The 2012 Take Back the Tech! campaign, a collaborative campaign that takes place annually during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence, featured 16 stories for 16 days. Each of these stories presented a different way how internet and mobile technologies affect the lives of women and girls around the world. One of these stories was from Nica and Jothi from the Foundation for Media Alternatives, who wrote about their struggle for legal redress for technology-related violence against women in Philippines claiming that “without the full recognition of women’s human rights, the path to recognition can sometimes act to cripple instead of empower”.

Because, ultimately, what does women rights mean if they can not be practiced? What does the right to a life free of violence mean, if many women are not able to enjoy it? What does internet rights are if women can not communicate safely? This edition, editorialized by Françoise Mukuku from the Democratic Republic of Congo, reflects on some of issues emerged from these stories of survivor and courage.

Image taken from the feminist flashmob for women´s rights video co-organised by the Fundation for Media Alternatives as part of the actions for the Take Back the Tech!, which took place in the Plaza Miranda from Manila, Philippines, to celebrate the International Day of Human Rights” .



Security online, security offline

As I write, our online campaign: "respect online, respect offline" which, for 16 days, highlighted violence against women and girls in line with the campaign Take Back the Tech! inviting women and girls to use ICT to denounce violence, has just come to an end. But I realize that our campaign has been disrupted by the violence in my country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, even though it has not come near the capital of Kinshasa. You may be wondering how conflict can disrupt a campaign that is online or public events made ​​2000 miles away from where the violence is taking place.

The online world might be scary, but it can be a place where we empower one another

Anonymous (not verified)
Online harassment has become incredibly common for women around the world. Perpetrators of this violence act without fear of recourse, as anonymity protects them, and law does not limit their hate speech. Many women leave the online world out of fear that this violence will affect them in the offline world. But there are strategies that exist for women online activists to use to protect themselves, and to continue to make their voices and opinions heard. Jen Thorpe discusses some of these in this article.

Tell me what social network you use and I'll tell you what your struggle is

This article, written by Florencia Flores Iborra for, analyses some current cultural practices on some of the more popular online social networks, and the ways in which the publication policies of these platforms support or restrict the proliferation of certain behaviors relating to respect for the rights of women on the internet.

Digital World 2012: stories to end violence against women

The "Digital World 2012 - Knowledge to Prosperity conference": in Dhaka, Bangladesh 6-8 December was an amazing mashup of private sector, government, education, and civil society united in their interest in ICT for development. As coordinator of APC's "End violence: Women's rights and safety online project":…, Jan Moolman attended the meeting to present Take Back the Tech! in a session spotlighting tech-related violence against women and girls. Never before has a major national technological event spotlighted the elimination of violence against women as a priority.

Stories that need to be heard

Tonight, as I was thinking through this blog, my three-year-old offered to help. “It's not easy,” I warned her. “You see, there was a man who hurt a woman. He hurt her lots, and told her that if she didn't keep quiet, that he'd hurt her again. But she didn't keep quiet, and she told people her story.”

“A Facebook status can get you arrested faster than killing someone now”

In India, the largest democracy on Earth, 21-year old girl Shaheen Dhada was arrested for posting a status update on Facebook questioning the complete shutdown of cities for Bal Thackeray’s (rightwing leader notorious for inciting religious hatred and violence) funeral on Sunday, 18th November. Her friend Renu Srinivas was also arrested for “liking” the update which reportedly read: "People like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a 'bandh' [shutdown] for that." 

She's begging to be raped – Twitterverse for feminists in Pakistan!

‘She's begging to be raped.’ That's the response that many feminists in Pakistan get online from Pakistani men seeking to shut them up. This is a response from Pakistani men to women merely tweeting about issues related to sexualised violence.

Taking back the tech by tweeting for women´s rights

This selection of tweets circulated during the 2012 Take Back the Tech! campaign spotlights some of the key issues addressed during the 16 Days as well as relevant and provocative resources regarding violence against women and technologies.

Blaming the victim

It was a bit like ping-pong - reporters, activists, and representatives from civil society organisations in a hot debate on privacy in Facebook. Some pointed out how Facebook (FB) from its inception is designed to encourage giving up your innermost secrets – or at least your relationship status. That privacy configurations change frequently on FB and it's hard to keep up or understand the implications of a change.