Lockdowns and social isolation all over the world this year have meant that digital tools and platforms have been become even more necessary to young feminist organizing. The Shadow Pandemic, an unprecedented rise of violence against women and girls simultaneously saw an increase in the dependency on the internet to facilitate critical spaces of connection, advocacy and resistance and, with this, an inevitable increase in vulnerability to digital violence, attacks and surveillance. This all underscores the importance of digital security and literacy to young feminists in the resilience and sustainability of their activism. If young feminists can safely organize online, then they can continue to carry out the essential role they play in their communities. November 25 commemorates the Day of Elimination of Violence Against Womxn and Girls and the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. This year, the 16 Days Campaign spotlights Informal Womxn Workers who have been acutely impacted by the pandemic. Young feminist environmental activists and land defenders in Colombia, Niger, Indonesia, and the Philippines, many of whom are informal workers are facing increased surveillance and intimidation, under the excuse of Covid protocols.
At FRIDA, we believe that the safety of our communities must be a priority as we co-create feminist futures this is why we have created a set of digital security tools for young feminist organizers.
The reality is that threats to young feminists’ security will only get worse as capitalism and corporate power are strengthened by fundamentalist governments. To support and prepare activists on the ground with useful tools, FRIDA has been developing a series of resources that can support young feminists organizers during this period in accordance with our Principles to Guide Data and Technology. These resources cover topics such as the basic internet infrastructure, safe sexting, safe messaging apps, digital care for your devices and eye care.
HOW DID WE DEVELOP THESE RESOURCES?
- First, we took into account the conditions that activists in rural areas often face when using mobile platforms to communicate, as well the need for accessible information in friendly formats that can be disseminated via email or chats. The content of these resources references the work of cyber- hack-trans feminists collectives and digital rights organizations.
- In developing these resources, we kept in mind that as the climate crisis deepens and environmental degradation advances, more young people are rising up to defend their territories as well as the threat they pose to the systems of power that are behind this crisis. Thus, we focused on curating content which prioritizes and ensures digital safety to support environmental and social young defenders.
FRIDA recognises the importance of resourcing and supporting climate and environmental justice led by young women and queer youth in the Global South. The next decade will be crucial for radical climate action, thus the sustainability of these movements should be a top priority for international human rights funders. Stay tuned for more resources in 2021 As we deepen our connection into how the fight for open-sourced, hackfeminist, anti-patriarchal internet and digital technologies is interconnected with ecological sovereignty, and the freedom of our bodies-territories.