Womanity supports La Clika, a campaign to tackle online violence

This International Day of Education, Luchadoras, La Sandía Digital and Association for Progressive Communications are launching a new campaign to reach young women who are experiencing or might face cyber violence. The campaign, called La Clika “Libres en línea”, is a result of funding and support from the Womanity Award which Luchadoras and APC received in 2016 for their innovative approach to tackling online violence.

In Mexico more than 9 million women have experienced cyber harassment at least once in their lifetime. Whilst the evolution of technology has provided a critical platform for women and women’s rights organizations to raise awareness, share information and mobilize activism, it’s also resulted in a rise of a new kind of violence against women. Online violence can have long term impact on those that experience it, with many survivors feeling alone and isolated.

This is all too familiar to Womanity Award recipients Luchadoras, La Sandía Digital, and APC – organisations that work to fight for an internet free of violence against women and for feminist technologies, and who in recent years, have been working together as recipients of the Womanity Award.

Launch of “La Clika”

La Clika  (which means “Girl Gang”) works as a series of online animations following Leos, a young woman. Leos is the leader of her galaxy ball team at school, enjoys spending time with friends and has a boyfriend, Otto. They are intimate and enjoy sexting. One day she finds her images on social networks. During this time, we see Leos face obstacles and find allies. Her story is used as a tool for women living with online violence whilst providing resources to help others in her situation cope.

The online series was launched at a live event in Mexico City in which local personalities shared about their experiences facing online violence and creating strategies to react and protect themselves.  The campaign deliberately uses bold images to grab the reader’s attention and bring to life the realities of living with online violence.

It’s not your fault

La Clika has three main hashtags, each focussing on an important key message.

  • #EsVirtualEsReal, (virtual violence is real violence) which recognizes the seriousness and impact of online violence
  • #NoEsTuCulpa, (it’s not your fault) which combats victim-blaming and limitations on women’s sexual expression
  • # NoEstásSola (you’re not alone), which offers avenues of action to react in solidarity with women

Followers will be given various ways to engage with the campaign. These include sharing it via social networks, organising an event, or creating a safe space for women. Lulu V. Barrera, Founder of Luchadoras says:

“Women have the right to stay free and safe online, to enjoy the creative and transformative potential of the Internet. Online violence is denying opportunities to women to fully exercise their rights. Solutions should not blame the victims or restrict our freedoms. This campaign sends a strong message of self empowerment and solidarity to overcome its effects.”

Resources for women

Aside from raising awareness on the impact of online violence, an important aspect of La Clika is to provide information and resources to those experiencing it. These include practical guides for those facing online violence such as what you can do if your ex shares a naked photo of you on Facebook or Instagram, or how to report online abuse on Twitter.  They also have information on victim blaming, consent, privacy online and guides on local laws, and what a feminist internet looks like.

The power of partnerships

The Womanity Award, launched in 2014, is a unique programme that unsurfaces innovative solutions that address the root causes of violence against women and fosters partnership between organisations around the world to scale those solutions. Award recipients are given funding, mentoring and technical expertise so that their ground-breaking projects that are successful in one or more locations, can be adapted to a new geography.

Luchadoras and APC were recipients of the Womanity Award in 2016 and have been working closely ever since. As part of the Womanity Award, Luchadoras have been working with APC to host workshops to investigate and learn more about online violence. It is through these gatherings and experiences of real women that Luchadoras came up with the theme of the campaign.

Womanity’s Executive Director Rafia Qureshi says:

“It’s fantastic to see the Womanity Award model working successfully in Mexico. We are proud to have helped to catalyse the partnership between APC and Luchadoras to adapt and contextualise Take Back the Tech, focusing on tackling online violence against women. This is what we are about: finding innovative programmes and supporting the careful process of adaptation to new countries.”

Get Involved

Online violence is a global issue that can affect anyone, anywhere. Over the coming weeks, Luchadoras plan to adapt and translate the La Clika campaign into English, so that more people can make use of their resources and be better equipped to deal with online violence.

To learn more about the campaign please visit La Clika Or follow it on social media: