Fixing the glitch

For the past few years, I've committed to doing the conventional New Year's resolution on my birthday rather than on 1 January. My resolutions or “intentions” so far have been reflective and inward-looking rather than about the external. For instance, finding more peace, being more focused, and this year it is self-love, also known as self-care.

So it was a pleasant coincidence to fly out to Nepal for the Take Back the Tech Camp 2018 on my 27th birthday, to not only collaborate with inspirational women but explore how we embed self-care in our activism and organisations. I was kindly invited by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) to join 20 women from around the world because of my work as founder and director of Glitch.

Glitch is a not-for-profit organisation that exists to end online abuse and to ensure that the online space is a safer arena for all to use, particularly women and girls. The evidence is emerging that online abuse adversely affects an individual's health, the nation's democracy and human rights. There are three important strands to our work, awareness, advocacy and action. Part of our work is delivering our flagship training programme on Digital Citizenship. This is primarily delivered to young people to raise awareness so that they exercise their agency in order to navigate the online world in a positive, critical and respectful way. Digital Resilience is our other training programme, for women who are wishing to or who have entered public life. Online gender-based violence (OGBV) is unfortunately an inevitable part of that. So while we campaign for online environments to be better, we must also up-skill women on ways to be safer, prepared and better protected online. We hope by doing so we will see an increase in women confidently enacting their human rights – to stay and engage in online digital spaces without fear or intimidation.

Through my work not only do I meet with women who have faced or are facing trauma, but I also have a responsibility to safeguard our awesome Glitch volunteers. Therefore my reflections on self-care have not just been about caring for myself but creating an environment of self-care for others.

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