(Kampala, 6 September 2023) – In the past two weeks, social media in Uganda has been awash with Non-Consensual Circulation of Intimate Images (NCII) with names of the victims used as trending hashtags across different social media platforms especially on Twitter and TikTok, and, further extended to porn sites as content.
A 2018 report by the
WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO
HER Internet is a feminist organization established in 2018 to advocate for digital rights and internet equalities of communities of structurally silenced womxn in Uganda. HER Internet was set up to promote and protect the rights to freedom of expression, privacy, data protection and internet access of structurally silenced womxn. In Uganda and globally, womxn are facing increased online harassment, blackmail and extortion. In addition, the non-consensual sharing of private information and other forms of cyber-crime, surveillance and censorship unduly target structurally silenced womxn because of their unique circumstances- including; their sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and/or choice of work, living conditions and geographical areas.
Embedded within Uganda’s social fabric are structural inequalities rooted in patriarchy, class and geographical differences, whether it is the predominance of womxn suffering from online trolling, gendered censorship of bodies, male dominance in the tech industry, or gendered stereotypical representations reproduced in technologies like Amazon’s Alexa. These inequalities are exacerbated by the high levels of cyber-crime and increased efforts of both state and non–state actors’ surveillance and direct censorship of womxn both at individual and organizational levels. This manifests in the shrinking of spaces; even within the civil society itself, creating an environment rife with self– censorship, policing of voice and body which makes it hard to express oneself and inadvertently limits others from accessing certain information. These practices are demeaning our efforts in organizing, expression and movement building, and as a result, impeding our realization of agency, awareness and demand for social justice at the community and national levels.
In this vein, HER Internet’s mission is to close the knowledge gap on online and offline security for structurally silenced womxn. We plan to achieve this through the dissemination of information on access to and utilization of ICTs and other tools, support for data protection, research and documentation on access to and use of the internet as well as supporting discussions around engaging more structurally silenced womxn on the internet.
HER Internet’s work is rooted in the clear purpose of challenging the oppressive system that is patriarchy, which is pervasive in general online spaces, spaces for womxn, as well as our subconscious actions on how we use the internet and other ICTs. HER Internet embodies the Feminist Principles of the Internet developed by various activists and feminist techies from all over the globe. The principles cover themes of access, movements and public participation, economy, expression and agency. They state that a feminist internet is one where womxn and queer people have affordable and equal access and are able to create, design and use technologies to challenge sexism and discrimination. It is one where feminists’ use of the internet is linked to resistance in other spaces and where the internet allows us to connect and demand accountability.
HER Internet’s interventions target communities of structurally silenced womxn. The goal is to build fearlessly expressive womxn who are actively engaged in bringing about social transformation online and offline.
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Thank you for showing interest in HER Internet’s programs and initiatives. Get in touch with us today so that we can collaborate!