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Comunicato APC
27 novembre 2006

Take Back the Tech

Reclaiming the internet to end violence against women

16 days of activism against violence against women (VAW)
November 25 – December 10 2006

Hundreds of women made private public by testifying about street sexual harassment in the “Blank Noise Project Blogathon“ in India.

In New Mexico, USA, the “Domestic Violence Virtual Trial“ helps judges and court staff learn about issues and challenges in VAW cases, and compare rulings with colleagues.

In South Africa, women survivors of violence use digital storytelling to share their experiences and courage.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 27 2006 – Increasingly the internet and information and communications technologies (ICTs) have been seized as new tools to defend, inform, and exercise women's right to live their lives free of violence. The APC Women's Programme (APC WNSP) calls on all who use ICTs to “Take Back the Tech“, and reclaim this technology for the fight against violence against women. From November 25 to December 10, the Take Back the Tech Campaign encourages users to take action against VAW with any ICT tool at hand - using our cell phones, instant messengers, blogs, websites, digital cameras, email, or podcasts.

16 Days of Activism against Violence against Women

“Take Back the Tech!“ is part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence initiative. Since 1991, local groups have used the 16 Days campaign to demand support services for survivors, enhance prevention efforts, press for legal and judicial reform, and use international human rights instruments to address VAW as a human rights violation, a public health crisis, and a threat to human security and peace worldwide.

VAW and ICTs

Violence against women has many manifestations, all rooted in the unequal power relations between men and women. Systematic rape is used as a weapon of war. In most nations, women survivors of domestic violence range from 20 to 60% percent of the female population, with women at greatest risk of violence from the men they know. New terms such as “feminicide“ for understanding gender-based killings have had to be coined.

With emerging technologies, other expressions of VAW including cyber-stalking or digital voyeurism have appeared on the scene. As technology has become smaller and more inexpensive, installation of tiny, hard-to-discover cameras facilitate peeping and spying. Images of women, recorded in intimate moments, without their knowledge or consent, are being sold as pornography on the internet. In the hands of tech-savvy domestic violence abusers, spyware and global positioning systems (GPS) are used to track and control their partner's mobility.

Take Back the Tech!

For each of the 16 days of the Take Back the Tech Campaign, simple actions can be taken by ICT users in activism against VAW. Some actions include raising awareness around this issue by linking to the campaign site, changing e-mail signatures, or playing with instant messaging status notes. The campaign website shares action ideas. Users are free to add their own suggestions to the list. It also provides tips for online safety, providing resources that explore the interconnections between VAW and ICTs and practical guidelines for women to communicate more securely online. Campaigners are translating “Take Back the Tech“ into Malay, Czech, Spanish, Portuguese and more languages are submitted every day.

Bloggers are invited to join ka-blog! – 16 days of collective blogging from thoughts to images in any language around this theme. For those new to the blogosphere, tutorials and how-to guides are shared to make it simple on starting a new blog and how to tag posts.

Women around the world are creating post cards. Eloquent images and ideas recreating a vision of technology founded on equality and what might be possible in a world where women shape, define, participate, use and share ICTs freely.

Campaign Partners

Dozens of sites and blogs currently carry the campaign banners in support of this initiative. The Center for Digital Storytelling site will feature digital stories from initiatives that have used video as a platform to narrate powerful and transformative experiences by survivors of violence against women.

Innovative G2G has localised the campaign in Brazil and recently launched it on their webspace []. G2G plans to take over a telecentre for a day of blogging!

At the end of the 16 days, a “Conversations Collage” will be created with print screen images of these sites, signifying the diversity and openness of people who are taking back the tech.

Take action

The APC WNSP believes that women have to be safe everywhere – including online. We all have a role to play in stopping violence against women. Take Back the Tech Campaign aims to help you take action.

For more information on how to participate, send an email to; or check out the campaign website:

“Take Back the Tech“ is an initiative of the APC Women's Networking Support Programme (APC WNSP), a global network of women who support women networking for social change and women's empowerment, through the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) especially internet, founded in 1993. The APC WNSP is part of the Association for Progressive Communications (APC).

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