived realities [of diverse group of women] or the political issues they find most critical.”

No easy reading

Flavia Fascendini on 29 Nov 2013
Nora Quebral (2012) - who is credited with coming up with the concept of 'development communication' in the early 70s - argued recently in an account of Asian domestic workers in the Middle East, and the right-to-drive protest by women in Saudi Arabia, that any analysis of rights is necessarily deeply contextual: “A tough question to answer would be: in which [of these two societies] do women have more equal rights to communicate and to develop?” (p63) While a universal rights-based discourse considers those rights inalienable, Quebral's point is that it difficult to analyse the extent that to which those rights are realised, and in doing so to build easy comparisons between different contexts.

Korea: Women’s privacy in danger through surveillance and leaking of private information

Shehla Rashid on 27 Nov 2013
“Digitising social welfare: Challenges of privacy” GISWatch report from Korea points out instances where women in the country have leveraged even non-political internet forums to discuss socio-political issues and to organise offline on crucial issues. However, it also highlights several government policies that expose women to privacy violations and related abuse. In particular, it points out the various dangers involved in the government’s collection of personal information from survivors of domestic violence, sexual abuse, forced prostitution, etc. The report also highlights the privacy violation of women workers in care professions due to high surveillance. Shehla Rashid Shora speaks to the author Yeo-Kyung Chang, who works with Jinbonet, about the state of women’s internet usage in South Korea.

Jamaican household workers use cell phones to protect their rights and improve the working conditions

Flavia Fascendini on 27 Nov 2013
Leith Dunn and Hopeton Dunn from the Institute for Gender and Development Studies Mona Unit, and Mona ICT Policy Centre, at the University of the West Indies, are the authors of the Global Information Society Watch article entitled “Women’s rights, gender and ICTs: Empowering household workers in Jamaica”. In this interview they told GenderIT.org why they chose this subject, how the sector of household workers is using mobile phones to improve their working conditions, and the role ICT policies and legislation have played to enable this advancement.

Cook Islands: Pushing for women leaders

Analía Lavin on 27 Nov 2013
The Global Information Society Watch Cook Islands report was released, written by Maureen Hilyard, Alexis Wolfgramm and Lynnsay Rongokea from the Pan Pacific and Southeast Asia Women’s Association. Analía Lavin interviewed Maureen Hilyard, one of the authors, on the main issues women face online, on gender equality in the political system, and on the role of the media.
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