On the Day 4 of the Training Programme, as part of the “Digital Rights and Responsibilities in Youth Work” training course, the two guest speakers were invited to present their projects and organisations, as good practices addressing the challenges to digital rights in context of Catalonia. The first one was:
Reflection on the Digital Gender Violence
The youth workers participated in a discussion session with Ms. Eva Alfama, the Projects Coordinator at ALIA-Donestech platform - a space to rethink technology and its representations. Ms. Alfama shared the projects and work of the ALIA-Donestech organization in the Digital Rights sphere. The session included sharing the experience of Ms. Alfama and provided a platform for active participation and discussion where the participants shared their thoughts and experiences.
The speaker addressed Gender Violence in the digital space, particularly the ones that face women and minorities. The increase of digital violence and hate speech, as well as the masculine and patriarchal behaviours in the Tech industry, have been discussed. As stated by Ms. Alfama, these behaviours that face women are leading to an increase in the digital barriers, resulting in a gender bias environment that prohibits the further enhancement of gender-equitable space. The correlation between the offline and online violent behaviors have been raised by one of the participants, where the roots causes have been tackled. Ms. Alfama added that the number of women active in the digital space has decreased in the recent 10 years, thus, raising the question of how to address this challenge. And as a response, the participants reflected on the importance of empowering minorities in the digital space and promoting self-defense mechanisms as a way to counteract hate speech and online gender violence. Adding to that, the speaker highlighted the lobbying and awareness campaigns that serve the aforementioned cause.
Particular examples of challenges were also addressed during the session, such as the sexualization of female teens on some of the social media platforms and its impact on digital safety. This raised the topic of the Digital Democratic Rights, as a way to actively participate in the digital governance and decision-making processes, thus providing the opportunity for change and promoting a space that is free of gender-based violence and to use technology as a tool to stand in solidarity with marginalized minorities and defend their rights.
The session was followed by a reflection among the participants where the aforesaid topics have been further discussed.
Written by Talal Zeidan, the participant of the training course (Germany)