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Established by the Human Rights Council at its 15th session in September 2010, the Working Group on Discrimination Against Women in Law and Public Life focus is to identify, promote and exchange views, in consultation with States and other actors, on good practices related to the elimination of laws that discriminate against women. In early January this year, Jan Moolman, on behalf of APC Women’s Rights Programme, input a very relevant presentation to the Working Group, which looked at the paths of restriction and paths of resistance, to “illustrate how women are participating online, some of the ways in which discrimination is taking place, and the impact of that discrimination. We will look at why a lot of the legislative initiatives that aim to regulate online spaces are not working and often work against women, and put a strong case for regulating online spaces through a progressive human rights framework, rather than a framework derived from regulating other media spaces, such as television, radio or print.”
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.
In partnership with members and networks, APC is working to protect and promote human rights online, engaging governments and other relevant stakeholders through a variety of United Nations processes including participating in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). This submission prepared by APC and LaNeta under the APC project "End violence: Women's rights and safety online project", focuses on human rights on the internet, with a particular focus on violence against women, and protection of journalists and human rights defenders.
This executive summary outlines the baseline for the present legal and regulatory framework in Colombia on violence against women (VAW) and information and communication technologies (ICT). The data was gathered by collecting information on the legal and regulatory framework. Three main aspects were identified: 1. The criminal offenses defined in the Criminal Code and related to a greater or lesse degree to the violence against women and ICT. 2. The criminal offenses related directly to ICT and VAW. 3. The information technology offenses which are related to the use of ICT for committing crimes against privacy, property, public trust, etc. In the case of women those offenses committed against their life, personal integrity, freedom, autonomy, and dignity among others.
When it comes to gender issues, technology presents opportunities and likewise challenges. Opportunities to promote gender equality and equity to end discrimination are endless and borderless. However, technology has become an unwilling accomplice that inflicts gender-based violence. Statistical data on violence against women and other gender-related crimes are regularly gathered to know if efforts of government have been effective in gradually reducing the number of these crimes and brought more victim-survivors to justice. Many have been said about how poor, dismal and incomprehensible these data are for the general cases of VAW. However, the main purpose of this study is to know the state of reporting and documenting of technology-related cases of violence against women so that it can help in the drafting of the guidelines and protocols for eVAW. Are there reports available on technology-related VAW? If yes, how are they documented? What is the reporting mechanism used?
This report is intended to provide insight into the use of ICT tools as a means of women empowerment, aiming to dissect their use in facilitating women in realising leadership roles in society. The report is meant primarily to tackle the issues of ‘Violence against women’ (VAW) and ‘Gender based cyber harassment’ in Pakistan, and to address these issues by holding a discourse on the use of ICTs as tools for the betterment of this condition – by enabling and positioning women in roles where they can proactively work towards such a goal themselves.
The statement by Anita Gurumurthy, Executive Director, IT for Change, at the closing ceremony of WSIS plus 10 review held by UNESCO from 25th to 27th February, 2013, starts questioning _"what went wrong?"_ in the last decade since the internet should have been been equalising social and economic opportunity. Why did the internet, and the information society phenomenon not do what it was supposed to do?
This video was developed by Bytes for All from Pakistan, as a country partner in the Association for Progressive Communications project "End violence: Women's rights and safety online":https://www.apc.org/en/projects/end-violence-womens-rights-and-safety-online. "Don´t cover the crimes of your harassers and report them to bring a change" is the key message of this outstanding video.
Violence against women (VAW) that is mediated by technology is increasingly becoming part of women's experience of violence and their online interactions. In the same way we face risks offline, in the streets and in our homes, women and girls can face specific dangers and risks on the internet such as online harassment, cyberstalking, privacy invasions with the threat of blackmail, viral 'rape videos' and for young women in particular, the distribution of 'sex videos' that force survivors to relive the trauma of sexual assault every time it is reposted online, via mobile phone or distributed in other ways. VAW that is committed, abetted or aggravated through the use of ICTs and in online spaces are part of the continuum of violence against women and is a significant barrier to women's and girls' ability to take advantage of the opportunities that ICT provide for the full realisation of women's human rights and development. Read APC's Women's Rights Programme statement to the CSW 57th Session.