Sexuality, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and the internet

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ARROW for Change bulletin 2016: “Sexuality, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and the Internet”

Tactical Tech has collaborated with the Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW) to guest edit the latest bulletin of Arrow for Change: “Sexuality, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and the Internet,” with contributions from around the world written by 16 SRHR (Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) and tech activists, researchers, and writers.

ARROW for Change is a peer-reviewed serial publication produced by ARROW (Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women) that aims to contribute global-South-oriented, rights-based, and gender analyses of issues related to health, sexuality, and rights.



Why ARROW for Change?

The internet is seen as a platform for free speech and expression, enabling alternative access to information and education on subjects that are taboo, such as sexuality and reproduction. However, the reality is that the internet is no longer this bastion of freedom, if it ever was.

Today we see challenges related to access, the corporatisation of the internet, collusion between governments and technology companies, censorship, violations of privacy, sexism, and violence, amongst others. It is for those reasons that Tactical Tech decided to dedicate the issue to explore voice, visibility, and power under three broad themes:

  • Changing notions of bodies: How do digital technologies allow us to think about the ways we can escape our bodies, and when we are limited by them? Contributions focus on the tension between how we are sometimes limited by physical, or offline, realities, and how the digital offers opportunities to subvert or escape the physical.
  • Freedom and speech: Articles look at how the digital enables the freedom to access information, to exercise the right to speech, what the limits of this freedom are, and who regulates it
  • Contextual privacy: This theme examines the present and the future of privacy in a data society from the perspective of gender and people who are marginal in their communities. What does privacy mean in an era where information is digitised, densely linked and poorly secured?

Contributions include:

  • The New Green: The Landscapes of Digital Activism – Maya Indira Ganesh
  • Fighting Online Misogyny, Fighting a Corporatized Internet - Nadine Moawad
  • Minding the Data Gap: Data Risks and Revolutions in Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals – Melissa Ditmore
  • Quantifying Fertility and Reproduction through Mobile Apps: A Critical Overview - Vanessa Rizk and Dalia Othman
  • Apps, Drones, and iTunes: Opportunities and Challenges in Using New Technologies for Safe Medical Abortion Services - Rebecca Gomperts
  • The Potential Impact of Free Basics on SRHR Advocacy in Bangladesh - Zara Rahman
  • Gender, Romance, and the Internet: The Creation of a Non-Binary, Non-Binary Person - Nadika Nadja
  • Is Access Real? Disability, Sexuality, and the Digital Space - Nidhi Goyal
  • Security in Contentious Contexts: Exploring Digital Resilience for Organisations Serving Sexual and Gender Minorities - Ira Briones and Thilaga Sulathireh
  • Safer Nudes! A Sexy Guide to Digital Security - Natasha Felizi, Joana Varon, Fernanda Shirakawa and Raquel Rennó
  • Women’s Bodies on Digital Battlegrounds: Networks of Information and Support by Pro-choice Activists in Latin America - Alexandra Hache and Mayeli Sanchez Martinez
  • Access, Legislation, and Online Freedom of Expression: A Data Overview - Dalia Othman

The collaboration with ARROW has been a valuable part of Tactical Tech's work at the intersection of gender and technology, which 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.