Impact of tech in women’s lives APC launches critical study

Association for Public Communications’ (APC) recently launched critical study that enumerates how technology impacts women’s lives in different ways. Click here to read the comprehensive report. 

The report looks at the following areas and sets out specific demands for each:

1.Access to infrastructure

  • A public access strategy that emphasises women’s needs
  • Expansion of infrastructure networks and decrease in communication costs
  • Women’s participation in decision-making processes at national and international levels on internet governance, infrastructure planning and regulation, and technology development.

2.Expression, information, agency

  • Inclusion of online realities in existing legal frameworks on hate speech and violence
  • Measures and legislation that protect women’s right to freedom from violence without infringing on freedom of expression and the right to information
  • Policies against censorship and filtering of sexual speech and sexual health content.

3.Economy and sustainable development

  • Commitment to human rights and women’s rights from ICT corporations ! Involvement of women’s rights advocates in internet governance
  • Training for women’s rights activists on sustaining their own platforms in order to control the content they produce
  • Support for community-owned internet service providers and access initiatives ! Women’s involvement in the development of free/libre and open source software (FLOSS).

4.Privacy and autonomy

  • An expansion of our right to privacy, incorporating the digital realm, as the United Nations has declared in its “Right to Privacy in the Digital Age”16
  • Stronger privacy policies in online platforms and workplaces and privacy by default and by design in applications
  • Digital security training for women human rights defenders and women’s organisations.

5.Decision making, public participation, activism

  • Emphasis on creating more democratic spaces online
  • Gender mainstreaming in government and private sector information and communications technology (ICT) policies, especially in internet governance
  • Gender equality in decision-making bodies.

6.STEM

  • Policies that improve girls’ access to quality education and ICT
  • Gender mainstreaming in STEM policies, education and recruitment, with an emphasis on challenging gender norms
  • Mentoring programmes and family-friendly policies in STEM workplaces.

7.Violence against women

  • Inclusion of gender-based violence, including hate speech, in community guidelines and a commitment to women’s freedom of expression from social media platforms
  • Inclusion of technology-related violence in existing laws
  • Training for law enforcement, legal staff, victim advocates and educators.

8.Environment

  • Gender mainstreaming in ICT and climate change policies
  • Policies that support community media and ICT training for women
  • Programmes that build women’s power as change agents in the home, community and global arena.

9.Women’s participation in media

  • Policies that promote gender equality in media work
  • Policies that support community media and ICT training for women
  • Commitment to women’s human rights, especially freedom of expression and freedom from violence.

10.Women’s representation in the media

  • Gender equality in media codes of ethics
  • Gender-sensitivity training for reporters
  • Support for programmes on citizen journalism and media literacy

Camilla Wood

UK based Legal Aid Lawyer

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