Dialogue on digital safety and the work of WHRDs as important as ever
A virtual dialogue titled ‘Women radically transforming a world in crisis’ organised by the Just Associates (JASS), Iniciativa Mesoamericana de Mujeres Defensoras de Derecho Humanos (IM-Defensoras), and members of the Women’s Rights Programme (WRP) of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) covered collective safety and rights for women human rights defenders (WHRDs). The digital safety of the work of WHRDs is critical. The APC in collaboration with JASS have previously developed two training toolkits, namely,‘ICTs for feminist movement building activist toolkit’ and ‘FTX: Safety Reboot’. It was highlighted that ‘the pandemic of online gender-based violence must be factored into any response to digital safety’, in particular when it comes to black women, LGBTIQ persons, and indigenous women. Lack of Internet access for all WHRDs equally, and their privacy breach by governments and other actors, is an ongoing challenge. Some of the possible solutions are using technology with additional awareness, looking into alternative tools and apps which provide more safety and privacy, including more diverse identities, locations, and experiences, as well as a ‘behavioural change’ in the way WHRDs communicate online.