We are celebrating International Women’s Day with a compilation of resources, guides and organisations that help women and trans* persons use digital technologies in a safer way.
We’re thrilled to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day at the Internet Freedom Festival in Valencia, together with more than 1,000 digital rights activists, digital security trainers, and all-around inspiring people. We’re spending the day reflecting on efforts to help women and trans* persons engage with digital technologies more safely and securely, and want to highlight what others are doing in this area.
Feminist principles of the Internet
In 2014, the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) started to bridge the gap between feminist movements and internet rights movements by drawing on the communities of gender and women’s rights activists, LGBTQI movements, internet and technology rights organisations and human rights defenders. The feminist principles of the internet that came out of this have been a key document ever since.
Alongside an ongoing conversation on feminist approaches to digital security, we’ve seen a growing number of resources that aim to help women and trans* persons use the internet more safely. The following organisations and guides all aim to help you protect yourself when using digital technologies, and create a safer digital space for you and your community.
DIY Feminist Cybersecurity
Hackblossom have written an accessible guide that introduces you to some of the most useful tools to protect your privacy available. It’s a comprehensive guide with sections on anonymity, hacking, data, phones, and social media, each of which you can read as a stand-alone document, or at your own pace. It also includes a handy cheat sheet that points you to free and recommended technology based on your digital activities.
Chayn’s DIY Online Safety Guide
Chayn have created a DIY Online Safety guide in seven languages to help you learn about what it means to be tracked and how you can hide your tracks on email, browsers, Facebook and other platforms. The guide was written with women dealing with domestic abuse or stalking in mind. It’s useful reading regardless of your gender identity, location or situation.
GenderIT.org, a project of APC’s Women’s Rights Programme, has a wealth of research, and policy documents focused on ICT and gender, written by an amazing, varied team of writers. The resources section includes a whole range of issues at the intersection of gender and technology, including writing on ‘Big Data and Sexual Surveillance’ and the Web Foundation’s report ‘Women’s rights online: translating access into empowerment’.
‘Zen and the art of making tech work for you’
Tactical Tech have developed a manual for people and groups who want to improve their security and privacy practices, while including gender in the equation. The manual focuses on issues that women and trans* persons face online and offline, and aims to include technology-related violence in discussions on gender-based violence. The manual is divided into two parts, focused on the information traces created and recorded when we use online and digital services, and how to create safe spaces and use them for community-building, organising and support.
It’s also worth exploring Tactical Tech’s exhaustive list of gender and feminist initiatives from around the world, which includes a set of websites, campaigns, hashtags and resources, as well as a comprehensive regional and national breakdown of feminist initiatives.
Coding Rights is a ‘think-and-do tank’ lead by Brazilian-born women that aims to advance the enforcement of human rights in the digital world. They recently released a guidebook and zine titled Send Nudes that focuses on what it means to send nude photos safely. This zine draws on anonymity as an act of political dissidence, and provides recommendations on how to send nudes in a safe way. Coding Rights also manage the Antivigilancia newsletter, which publishes news about surveillance and privacy on a trimestral basis and with a focus on Latin America.
All these guides and resources stand witness to an ever-growing community that is working tirelessly to increase digital safety for women and trans* persons. As the community and awareness grows, we’re looking forward to witnessing and participating in the next chapter of this vibrant, important discussion.
Trans* refers to those who do not self-identify as a cisgendered person.