Sunday, December 10, 2006

How ICTs Can Be Utilised to Counter and Raise Awareness to End Violence Against Women – Summary

I have to admit, I'm relieved takebackthetech's 16-day campaign ends today: finding the time and energy needed to blog every day, locating information and resources, was time consuming and often depressing. I love the internet. Believe me, I feel like I couldn’t manage without it – and if nothing else this campaign has made me so grateful that I be among the few privileged women in the world able to have, not only some access to it, but daily access to it. This is not something to take for granted.

But there were plenty of times when I felt like I really didn't want to be there, digging in the virtual dirt of cyberspace! But I’m glad I took part, and if it hadn’t have been difficult at times then it wouldn’t have been worth doing, and feeling affected negatively by the amount of damaging material out there is half of the whole point of this campaign anyway: to locate the dangers and expose them; and this can’t be done without some concentrated effort; and despite the numbers participating, and the dedication and interest of each blogger involved, I feel like we were all just scraping the surface… This doesn’t have to end after 16-days… there’s evidently still plenty of shadows to repopulate – to take back.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom: prominent throughout this campaign has been the persistent, creative and diverse ways in which women, globally, are using ICTs. From the bloggers themselves, to digital videos and campaign websites, and the mass web of networking that spans Myspace, blogs, chat-forums and e-mails: even if people are not specifically targeting violence against women, simply by utilising ICTs for business or leisure that accesses the areas of the internet not possessed and dominated by the fat-cat corporate pimps who think they are getting away with shaping, defining and controlling everything, then it can only be a good thing. Combating violence against women can be done indirectly, without even realising, simply by taking up the internet and other ICTs – mobile phones, videos and cameras – and using them to help us, and others without the same technological privileges, to get on with our lives.

Just like the night, just like the lived world, maps are being drawn without consultation, but just like them – those Corporate Cartographers – we don’t need their permission – those definers of false sexuality and their disrespect, dislike and fear of the female body – and the difference between the lived world and cyberspace is that cyberspace has aeons of uncharted territory which, like the night, is just waiting for us, not to carve it up and deal it out – packaged up for the force-feeding of consumers – and not to dominate and reify space as if it were something to grip and hold – as if it were a (female) body. But to splash with colour, filter through voices, and create space that feels good to spend time in, buzzing with technology, and free from violence.

technorati tags: takebackthetech

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