Tech-based violence and threats targeted against women activists, rights defenders and journalists is endemic to the internet today.
Through Tactical Tech’s engagement with women and LGBTQ activists over the years, it has become clear that the hostile online environment results in intimidation and the censorship of women’s voices. For many of these groups and individuals, using the internet is imperative to their work and activism, however it is almost always accompanied by online harassment, threats and surveillance from both state and non-state actors.
As a result the Gender and Technology Institute (GTI) was created to empower women activists and rights defenders in combating tech-based violence.
The GTI aims to build participants’ skills and knowledge in using digital technologies, to enable them to be informed users of technology and to build movement-based discussions around security and privacy from a gendered perspective.
The GTI is convened in different regions with local participants and facilitators who work together in sharing practical skills in digital security, data privacy and the use of digital technologies. It results in local, regional and global networks of support for participants who take their learning to their own networks through follow-up activities, trainings and other events. Tactical Tech has so far convened two GTIs, in Europe in December 2014, and in Latin America in 2016. GTI network members have since organised over 100 training and awareness raising events in different regions across the world.
The aim of the GTI in Asia is 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.
Contextualise and localise how digital technologies are implicated in gender and sexuality rights, and freedom of expression, along with online and offline participation, particularly for women and women identified people in South and South East Asia.
Widen the existing global GTI network to include communities, movements and individuals working in South and South East Asia.
Contribute local perspectives to Tactical Tech’s ongoing documentation around what security and privacy mean from a gender perspective.