Arab States

The Uprising of Women in the Arab World censored by Facebook

Yara Sallam on 13 Nov 2012
On 10 November, the page of The Uprising of Women in the Arab World posted that Dana, the Syrian woman whose photo was censored by Facebook, was restored after a call for support against Facebook censorship of her photo.

Collateral damage of the cyberwar in Syria

Jennifer Radloff on 24 Oct 2012
Jennifer Radloff and Grady Johnson speak to a Syrian activist in exile about the government increasing tendency to securitize the internet and crack down freedom of expression and freedom to privacy on-line. They also talk how limited access to ICTs, self-censorship due to widespread surveillance and reliance on commercial social networks in combination with a general lack of technical knowledge jeopardise the work of women rights defenders in particular, and how they can avoid being caught in the crossfire.

Mapping the intersection of technology and gender-based violence

Sonia Randhawa on 14 Dec 2011
On 25 November 2011, Take Back The Tech! campaign launched an interactive map that allows internet users to share their stories, local news and personal experiences of gender-based violence they faced online or through the use of mobile phone technologies. As of 7 December, the map has recorded 103 stories from across the globe, with the majority of stories coming from Africa, Latin America and Asia. Sonia Randhawa draws on the data collected through the mapping platform and looks at some of the trends this data reveals to us about technology-related violence against women.

From Clock Square to StreetWatch: mapping sexual harassment in Palestina

on 14 Dec 2011
Dalia Othman, a researcher and human rights activist, reports on a new initiative in Ramallah, Palestina, that uses online mapping and mobile phone technology to allow women to combat sexual harassment in the streets.

Connectedness or alienation?

ItsAllMaya on 13 Sep 2011
Women's human rights activist Edna Aquino remarks on how ICTs have impacted her work, presenting both new opportunities and new risks. In her interview with new writer, Maya Ganesh, Edna argues that activists using ICTs must be mindful of alienating women with the use of excessive jargon, and must always be keenly aware that there are inherent risks in online communications. However, she argues that these problems can be remedied through secure online communications training and capacity building.

Lebanon: Free speech is a gateway crime

Grady Johnson on 20 Jul 2011
The recent controversy surrounding the Gay Girl in Damascus (who turned out to be anything but) has this blogger scratching his head. Why are we all so focused on how MacMaster misled us, and not on the real issue?

Gay Girl in Damascus is actually Straight Man in Scotland

Grady Johnson on 21 Jun 2011
If you saw the headline you have no doubt already heard the news that Gay Girl in Damascus was totally a dude. I know, right?

Editor picks from conversations on women & technology @ #CSW 55, Day 4&5 - Feb 25/26

Kateřina Fialová on 28 Feb 2011
Katerina F. picks from the most interesting conversations on Twitter concerning women & rights & technology during the fourth and fifths day of the 55th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), taking place in New York. You can follow our tweets on section J of the Beijing Platform for Action and women's communication rights under the hashtags: #csw #genderit (or #genderitES for Spanish).

EROTICS: Exploratory research on sexuality and the internet - summary report

Jac sm Kee on 16 Feb 2011
What is the value of the internet in the exercise of sexual rights? From 2008 to 2010, the EROTICS research sought to answer this question, aiming to bridge the gap between policy and legislative measures that regulate content and practice on the internet, and the actual lived practices, experiences and concerns of internet users in the exercise of their sexual rights. The summary report provides an overview of the research, and surfaces the key areas of concern, interest and findings of five national studies in Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa and the United States. They give a compelling glimpse into the richness of the research universe, and the complexity of the subject.

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Internet?

Nadine Moawad on 2 Jun 2010
"Clearly, one cannot speak of sexual rights activism in Lebanon without speaking at length about internet usage, as both are tied together at levels from personal identity and relationships to political activism and mobilization," claims Nadine Moawad, the APC's EroTICs project partner. In this article, she assesses the role of the internet in the rise of sexual rights activism in Lebanon, and explores connections between internet regulations and attitudes towards sexuality.

New technologies and women in Arab countries: a forest of concepts, a complex reality

Natalia Fernández-Diaz identifies the difficulties of understanding feminist concerns regarding the needs and potential benefits of emerging technologies in what is usually known as ‘Arab countries’. Locating the relationship between women and ICTs in women’s movements, Fernández-Diaz interrogates the concepts of technologists, producers, users, victims and indirect beneficiaries in this complex political, geographical and imaginary terrain.

Sex, Social Mores, and Keyword Filtering: Microsoft Bing in the "Arabian Countries"

Kateřina Fialová on 2 Jun 2010
Microsoft’s Bing tailors its search engine to serve different countries and regions and offers its services in 41 languages. It has a filtering system at the keyword level for users in several countries. Users in the Arab countries are prevented from conducting certain search queries in both English and Arabic. <br /> The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) (a collaboration of the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies, Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet &Society, and the SecDev Group) testing reveals that Microsoft filters Arabic and English keywords that could yield sex- or LGBT-related images and content.

Access is denied: a report on the status of the internet in Iran

Kateřina Fialová on 2 Jun 2010
The report published by an Iran CSOs Training and Research Center discusses the advent and development of the internet in Iran, censorship and its methods, weblogs and their role in the civil society. As documented by the study, the content filtering basically blocs all content concerning women.

WSIS Plenary Statement by the Iran CSOs Training and Research Center on Behalf of the West Asia and Middle East Region

Kateřina Fialová on 2 Jun 2010
The statement calls for the follow-up with the Iranian authorities to inquire about the reasons for the banning of the 2nd Civil Society Regional Forum on the Information Society for the West Asia and Middle East Region on August 23-25, 2005 in Kish Island.

Women's Statement on Tunisian Human Rights Situation

Kateřina Fialová on 2 Jun 2010
The women's group statement on the blatant violations of human rights, freedom of expression, access to information and freedom of assembly by the Tunisian government circulated during the Phase II of the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis (November, 2005).
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