These are the questions raised at the mailing list discussion for
the Theme: "VAW & ICTs: Harmful representations of women in ICTs,
censorship and internet governance"
. We hope for further engagement and responses to them from the users
of this space (Feminist Talk)
This first theme is more of an exploratory discussion rather than
attempts at solution. Importantly, we hope to draw from each other’s
knowledge and experiences, as well as case studies or ideas that we may
not be aware of.
Some issues raised on this topic, particularly from the NGO side event
at the recent B+ 10 (Beijing + 10) where we raised the issue of VAW
& ICTs are:
- Images and VAW
Does new technologies like the internet create a new dimension to VAW,
particularly in relation to representation or images? For example,
where technologies like webcams and DVDs are used to disseminate and
market exploitative images of women, especially in male-orientated
pornography, does that mean that the definition of trafficking has
shifted from trafficking in persons to trafficking in images?
- Forming relationships over the Internet
The issue of mail order brides, where men can surf the internet for
prospective wives, especially when it is generally in a North-South
paradigm, is this a new form of VAW that we should be concerned about,
or is it simply an existing practice that is taking advantage of newer
technologies? What about cyber dating and cyber sex? Is there something
that women’s rights activists should be concerned about? E.g. when
adult men/women pose as youths to engage young people in sexual
- Women’s relationship to VAW and ICTs in post-conflict situations.
What are the dimensions that need to be highlighted? Where are women’s
contributions invisible and why this is so? This point was raised
especially with regards to the Tsunami affected areas and sexual
violence that was occuring in those spaces.
- Development of technologies and VAW
Is there a relationship between the dominant control of technological
developments in the hands of men, and the use of technology for
perpetrating VAW? For example, the development of video technology was
heavily influenced by the pornographic industry. Is there a similar
thing happening with spy software, digital tracking devices and
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