African feminist research for a feminist internet

The Pollicy has published a new report titled ‘Alternate realities, alternate internets: African feminist research for a feminist internet’. It was produced in partnership with the Feminist Internet Research Network project, led by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). The report offers findings conducted among women living in five African countries, about their online experiences. It shows that repeated negative experiences have a direct impact on how women navigate and utilise the Internet. The continuation of violence towards women softens the gap between online and offline space. Violence that begins online often continues offline and vice- versa. ‘An example of this is in the case of online dating, particularly during adolescence. In a study among 5,647 youth in the US, victims of sexual cyber dating abuse were seven times more likely to have also experienced sexual coercion.’ Women’s experience online depends on how women relate to technology. ‘A CEO utilizes the internet differently from how their household staff might make use of the internet.’ For traditionally marginalised or silenced women, the Internet represents a new space for collaboration and improvement of their communities. In addition, in collaboration with Internews, Pollicy conducted a comparative analysis of the legal framework in the five countries.