The internet is viewed as the gateway to development. So, how do we respond to the challenge of the persistent digital divide? Mariana Fossatti says that we have to do this by decolonising our thinking around global governance of the internet, prioritising factors of justice and equity.
In this fourth column on gender and community networks, Nic Bidwell looks closely at the processes and difficulties of research on the social and gender impact of community networks in rural places, and focuses on some issues encountered in the nitty-gritty of such research.
Here are some tips and insights on how to use social media for activism and movement building. These are learnings from the vocal and active African feminists who have used the internet and social media to amplify their causes.
The community networks ecosystem is predominantly occupied by men. Due to the lack of gender diversity and parity, we lack the valuable perspectives of women in these debates, and the lack of visibility of female role models creates a barrier for others to become active in these spaces.
Targeting "the gap" between women and men in access to the internet is fundamental in reaching the goal of access for all.
In this interview, Kathleen Diga and Nic Bidwell, along with Namita Aavriti, have a conversation with Steve Song, who provides thought leadership on, and practical implementations of, access to communications infrastructure and its impact on social and economic innovation and growth.
In recent times there has been a dramatic increase in the use of internet and social media by Palestinians. In this context there is also a rising wave of online gender-based violence that leads to intimidation of women and self-censorship, which means that often women are withdrawing from social media platforms.
Through the community network model, with its local ownership of infrastructure, affordability and relevant local content, women in Africa have a good chance to leapfrog into network management, content development, e-commerce, e-learning, etc. from their rural locations.
The mapping study on the themes of embodiment, agency, expression, movement building, access, economy and gendered labour in network economies indicates common trends, issues and areas for further research and emerging fields of study and intervention.
The aim of the event was to bring together feminist and women's movement leaders who use the internet as a political and communications tool in their activism, in order for them to share their experiences, discuss the development of safe spaces and digital self-defence, and carry out a critical assessment of digital technologies and spaces.