This is not just another of the dozens of articles about COVID-19 apps already published in the media around the world. This post is based on the assertion that we women experience a continuum of surveillance over our bodies, and that this control is exacerbated during health crises. We are not safe when we move around cities. We are raped or killed just for walking down the street, but we are also killed inside our homes, especially when we have to self-isolate and are in charge of caretaking. So let's look at the pros and cons of implementing COVID-19 apps from a cyber-feminist and intersectional perspective.
Take Back the Tech! is a campaign that reclaims the internet and women's often ignored herstory with technology, exploring and encouraging the creative use of digital technologies to denounce and eliminate online gender-based violence (GBV). Its name echoes back to the Take Back the Night marches all over the world, where women reclaimed public streets as their own, especially at night when they were told to stay inside because it wasn't safe. Today, the streets of the internet are increasingly inseparable from the streets of our lives and our communities.
Take Back the Tech! would not be complete without fun tech
play!We invite you to participate in our Feminist Forwards brainstorms in English and Spanish 4 December, and in French on 10 December, to collaboratively dream about the messages we'd like to receive and send in times of protest or celebration.
What sentiments would you like to see pop up on your message feed to fire your commitment?
What would you say to a friend in need? Or that perfect comeback you thought of after the fact?
Start with survivors and activists. Stir in technologists, digital security trainers, designers, artists, filmmakers and writers. Add a healthy dose of feminism. Go ahead and add an extra spoonful! Cook until you can’t wait any longer. Your anti-GBV movement is ready! Get it while it’s hot!
Are you tired of hearing that women should just get off the internet if we don't like abuse? That digital spaces are for men? That the tech industry is dominated by men because women don't have the capacity to develop ICT or simply aren't interested?
Take Back the Tech! is joining with the Women Human Rights Defenders International Coalition (WHRDIC) to send messages of solidarity to WHRDs defending and advancing the rights of women globally.