Gender and tech institute

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Updated: August 2016

Defending Online Freedoms of Expression: The Gender and Tech Institute

Online harassment of, and threats against, women activists, rights defenders, and journalists has become a prevelant issue in recent years. For many of these groups and individuals, using the internet and social media for work must all too frequently be balanced against harassment, threats and surviellance by both state and non-state actors.

From Tactical Tech's engagement with women and LGBTQ activists over the years, it is clear that online spaces can become a hostile environment, resulting in intimidation and the censorship of women's voices.

The Gender and Tech Institute (GTI) was created in response to this situation, and developed as a key part of Tactical Tech's work at the intersection of gender and technology. This area of work has two objectives:

  • to offer practical support and training to enable activists in movements to be confident and skilled in their use of technology for activism in the face of online harassment; and
  • to contribute to a global discussion about data politics, privacy and security from a gender perspective through applied research, events, and publications.

The GTI convenes in different locations with local participants and facilitators working together to share practical skills in digital security and data privacy with a gender perspective. It results in local, regional and global networks of support for participants who take their learning to their own networks through follow-up activities, trainings and other events.

GTIs aim to build participants' skills in using digital technologies; to enable them to be informed champions for privacy; and to build movement-based discussion around security and privacy from a gender perspective.

Tactical Tech has so far convened two GTIs: the first held in Europe in December 2014, and the second held in 2016 in Latin America. A third GTI is planned for 2017, to be held in Asia.