Take Back The Tech! Reclaiming ICT to end violence against women

21 August 2008

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Take Back The Tech! is a 16-day campaign initiated by APC WNSP in 2006. From 25 November to 10 December every year, ICT users, communication rights advocates, feminist and women's rights activists reclaim ICT to end violence against women. Local and independent campaigns have sprung up in numerous countries and spaces, sharing priorities, knowledge and activism on this issue.

The root cause of VAW lies in unequal power relations between men and women in almost all facets of life. The field of ICTs faces the same gender disparity. As a result, digital spaces like the internet, broadcast and telecommunications have become defined and developed according to dominant perspectives of masculinities.

This means that VAW that happened in physical spaces like the home and streets, are now also taking new forms and occurring in digital spaces. For example, domestic violence abusers have used tools like spyware and GPS to track and control their partner's mobility.

APC WNSP believes that both ICTs and VAW affect our capacity to completely enjoy our human rights and fundamental freedoms. Our right to move freely without harassment or threats to safety also applies to digital spaces.

This 16-day campaign aims to engage greater participation by all civil society, especially grrls and women ICT-users, to think about this issue in diverse contexts and realities. By calling for all users to reclaim control over technology, we are asking for the right to define, access, use and shape ICTs for its potential to transform power relations, towards a vision and reality of equality. 

Subscribe to the Take Back The Tech mailing list here.

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