Spaces of violence and resistance: women’s rights in the digital world
“EuroMed Rights publishes its latest gender study “Spaces of violence and resistance: women’s rights in the online world” which focuses on 10 countries of the MENA region including Turkey.
The uprisings which took place in 2011 kicked off a decade of online activism in the Middle East and North Africa, where blogs, social media, and technology became tools of resistance and free expression for those who were previously marginalised, such as feminists and women in general.
Despite bringing along new opportunities, this development did not fully challenge structural inequalities. On the one hand, gender inequalities prevail and have found resonance in what has become an extension of the public space. On the other hand, authoritarian, and illiberal regimes of the region censor and surveil content online to curtail the development of popular and revolutionary campaigns.
With online spaces becoming increasingly central in everyday lives, forms of online violence have proliferated and we are witnessing an escalation in their enactment, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite its proliferation, very little research has been carried out to map the extent and multiplicity of the issue of online violence against women and girls in the MENA Region. EuroMed Rights’ report, based on desk research and interviews with feminist activists in the region is a first attempt to analyse the phenomenon, its impact and forms in different contexts, its extent. It also proposes recommendations to counteract it.
The full report will be published in a couple of days.