Empowering women to fight online harassment and abuse
Ma Ma Cash
Take Back the Tech https://www.takebackthetech.net (@takebackthetech)
Womanity Foundation https://www.google.co.uk/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=womanity%20foundation
Violence against women (VAW) is a key focus area for global development. The UN estimates that one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence and about 120 million girls have been forced into sexual acts at some point in their lives. Technology doesn’t always make things better – recent research suggests that 76% of women under 30 have reported abuse or harassment online.
As a result, women and girls can be afraid to participate fully in their communities, both offline and on social networks, which has social, human and economic costs. And VAW is reported all over the world. In the UK alone, the accumulated economic cost of VAW has reached 28.5 billion euros – almost 90% of the total cost of gender-based violence in the nation.
A Mexico-based project called Luchadoras (‘Fighters’ in English) is working to protect and promote women’s rights through an online feminist TV show broadcast weekly through RompevientoTV. Originally run by La Sandia digital and establishing itself as a separate organisation following a win at the 2016 Womanity Awards, Luchadoras brings together a collective of female media producers based in Mexico City to network, equip women for digital self-defence, and train other women to create content that responds strongly to abuse and violence online.
The organisation is active across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, and has partnered with the Association for Progressive Communication (APC) in South Africa to run a 16-day campaign called Take Back the Tech, to help women counter online and other tech-related violence like unconsented posting of intimate images, and misogynistic trolling.
To date, Luchadoras has produced 160 shows with more than 250 women from Mexico, Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Iran, Nicaragua and Palestine. The weekly show has over 500,000 viewers per month and continues to grow. The organisation’s ultimate goal is to build an internet free of violence. Get involved via www.luchadoras.org
Image courtesy of Francisco Osorio
Last updated: 19th of September, 2016