Take Back the Tech! campaign launches today

by Holly Combe // 25 November 2010, 13:00

Tags: technology, violence against women

From 25 November to 10 December, Take Back the Tech! is inviting people to take part in 16 days of activism against gender based violence. Each daily action explores an issue of violence against women and its interconnection with communication rights, approaching different communication platforms - online and off - in creative and tactical ways:

... As more and more women go online, using computers and mobile phones, many are silenced through acts of violence, sexism and censorship. The first object that is destroyed by a violent partner is often the woman's cellphone.

It's critical that we are able to speak out and share our ideas to challenge attitudes and beliefs that sustain violence against women.

Girl gamers have built online communities to counter the stereotype that only boys play video games. They post their thoughts, do game reviews and highlight games which are sexist. They are sending a clear signal to companies that produce games like Grand Theft Auto which includes rape of sex workers as part of its gaming strategy that this is completely unacceptable. And the video game industry is shifting its approach in game development to become more gender aware and inclusive.

It's critical that we are able to use the internet to share information and opinions and to document and tell our own stories, including the stories of violence and discrimination that many women and girls face every day.

All too frequently websites that bring or distribute information and call for support on women's rights are closed down.

The One Million Signature Campaign has been calling for the end to discrimination against women in Iran since 2007. Try accessing its multiple websites. They are consistently blocked.

Last year the Pink Chaddi campaign was launched as a peaceful protest against violent attacks of women who were accused of violating Indian “culture” for frequenting pubs. The campaign's online face was a vastly popular Facebook group which was consequently broken into and defaced. When the group owner complained to Facebook, Facebook disabled her account instead of helping her retake control. The group now avoids Facebook.

This year, Take Back The Tech! calls for action to defend our right to freedom of expression and information - the basic building blocks for us to be able to come together, organise for change, inform public debate, define culture, build safe spaces and end violence against women-- Take action! Take Back The Tech!

There are more details over at the Twitter and Facebook Causes pages. You can also find a short animated video about the campaign on the Take Back the Tech! youtube channel, along with Is Cybersex Real Sex? (where women's rights advocates at the AWID Forum talk about a variety of issues, incuding feminist practices of technology).

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