The last day of the 16 days of activism against violence against women falls on 10 December - International Human Rights Day.

This is to importantly remind us that violence against women is a violation of our fundamental human rights. Equality, participation in all spaces, self-determination and protection of our rights cannot be possible when half of the world's population face wide spread and persistent violence because of our gendered and sexed identity.

Information and communications technologies have become an important platform and created a vital space for the exercise and realisation of our basic rights.

The ability to receive information is vital for us to make up our own minds about things, and form as the basis of our ability to make real decisions about our bodies and lives. Yet, censorship and content regulation measures that often claim to protect women from harms such as pornography, also often block information about sexual and reproductive health.

The freedom to communicate and express our thoughts is vital for us to build and share knowledge, to create history and to participate in and build communities that can advance different perspectives towards diversity and inclusion. Yet, masculine cultures and practices online that perpetuate sexism and sexualised construction of women, aggression such as flame wars, and the extension of offline vaw such as cyberstalking and harassment, create hostile and unsafe digital spaces.

How does technology present both risks and challenges, opportunities and potential for the realisation of the human rights of women? In what way does it strengthen or disrupt violence against women? How do you take back the tech? Share what you think. Stitch your stand against violence on the campaign video!

Take Back The Tech Video Mashup

1) Accept the challenge: start by watching the Take Back The Tech video

  • The campaign video features thoughts and perspectives of women and met at the AWID 2008 forum – the largest event of its kind that brings together women's rights movements from around the world to set collective agendas. Armed with a video camera and questions, we roamed the corridors and asked provocative questions on the connections of technology, VAW and women's rights.
  • Watch the video here

2) Document your answers

  • What are your thoughts around the questions? Or do you have questions of your own?
  • Record them creatively and share them with us.
  • Write them on pieces of paper, chalk them on the ground or stencil your t-shirt. Shoot them with your digital camera and send us the images. Or make a powerpoint presentation, or in a document through irregular font size, type and colour. Tell us through the tag cloud visualisation platform, wordle. Sing them through a jingle. Videotape a voiceover of your favourite plant, pet or inanimate object using your mobile phone. Leave a comment.
  • Anything goes! Just exercise your right to communicate :)
  • Email to:

3) Broaden the video quilt 

  • Share the link with your friends & lead them to this action
  • Ask them to participate and send on the link, or make this into a collaborative International Human Rights day evening activity

4) Take Back The Tech 2009 Mashup!

  • We will stitch together all your thoughts to a colourful, diverse and loud Take Back The Tech video quilt or what is known also as a mashup, and start next year's campaign with your voice!
  • Note: this video will be part of a large call to disseminate and share, so make sure you get happy and willing permissions for any shots or images of people :)

Happy international human rights day. Take back the tech to end violence against women!