Feminist voices from Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyz women women face numerous obstacles in achieving equal rights with men. Non-consensual bride kidnapping and domestic violence are the most serious social problems. I introduce a few brave initiatives that pretend to releave women and girls from the weight of the past.

A couple of years ago I volunteered in a small village in Kyrgyzstan where I witnessed at first hand a myriad of discriminatory practices based on gender. One girl was abducted and forced into a marriage against her will since her parents did not want her to bring dishonour to the family. Continue reading “Feminist voices from Kyrgyzstan”

Her Net Her Rights – this is how we do it

The European Week of Action for Girls has just passed, which is a yearly event that aims to promote the empowerment of European women and girls. In order to join this action, we decided to cover an online conference that was held as part of the European Women’s Lobby project Her Net Her Rights.

Prominent figures within the feminist movement, like activists and researchers, had gathered around the virtual table to discuss women’s rights issues online and possible solutions to create a safer web for Europe’s women and girls, as part of Her Net Her Rights by the European Women’s Lobby (EWL). Continue reading “Her Net Her Rights – this is how we do it”

Get an overview of online feed from #HerNetHerRights conference

#HerNetHerRights brings together the main actors on the issue of online violence against women and girls in Europe: researchers and activists, decision-makers and youth, survivors and women’s organisations. Get an overview of content, comments, videos, articles and reactions from the conference here!

It is the European Week of Action for Girls. As part of it, European Women’s Lobby hosts an online conference, #HerNetHerRights, Friday 13 October, 9.30-12.15 ECT. For complete program, see here.

For background info, read our latest post Online battle against online violence against women and Girls

Follow us here if you want to get an overview of content, comments, reactions and interactions! #storify

Continue reading “Get an overview of online feed from #HerNetHerRights conference”

Online battle against online violence against women and girls

Bullying, harassments and threats are no new phenomenon. But the degree to which these are directed towards girls and women have made civil society and academia raise awareness about it.

Forms of online harassment can vary widely, from name-calling and trolling to stalking and shaming to outright sexual and death threats. Women harassed online are many times expected to either ignore or feel flattered in response to the harassments. Continue reading “Online battle against online violence against women and girls”

Technological development from its’ darkest side – online child abuse

This is not a pleasant subject to discuss, but I aim to do so in solidarity to all children over the world who suffered or in this moment is a victim of commercial sexual exploitation online. The question is if we have gone too far in the technological development to ever be able to eradicate this atrocious criminality? This post is a simply reminder that ICTs are not inherently good.

I probably do not even need to mention how information and communication technologies (ICT’s) and social media have impregnated modern life. As I discussed  my first and second posts, ICT’s has an enormous potential to cultivate solidarity and digital activism. Unfortunately social movements and activists are not the only ones taking advantage of Internets’ potential for connection and sharing. Continue reading “Technological development from its’ darkest side – online child abuse”

Resisting #assholesonline – feminist activism against online sexual harassment

Online sexual harassment is part of many girls’ and women’s everyday life. As legislation is slow and patriarchal structures urges women to disengage and avoid any risks rather than to fight back, resisting isn’t always the easiest way to go. But by using online platforms as a way of exposing and responding to harassment, a growing number of women are finding new, creative ways of fighting back.

A study from Swedish children’s rights organization, Friends, shows that one-in-five girls in the age 10-16 in Sweden have been sexually harassed online last year (Friends 2017). An American study shows how online harassment is on the rise in the US.

Continue reading “Resisting #assholesonline – feminist activism against online sexual harassment”

Digital Activism that Peacefully Seeks to Engage – The Case of Sarantaporo in Northern Greece

Digital activism is often associated with protests and resistance against society’s inequalities, but there is also a form of activism that is more peaceful in its nature that seeks to make a change by direct collaboration. One example of digital activism that peacefully has sought to engage citizens to collaborate action is the Sarantaporo Project in Greece, an initiative by a small group of people that has managed to bring free Internet access to thousands of people by tackling the digital divide.

People have gathered on the streets in New York City’s financial quarter in the name of the Occupy Wall Street Movement to protest against economic inequality. Many have been spurred by hash tags, and twitter feeds, and they are there to show that they resist and want change. A scene that probably comes to mind for many when thinking about digital activist movements. In general digital activism is involving Continue reading “Digital Activism that Peacefully Seeks to Engage – The Case of Sarantaporo in Northern Greece”

Children-404: The (in)visible pride of Russian LGBT teens

Russia represents a blatant illustration of state-sponsored homophobia. I interview Yelena Klimova, a founder of an online support group Children-404, to reveal the main challenges for LGBT activists in Russia. In such a hostile context, a simple like is a sign of enormous courage to publicly express one’s solidarity with the often ignored LGBT community.

Russia represents a blatant illustration of state-sponsored homophobia. Enacted in 2013 with an approval of the President Vladimir Putin, the ban of propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships to minors, triggered a wave of hate crimes against sexual minority groups. The discriminatory legislative initiative Continue reading “Children-404: The (in)visible pride of Russian LGBT teens”

How sociology can help us to create stronger online dialogue

I consider New Media to mainly be about connection and connecting people and information, but lately I have thought about the circumstances and felt the need to investigate how it allows us or not as activist to work collectively and with courage.

As a student I’m always interested in interdisciplinary investigations and my favourite discipline to involve in my communication studies is sociology. This connection between new media and sociology might not seem obvious at first glance, but during this research I have found more and more academic and journalistic writing on how we engage as humans through social media, both as individuals and in collective.
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Digital Activism – ingroup bonding or bridging across differences? The case of #jagärhär

We live in a time where polarization of opinions is growing. Expressions of xenophobia and misogony are getting more and more normalized. Based on the premise that positive (mediated) contact with ‘others’ reduce prejudice, where are the digital initiatives that try to bridge across differences within the public sphere? Is Swedish activist group #jagärhär one of them?

One of the first lectures I listened to when I started studying Communication for Development about a year ago was from professor Silvio Waisbord (2016). He posed some questions that haven’t left me since then. He talked about how the mediated public sphere of today is characterized by “shattering of the public”, meaning that the public is no longer one single public body, but many, and in many cases disconnected from each other. He pointed at phenomena like digital narcissism and echo chamber communication where all you see and read confirms your own world view. Based on the premise that positive (mediated) contact with ‘others’ reduce prejudice, Waisbord called for digital initiatives that try to bridge across differences within the public sphere. But he did not have one single example so far. That beat me down.

Continue reading “Digital Activism – ingroup bonding or bridging across differences? The case of #jagärhär”