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Tackling gender based violence in the digital age

Kirsten Bickford wrote on Oxfam Voices and Views

In a world where the digital landscape is rapidly changing the way we access information, the extent to which technology can help or hinder those affected by gender based violence (GBV), is by no means black or white. Kirsten Bickford reports back from Lebanon where activists met last week to discuss the gendered dimensions of our digital age.

The internet, like any other technology, is not a gender-neutral environment. It serves people globally to speak out, organise and mobilise, as much as it is used to attack and silence them. Forms of on-line harassment and sexual exploitation are exacerbated by our hyper connectivity, which can lead to further harm off-line. Yet, on-line reporting and monitoring is being used to challenge the structural causes of GBV – it also provides a platform for support and dialogue which can make women feel safer. Read more here

#GenderTech Confronts Gender-Based Violence in MENA

SMEX wrote:

Is the internet providing more space for women to liberate themselves, or expanding the space for gender-based violence? To mark the international “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence” campaign, Oxfam, in collaboration with SMEX and the Knowledge Workshop, a Beirut-based ongoing workshop for (re)searching and gathering women’s stories, organized “Gender Tech,” a two-day event held in Beirut to discuss women’s engagement in online spaces and their right to access them safely.

Gender-based violence and technology: entering the 16 Days of Activism

November 25 marked the beginning of the 16 days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence around the globe, which first saw the light in 1991. Activism can be taken to the streets, as the demonstrations in different places such as in Paris show. However, activism is, according to its formal definition, all about bringing political or social change through vigorous campaigning.

Under the lines of activism and feminism, a Gender_tech hackathon took place this past Friday and Saturday at Antwork, Hamra in Beirut. Activists of Human and Women’s rights, as well as academics and technologists gathered for this two-day event where the main goal was to discuss on the intersections of gender and technology, as well as proposing feasible and realistic solutions to end online and offline violence against women and girls. Oxfam, SMEX and the Knowledge Workshop organized the event, in collaboration with HumanityX, association for which Kate Dodgson, host of the Gender_tech, works. HumanityX specializes in innovation sprints, such as hackathons, where they take into consideration the topic, the people attending, the region they’re working in, and the desired outcomes of the day. Read more on the blog.