South America

Argentina: Strategic use of ICT as a response to violence against women

Florencia Goldsman on 28 Jul 2010
Although violence against women through information and communication technologies is not yet a matter of public discussion in Argentina, the problem affects the lives of women and girls. A workshop held in Buenos Aires by APC WNSP to guide women in the strategic use of ICTs to combat violence resulted in some interesting initiatives. Concern regarding the irregular use made of cell phones, the growing circulation of pornographic images and the impact of social networks on women’s privacy are some of the points highlighted in the debates at the workshop. In connection with the workshop, Florencia Goldsman and Flavia Fascendini investigate the status of public policies aimed at promoting the use of ICTs to fight violence towards women, and delve further into some of the aspects of privacy and security.

Argentina: Violence against Women and Information Communication Technologies

Kateřina Fialová on 2 Jun 2010
Cristina Peralta examines the situation in Argentina, where few cases of VAW using ICTs have been denounced. 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 mobility and have become one of the first artifacts to be destroyed by the partner during violent reactions, according to survivor testimony. However, most of the organisations that work on VAW issues primarily use ICTs for sharing information and networking. Some of them participate in observatories, that include VAW in the media as one of their concerns. This paper looks at these issues, and concludes with recommendations for civil society to help address these problems and formulate policy to deal with emerging challenges. Read the English abstract of the paper below. Full paper is available in Spanish.

Brazil: Violence against Women and Information Communication Technologies

on 2 Jun 2010
In this paper, Ingrid Leao, Thais Lapa and Tamara Amoroso discuss violence against women in the media, with advertisement and TV show examples. It also looks at civil society expectations for the first National Conference on Communications, to be held in December 2009. It examines the use of social networks like Orkut and Twitter; denouncements of VAW practices, such as cyber-bullying of teenage girls; and how ICTs are also used for prevention and assistance of VAW survivors.Read the abstract of the paper below. Full paper is available in Spanish.

Colombia: Violence against Women and Information Communication Technologies

Kateřina Fialová on 2 Jun 2010
Lucy Niño and Lida Nuñez look at how the Colombian government has paid special attention to ICT policies, offering ICT literacy programmes and ICT inclusion in marginalised areas, while at the same time ICTs are used to promote prostitution and pornography produced in the country via the internet and cellphones. Government has produced a campaign to foster a “healthy use” of internet and to protect children. Social movements and women´s movements have also used ICTs for anti-VAW campaigning, supporting survivors and promoting images of women free from stereotypes in the media. This paper examines these trends, and urges action to end VAW in public, private and institutional spaces, in the internal armed conflict and in the symbolic sphere. Read the English abstract of the paper below. Full paper is available in Spanish.

The reality of virtual reality: the internet’s impact within gender equality advocacy communities in Latin America

Graciela Selaimen on 2 Jun 2010
"ICT can impede inclusion and participation if users do not pay attention to its effects on communities and the structures of organizations themselves. Deliberate and thoughtful engagement with the technology is essential". This is one of the assumptions presented in this study, where the author analises the potential of ICT to foster democratic relations and effective strategies within civil society and looks at the internet’s influence on advocacy communities, especially within the women's movement and organizations.
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