Women's rights and the Internet: Take Action

This year the annual report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion focuses for the first time on the internet. Over recent decades, the internet has become a platform for shared learning, innovation, and collaborative action for justice. Yet, as the report details, freedom of expression and association on the internet is increasingly at risk.


It is imperative that women’s rights to freedom of expression and association not be restricted. However, many are silenced through acts of violence, sexism and censorship, including emerging forms of violence against women online such as cyberstalking, digital surveillance, and data monitoring. Such abusive practices may be reinforced by a blatant disregard of personal privacy by social networking platforms, by building content filtering tools into network infrastructure, or by the absence of good data protection laws to protect women against surveillance by their partners in domestic violence situations.


We call on all States to take immediate steps to end acts of violence, harassment and other human rights violations committed against women who choose to exercise their right to freedom of expression on the internet.


Image by Shahzad Ahmad, Bytes for All, Pakistan for TakeBackTheTech.net: Pakistani poet and human rights activist Faiz Ahmad Faiz calls for Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression.


(The featured articles have been selected from the GenderIT.org Archive.)

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Checkin from the Human Rights Council, a new and complex universe!

Marina Maria representing the APC's EroTICs project at the 17th session of UN Human Rights Council shares her experiences from the mission to 'a new and complex universe'.
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Internet regulations can benefit from cross-sectoral conversations, says Marina Maria at the Human Rights Council

Marina Maria, a member of the Brazil EroTICs research team, was one of the panellists of the 'Internet rights are human rights' event co-organized by the APC with the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs at the Human Rights Council’s 17th session in Geneva on June 3. Due to time limitations, she was not able to present her paper in full at the event. GenderIT.org is publishing her complete presentation in which she provides interesting insights in recent policy debates on internet regulation in Brazil and how human right framework's was brought back to the debate thanks to the intervention of local activists.
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Let's continue the debate: 'Internet rights are human rights' panel's video recording

The video recording of excellent panel on freedom of expression and the internet organized by the APC in cooperation with the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs at the Human Rights Council’s 17th session in Geneva on 3 June, is now available online http://media.lscube.org/view?what=/APC/apc_2011_06_03.mpg. Let's keep dialog going about women's freedom of expression and association and how to give women's and sexual rights meaning in the internet context.
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Women's rights and the internet at the Human Rights Council

The increasing prevalence of the internet in all aspect of our lives is becoming impossible to ignore, and that it is becoming pivotal in the realisation of our fundamental rights and freedoms. At the same session of the UN Human Rights Council, where the role of the internet on the right to freedom of opinion and expression is being reported by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression for the first time, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women is also presenting her report on violence against women, its causes and consequences. The synchronicity of both reports, especially given the fact that human rights are universal, interdependent and indivisible, calls for a close reading to identify the points of connection that can be built in the effort to recognise, analyse and address violations that affect the recognition, protection and fulfilment of women's human rights.