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*GENDER CENTRED: A GenderIT.org thematic bulletin*
APC WNSP - GenderIT.org, 10 April 2012
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I. THOUGHTS AROUND... Discovering worlds and sharing resistances online
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From 21 May to 4 June 2012, the second cycle of the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) will begin at the UN Office in Geneva. The UPR is a unique mechanism for states to tell other countries what they have achieved in promoting human rights – but also for non-state actors to raise issues of concern in a non-confrontational fashion. This edition of GenderIT.org will allow you to learn more about the current discussions about women's human rights on the internet, with a particular focus on the country reports for Brazil, Ecuador, India, the Philippines, and South Africa for the UPR process made by APC and their partners. These reports raise for the first time internet-related women's human rights issues as part of the UPR.
In the edition, we ask three women human rights defenders and co-authors of the country reports for Brazil, Ecuador, and the Philippines about the importance of the UPR for the rights and daily lives of women, the trends in exercising women’s and sexual rights online, and their tips on how women’s and sexual rights activists can support their advocacy through the UPR process.

Flavia, Grady and Katerina from the GenderIT.org's team
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I. THOUGHTS AROUND... Discovering worlds and sharing resistances online
by Daysi Flores, the regional coordinator of communication for JASS Mesoamerica

As a girl growing up in the 80s in Central America, in Honduras, who went to state schools, I had few chances to access any type of technology. It was even difficult for us to access books as a source of knowledge, and letters were a form of communication to which only some of us had access. All of the music - other than the music that my mother listened to - was only available in English...

Read the full editorial at:

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From 19 - 22 April 2012, APC and GenderIT.org will join over 2000 women's rights activists from around the world at the 12th AWID International Forum in Istanbul, Turkey. The Forum's theme is on the issue of economic power, and how this impacts on women's rights and the planet. APC will be bringing to the Forum our work and perspectives on internet rights as a key feminist issue, focusing on privacy, security, resource mobilisation and the role of the private sector in internet governance. Join us at the AWID Forum! GenderIT.org will be providing live coverage of the event through blogs and on Twitter. Post your questions and thoughts to @GenderITorg on Twitter. Hashtags: #awidforum #ftxawid.
Read about the APC's key activities @ AWID Forum 2012: www.genderit.org/node/3562
Find out why is the internet feminist issue: www.genderit.org/node/3561
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*Brazil: We have no specific debate on women's internet rights*
Magaly Pazello, activist and specialist researcher in gender and information and communication technologies, recently joined the team that developed the Brazil report for the UN's Universal Periodic Review. In discussion with Flavia Fascendini, the editor of GenderIT.org, Pazello confirmed that there is still a great deal to do with regards to the connection between women's rights and a broad understanding of the internet.

*Opportunities for Ecuadorian women to connect their rights online*
In the interview with Flavia Fascendini of GenderIT.org, Valeria Betancourt, manager of APC’s Communications and Information Policy Programme, argues that the incorporation of knowledge transfer through technology, connectivity for the information and knowledge society, and finally, inclusion and the guarantee of human rights within the broad strategies of Ecuador’s National Plan for Good Living for 2009-2013 represents an excellent opportunity for a structural consideration of women’s rights in relation to the internet.

*Finding the balance: Women's rights and the internet in the Philippines*
GenderIT.org writer Sonia Randhawa speaks with Jelen Paclarin, executive director of the Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB) in the Philippines, about the potential of the UPR to improve the lives of women in the Philippines, the emerging forms of technology-related VAW and key challenges in addressing it, and the importance of women's representation in policy-making processes.

To read more stories about the women's internet rights visit GenderT.org's edition "Danger and opportunity. ICTs and Women's human rights defenders":

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In this edition, we feature five country reports - Brazil, Ecuador, India, the Philippines and South Africa – that were submitted to the UN Universal Periodic Review, which will convene at the UN in May 2012. Each of the submissions was written in collaboration with the local members and partners of the Association for Progressive Communication, including: the Digital Empowerment Foundation, Nupef, Sangonet, CIESPAL, and Radialistas Apasionadas y Apasionados, the Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau, among others.

*Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Brazil*
This joint submission has been prepared by the APC Women’s Networking Support Programme in consultation with Instituto Nupef and is endorsed by Sexuality Policy Watch. The submission focuses on human rights and the internet in Brazil. It highlights areas where Brazil is doing well, specific areas of concern, and makes five recommendations for follow-up and implementation. The submission focuses on the women’s human rights to sexual and reproductive health information and citizens’ rights to free expression and privacy.

*APC's submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Ecuador*
APC’s submission for Ecuador to the UPR process, with support from CIESPAL and Radialistas Apasionadas y Apasionados, focuses on issues of access to the internet and highlights the critical importance of the internet for human rights, as well as social and economic development. Although the first UPR of Ecuador did not include reference to internet-related human rights issues, the events of 2011 showed that the UPR must include the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms on the internet, particularly freedom of expression and freedom of association.

*UPR: Submission on internet-related human rights issues in India*
In the submission, the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) is particularly concerned with making the internet an effective tool to exercise rights to information in India. DEF believes that the internet plays a major role in accessing information and thus a tool for social and economic development. This submission outlines India’s progress and specific areas of concern: information technology law and policies, the right to information and internet access, and internet governance. The submission also highlights the need for a rights-based approach to internet-related policy development so it promotes women’s communication rights and sexuality rights.

*Submission to the UPR: Women’s access to justice in the Philippines*
The submission to the UPR process elaborated by the Women´s Legal and Human Rights Bureau, Inc from the Philippines addresses the issue of women’s access to justice in the country, which highlights technology-related violence against women (VAW) as an emerging form of VAW. The submission also looks at the gaps and challenges in available domestic remedies to survivors of violence and abuse against women online, criticizing that existing laws on VAW do not guarantee the prosecution of technology-related VAW. It further highlights the importance of women’s access to the internet and their representation in policy processes as integral to their right to access to justice.

*Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of the Republic of South Africa*
This joint submission from APC, CALS, CIVICUS, Gender Links, Highway Africa Chair in Media and Information Society, IDASA, ODAC, Right 2 Know, SANGONet, Section27, and SERI focuses on freedom of expression, the right to information, freedom from censorship; freedom of the press, the right to privacy, and the importance of affordable access to the internet in South Africa. The submission criticizes women's underrepresentation in media ownership, and highlights the importance of safe public internet access for women, specifically marginalised women, e.g. unemployed women in rural areas.

To read more on this issues visit GenderT.org's *communication rights* section:

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*Universal Periodic Review*: www.genderit.org/glossary/term/1443
*CEDAW*: www.genderit.org/glossary/term/1444
*Internet rights*: www.genderit.org/glossary/term/768

To understand unfamiliar ICT or gender terms visit the Jargon section:

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We are introducing four partners participating in APC's "Connect Your Rights! Internet rights are human rights" campaign. As the part of this campaign, APC aims to document violations of freedom of expression and association of women's human rights defenders on the internet, as well as build their capacity to respond to security threats.

*Just Associates* (JASS)

South Africa: *Right 2 Know campaign*

Philippines: *Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau*

India: *Digital Empowerment Foundation*

To find out more about key stakeholders in the field of ICTs, visit the Who's Who in Policy's directory:

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*What matters in building feminist power through technologies?*
"When I first read the title of this session, my answer to this question was: EVERYTHING!", starts Jan Moolman in her Feminist Talk on women's rights activist mobilisation online. In her contribution, she focus in particular on some challenges that impact on feminists solidarity and ability to organize. This Feminist Talk was first presented by Jan Moolman at the research meeting ‘Gender and Citizenship in the Information Society’ that was organized by IT for Change, and took place in Bangalore in February 2012.

*Latest CSW session could be a real step backward*
by Dafne Plou
The inability of governments to agree on a common language of sexual and reproductive rights at the latest CSW session could potentially threaten established women's rights. So-called “traditional values” contradict the spirit and effectiveness of human rights.

To read more Feminist Talk's posts and debates visit:

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*2012 APC Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP). Except where
otherwise noted, content in this newsletter is published by GenderIT.org, a
project of the APC WNSP, and licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. You are free to
share, republish or remix so long as you attribute GenderIT.org and the
author clearly as the original source.
*Gender Centred Archive*
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Write to: mailto:genderit@apcwomen.org
Twitter: @GenderITorg #genderit
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