Take Back the Tech! Taking control of technology to end gender-based violence
by Womanity Award winners APC’s Take Back the Tech team.
Take Back the Tech! started as the seed of an idea in 2006, recognising the need to reclaim women’s historical contribution to technology development and to counter the growing expression of gender-based violence through information and communications technologies (ICTs). Since then, the idea took root and germinated into a growing network of activists, collectives, organisations and feminists taking control of technology to end gender-based violence in different parts of the world.
We have organised trainings, joined protests, written love letters to survivors, shared strategies, made digital postcards and held spaces for each other’s stories – from story quilts, songs and digital stories to conversation circles. We have campaigned in solidarity with other feminists to strengthen their calls, and we have been strengthened by solidarity from others.
How have internet technologies changed in the past decade? How have these changes affected the way we engage, relate, organise and take action?
For 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence (25 November-10 December), we share our collective story of change.
How can you contribute?
As we celebrate 10 years of creative resistance, we are looking back and moving forward. We want to know your story of gender and technology.
What role has the internet played in the development of your feminism?
- How critical are ICTs to your feminist activism? What was the first campaign you joined and how did you feel being a part of it?
- What women or groups inspired you to start speaking up online about women’s rights?
Have you faced online harassment or other gender-based violence due to being a woman, and especially a feminist, online?
- Did experiences like these motivate you to take action?
- How have you used technology creatively to challenge gender norms, defend women’s rights or show solidarity?
- Have you been involved in Take Back the Tech!?
- How did you feel the first time you heard about it? How has campaigning made a difference in your community?
Let’s write our collective story of feminist engagement with technology for transformation.
1. Capture the story of Take Back the Tech!
Plot the campaign timeline with your activism. How have you engaged with the campaign? Share your actions, content, and inspired moments of the past decade. Then we’ll create an interactive timeline to plot our collective history. Add your local campaign to the website, write an email or tweet @takebackthetech.
Spread the word. Know of cool campaign activities happening this year? See something you like in our action archive, campaign multimedia or interactive timeline (coming soon!)? Share it with your community using #takebackthetech.
2. Rewrite the story of women in tech!
Show, don’t tell. Let’s flood the web with images of women using tech. Snap a photo of yourself or your friends (with permission) and send it by email here. or tweet to @takebackthetech. Be creative. Show us your favourite platform or tool; let us see how you use your device in a way that is uniquely you.
Make history. Check out our playing cards of women in tech (coming soon!) and use the template to add women from your community. Keep them handy to remind everyone who wrote the first published algorithm for a machine or the code to go to the moon.
3. Tell the story of violence against women in our own words!
Amplify women’s work. What are the smartest, funniest and most powerful ways women and girls are taking back the tech to counter violence? Share blogs, apps, memes, comics and more through @takebackthetech or by email.
Prioritise women’s words. Head over to APC’s new digital storytelling site (coming soon!) to watch stories about issues like overcoming violence. Talk about them with your community and learn about feminist storytelling.
Build the movement by connecting sites of resistance around the world and through the decades. Write yourself into the story and watch it grow.