Take Back The Tech!
Take Back The Tech is a global campaign that connects the issue of violence against women and information and communications technology (ICT). It aims to raise awareness on the way violence against women is occurring on ICT platforms such as the Internet and mobile phones, and to call for people to use ICT in activism to end violence against women.
It was initiated by the Association for Progressive Communications, Women's Networking Support Programme, in 2006. Since then, the campaign has been taken up and organised by individuals, collectives and non-governmental organizations in at least 24 countries.
In 2013, Bytes for All, Pakistan was awarded the Avon Communication Award under the 'Innovative Campaign Award' category for leading an exemplary national campaign in Pakistan. The award was presented by Salma Hayek at the United Nations Headquarters.
The campaign highlights the way that violence against women is taking new forms through the use of ICT. This includes:
- Online harassment. For example, when a harasser sends repeated, unwanted, threatening and/or sexualised messages through the use of email or SMS. This can also include posting personal information about the victim and/or digitally altered images of the victim on public forums and websites, often accompanied by messages that solicit sexual or violent responses.
- Cyberstalking. For example, the use of social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to track a person's activity and movements, the use of spyware to monitor a person's computer and Internet use, and the use of global satellite positioning devices to track a person's physical movement and location, usually by a domestic violence abuser.
- Online violation of privacy and blackmail. For example, actual or threatened posting of private photographs and video clips that are usually sexualised in nature on Internet sites with the aim to humiliate another person, or to make the person comply with the demands of the poster.
Research indicates that the majority of technology-enabled forms of violence against women victims are women. Similarly, victims of technology-enabled forms of violence against men are men. Obviously, the victims of technology-enabled forms of violence against women can't be men and the victims of violence against men can't be women.
The campaign also recognises that the gender digital divide contributes to unequal power relations that creates enabling contexts for violence against women to occur. To address this disparity, campaigners are encouraged to:
- Recall and give recognition to the historical contribution that women have made into the development of ICT, such as the contribution of Ada Lovelace and Grace Hopper.
- Build the capacity of women and girls in the use of new ICT.
- Foster an attitude of experimentation and play with new ICT to overcome technophobia.
- Engage in activism and advocacy to improve Internet policy development that takes the gendered dimension of ICT into account.
Campaigners & Partners
- Foundation for Media Alternatives, Philippines
- University of Philippines Mindanao Gender Committee
- Bytes for All, Pakistan
- Centre for Independent Journalism, Malaysia
- Filmmakers Anonymous, Malaysia
- Prajnya, India
- Open Institute of Cambodia, Cambodia
- 16 Impacts of Sexual Assault, Australia
South & East Africa
- Si Jeunesse Savait, Democratic Republic of Congo
- Azur Developpement, The Congo
- Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), Uganda
- PADEAP, Uganda
- Ray of Hope, Uganda
- Women'sNet, South Africa
- Girls'Net, South Africa
- Nodo Tau asociación civil, Argentina
- Retome a Tecnologia, Brazil
- Colnodo, Colombia
- Asociación Latinoamericana de Educación Radiofónica (ALER), Ecuador
- La Neta, Mexico
- Ddeser Puebla, Mexico
- Proyecto ODM3 México - Modemmujer y LaNeta, Mexico
- América Latina Genera, El Salvador
- Secretaría de la Mujer de la Intendencia Municipal de Montevideo (IMM), Uruguay
- Instituto del Tercer Mundo (ITeM), Uruguay
- Take Back Riereta, Spain
- Akcija Zdruzenska, Macedonia
- Oneworld Platform for Southeast Europe Foundation (OWPSEE), Bosnia-Herzegovina
- Take Back The Tech! UK, United Kingdom
- Take Back The Tech! campaign website
- Cultivating Violence Through Technology? Exploring the Connections between Internet Communication Technologies and Violence Against Women, 2005, Jac sm Kee
- Women take back the tech in Philippines, The Jakarta Post, 19 May 2011
- Lebanon's girls set to take back the tech this summer, The Daily Star, 16 May 2011
- Virtual world, real dangers, The Express Tribune, 3 April 2011
- Beyond the stereotype, Dawn.com, 22 March 2011
- Breaking the silence, Newsline, 21 March 2011
- Radio helps tackle violence against women in villages, Phnom Penh Post, 19 March 2011
- Report From UN Commission on Status of Women - Day Three, Beyond Chron, 1 March 2011
- When we blogged in the streets, Women'sNet, 4 Feb 2011
- Take back the tech to eliminate violence against women, Global Voices Online, 29 Nov 2010
- Take Back The Tech! campaign launches today, The FWord, 25 Nov 2010
- Take Back The Tech!, The Nutgraph, 10 Dec 2009