Women's human rights online & the Universal Periodic Review

From 21 May to 4 June 2012, the second cycle of the Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review (UPR) will begin at the UN Office in Geneva. The UPR is a unique mechanism for states to tell other countries what they have achieved in promoting human rights – but also for non-state actors to raise issues of concern in a non-confrontational fashion. This edition of GenderIT.org will allow you to learn more about the current discussions about women's human rights on the internet, with a particular focus on the country reports for Brazil, Ecuador, India, the Philippines, and South Africa for the UPR process made by APC and their partners. These reports raise for the first time internet-related women's human rights issues as part of the UPR.


In the edition, we ask three women human rights defenders and co-authors of the country reports for Brazil, Ecuador, the Philippines, and South Africa about the importance of the UPR for the rights and daily lives of women, the trends in exercising women’s and sexual rights online, and their tips on how women’s and sexual rights activists can support their advocacy through the UPR process. Do not also miss editorial by Daysi Flores, the regional coordinator of communication and connections for Just ASSociate Mesoamerica, who shares her thoughts on resistances online.


The edition is a part of APC's “Connect your rights: Internet rights are human rights” campaign financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)


Photo by US Mission Geneva. Used with permission under Creative Commons licence 2.0.

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UPR of South Africa: Connecting the right to communication to women´s rights

South Africa's constitution guarantees freedom of expression, and has been interpreted to include the right to community media and to creative journalistic content. However, these progressive interpretations come in the light of broadcasting, rather than the internet. Online media and its regulation in South Africa fall short of the human rights standards that South Africa has recognised under existing treaties, and under its Constitution.
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Brazil, Magaly Pazello: “We have no specific debate on women's internet rights”

Magaly Pazello, activist and specialist researcher in gender and information and communication technologies, recently joined the team that developed the Brazil report for the UN's Universal Periodic Review. In discussion with Flavia Fascendini, the editor of GenderIT.org, Pazello confirmed that there is still a great deal to do with regards to the connection between women's rights and a broad understanding of the internet.
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Finding the balance: Women's rights and the internet in the Philippines

GenderIT.org writer Sonia Randhawa speak with Jelen Paclarin, executive director of the Women's Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB) in the Philippines, about the potential of the UPR to improve the lives of women in Philippines, the emerging forms of technology-related VAW and key challenges in addressing it, and the importance of women's representation in policy-making processes.
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Opportunities for Ecuadorian women to connect their rights online

In the interview with Flavia Fascendini of GenderIT.org, Valeria Betancourt, manager of APC’s Communications and Information Policy Programme, argues that the incorporation of knowledge transfer through technology, connectivity for the information and knowledge society, and finally, inclusion and the guarantee of human rights within the broad strategies of Ecuador’s National Plan for Good Living for 2009-2013 represents an excellent opportunity for a structural consideration of women’s rights in relation to the internet.
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Editorial

Daysi Flores: SOME THOUGHTS AROUND ... Discovering worlds and sharing resistances online

A girl growing up in the 80s in Central America, in Honduras, who went to state schools had few chances to access any type of technology. It was even difficult for us to access books as a source of knowledge, and letters were a form of communication to which only some of us had access. All of the music - other than the music that my mother listened to - was only available in English...