india

Inside the world of India’s badass girl gamers

Neha Mathews on 17 Jul 2015
If there’s anything I love with a passion, it’s kicking serious ass. Which is probably why, as an 8 year old, Dangerous Dave inspired equal amounts of angst and satisfaction in me. In this simple 8-bit videogame, I overcame obstacles and struggled through levels, overusing my jetpack privileges and never quite pressing the Alt-key fast enough. Okay, maybe I wasn’t a particularly good player, but I eventually made it to the end, feeling invincible for exactly 30 minutes.

Peeping Tom Porn and Privacy

A couple makes out inside a cyber cafe cubicle in a city crunched for space and privacy. A woman bathes and changes clothes inside her hotel room. A honeymooning couple films its first time together, possibly to preserve the memories for a lifetime. All of them are oblivious to either being captured by hidden cameras or the possibility of their footage being leaked online. Voyeuristic websites and message boards and the ubiquitous mobile phone camera have ensured that Peeping Toms never run out of free, copious pornography.

Namita Aavriti: Through a freedom of speech and privacy laws lens

Flavia Fascendini on 6 Apr 2014
Namita Aavriti of the Alternative Law Forum speaking on the petition filed in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on online pornography from the prism of freedom of speech and privacy laws. She was speaking at the "Tangled, Like Wool" meeting held in New Delhi on January 28, 2014 as a part of the EROTICS India project.

Hooked on: Sex work and mobile phones

Street-based sex workers manage all business over the phone. Clients arrange their visits after confirming the sex workers’ availability via mobile phones. Sex workers communicate easily with outstation clients and their maalaks (literally meaning “masters”, often regular customers who have graduated into lovers), without the fear of prying eyes. Being constantly connected also helps build client relations, so to speak. “When I go out of town, my clients call and ask, ‘How long will you stay there? Come back’,” beamed Bharati Kamble. They share their joys and sorrows with their lovers over the phone; the conversation isn’t always about sex.

Decoding India’s Proposed Online Porn Ban – II

Rohini Lakshan​​é on 17 Mar 2014
This is the third in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Tangled, Like Wool” meeting held in New Delhi in January 2014.

“Where else would women go if not the internet?”

Menaka Rao on 16 Jan 2014
Urban Indian women use the Internet to learn about sex and sexuality while negotiating the thin line between finding intimacy and encountering harm. This is the sixth in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Connect Your Rights!” meeting held in Mumbai in November 2013. The meeting explored topics such as tools to combat violence against women, pornography, sexuality, and freedoms and risks in the online world.

Interview: Adolescent Girls’ Mobile Phone Use in Bihar, Jharkhand, UP

Rohini Lakshan​​é on 13 Jan 2014
Human rights organisation CREA conducted a study in Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh last year to assess the feasibility of delivering sexual and reproductive health information through mobile phones to adolescent girls. The study was a part of the “It’s My Body” programme held in collaboration with 15 local community-based organisations for girls aged 12 to 18 years. The findings of the study reveal the many complexities of providing information on sexual health to minors — the girls’ use of the mobile phone is extremely restricted and monitored by families, telecom operators are wary of partnering with such an initiative, and families and communities are uncomfortable with the topic. Rohini Lakshané speaks with Sanjana Gaind, Program Manager, Young Women’s Feminist Leadership, CREA about the study.

Sex work and the internet

Menaka Rao on 13 Jan 2014
Sex workers are increasingly using the Internet for finding business, organising themselves, and fighting for their rights. However, the online space is not without some of the hindrances of the offline one. This is the fifth in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Connect Your Rights!” meeting held in Mumbai in November 2013. The meeting explored topics such as tools to combat violence against women, pornography, sexuality, and freedoms and risks in the online world.

Decoding India’s Proposed Online Porn Ban – I

Menaka Rao on 18 Dec 2013
This is the fourth in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Connect Your Rights!” meeting held in Mumbai in November 2013. The meeting explored topics such as tools to combat violence against women, pornography, sexuality, and freedoms and risks in the online world.

Like being on the street: Women and online abuse

Menaka Rao on 29 Nov 2013
This is the second in a series of posts reporting on the day-long “Connect Your Rights!” meeting held in Mumbai in November 2013. The meeting explored topics such as tools to combat violence against women, pornography, sexuality, and freedoms and risks in the online world.

Snippets from Connect Your Rights, Mumbai

on 20 Nov 2013
Point of View held “Connect Your Rights!”, an all-day meeting exploring the links between gender rights, sexual rights, and Internet rights, on November 11, 2013 at Mumbai. It was the first meeting in the second phase of the EROTICS India project. The first phase comprised of an exploratory research study on sexuality and ICTs in India.

Tangled, like wool - Sex, sexuality and the internet in India

Bishakha Datta on 10 Jul 2013
A recent survey of sexual rights activists in India shows that most consider the internet an integral part of their activism. Tangled, Like Wool explores several intertwined questions arising from this: What does the internet bring to sexual rights activism? Do the online and the offline complement each other in this kind of activism? How does keeping the internet free and open strengthen sexuality rights? And why do these seemingly disparate domains - 'sexual rights' and 'internet rights' - need to come closer together?

Rediff and Rape Threats: What Rediff Could Have Done to Support Kavita Krishnan

on 23 May 2013
On 24 April, Kavita Krishnan, a leading figure in the anti-rape protests that have been rocking India since December 2012, was the target of online abuse on a public online chat on Rediff - an Indian leading media company and internet services provider. Ironically, the chat was addressing the topic of rising incidence of rape, and Kavita was invited specifically by Rediff to respond questions from their online audience on that issue. In this piece, Anja Kovacs investigates what Rediff could have done to ensure Krishnan’s safety.

Women and online abuse in India: Submission to Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women

Bishakha Datta on 8 May 2013
In the Indian context, the internet has played a critical role in opening up rights for women on one side of the digital divide, giving them access to vital (at times, life altering) information and an opportunity to exercise (some for the first time) their right to free speech and expression through platforms such as blogs, micro blogs and social media. However, as in their lives offline, in the online medium too they face harassment, violence and abuse. This harassment draws invisible but tangible boundaries for women within which to exercise their freedom of speech and expression. The boundary shrinks each time they experience harassment. It is vital to strike back at online harassment and preserve women's right to free speech.
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