Argentina: Violence against Women and Information Communication Technologies

Read the English abstract of the paper below. Full paper is available in Spanish.
In
2008, internet was used in Argentina by almost 50% of the population,
57% men, 43% women with 4 million connecting from cybercafes.
Seventy-five percent of people over 50 don´t know what a web
browser is.
Violence
against women (VAW) in Argentina is expressed in several different
ways:
Femicide: An average of 16 women per
month were killed by their spouses, partners or boyfriends in 2008
(192 in the year)
Trafficking
of women: This crime affects
around 400,000 women, many of them brought into the country from
neighbouring countries, particularly Paraguay
Patriarchal
violence: VAW is embedded in
the culture, affecting interpretation of law and women's ability to
exercise their rights. This violence is also expressed as symbolic
violence in the media or in everyday societal rules that control
women´s lives.
VAW
and ICTs: Few cases of VAW
using ICTs have been denounced in the country. One study found that a
small percentage of young girls had been contacted by unknown people
via chat or Facebook before disappearing. Cell phones are also used
for controlling women's movement and it has become one of the first
artifacts to be destroyed by the partner during violent reactions,
according to survivor testimony.
Legislation
on VAW: A new law on VAW was
passed this year, that includes symbolic violence. A law against
trafficking of women was passed last year, but it was very
controversial and not accepted by the women´s movement because
it did not included protection of adult women trapped in forced
prostitution.
Legislation
on ICTs: A digital
agenda is being discussed in the country, but it has been hard to
include a gender perspective in it. In the bill of the new law on
communication services, equal portrayal of women and men has been
included, plus VAW in media issues. Argentina has signed the Budapest
Cybercrime Agreement, freedom of expression in the internet is
protected by law, and crimes related to informatics have been
included in the Penal Code. The main crimes committed using ICTs in
the country are swindle, fraud, privacy violations and infant
pornography.
Women´s
movement and ICTs: Most of the
organisations that work on VAW issues use ICTs for sharing
information and networking. Some of them participate in
observatories, that include VAW in the media as one of their issues.
Several organisations have worked together to lobby authorities or
Congress members on specific issues.
Main
recommendations for action:
There
is need to work with women and the women´s movement to use ICT
strategically to stop VAW. Women should exert their right to
communicate in the internet and using other ICT devices, like cell
phones.
A
national database for VAW cases and for trafficking cases should be
created.
There
should be more collaboration between government units and NGOs
working on VAW and trafficking of women, sharing information and data
to stop this crime.
Create
awareness on VAW and ICT issues.
Participate
in the conference of ICT Governance and in the discussion of the
Digital Agenda.
Emphasise
digital literacy of women to combat VAW and create educational
process to use ICTs with a gender perspective.
Publication date: 
Jueves, Noviembre 5, 2009
Year of publication: 
2009