You may already know that INEND is heavily invested in working towards making the internet safe for all women and gender non-conforming people. We have previously held Tweet Chats on the manifestation of online Gender Based Violence and we have had conversations on what dating in a digital age looks like for queer people. As part of the process to continue demystifying the intricacies of the internet, we convened a workshop on the Feminist Principles of the Internet on 14th- 15th December in Nairobi, Kenya. We have heard a lot of conversations on different forums about making the internet feminist and we thought it would be absolutely splendid to bring together, a group of women, queer people and gender non-conforming people to develop a deeper understanding of what it would take to make the internet feminist.
The workshop was super interactive and inclusive and participants got a chance to speak about their work, their expectations, their feminisms and their experiences on the internet. The feminist principles of the internet were described as a set of guidelines that inform us on how to navigate the internet and maximize our use on the internet as we imagine a feminist internet. The conversation touched on access to the internet and the need to enable more women and queer persons to enjoy universal, acceptable, affordable, unconditional, meaningful, and open access to the internet. Additionally, it was mentioned that the right to access information relevant to women and queer persons, particularly information on sexual and reproductive health rights, pleasure, safe abortion, access to justice and LGBTIQ issues is completely paramount.
While using technology, it is important that we prioritise women and queer person’s right to code, design, adapt and critically and sustainably reclaim ICTs as a platform for creativity and expression, as well as to challenge the cultures of sexism and discrimination. There was further a recognition that offline patriarchal and homophobic systems have been replicated online and therefore resistance of these systems is a necessity. Movements have started and gained traction and impact online. Examples include the #MeToo campaign, #TotalShutdownSA and #TotalShutdownKE and the #TimesUp campaigns that all influenced national and global discourse on male violence, Intimate Partner Violence and sexual violence
Be sure to read the feminist principles of the internet here. This blog post will also specifically focus on the Speed Dating session of Day 2 that had the intention of getting the participants to have one on one conversations, particularly about their work, feminisms, expectations for the future, bond, create friendships. Participants, with consent, would then tweet any profound insights they captured during their conversations. This blog post is therefore going to be a striking haven of quotes, suggestions and statements from the amazing 30 people that INEND brought together.
We genuinely hope this diverse pool of words of affirmation, quotes and expectations for the movement from feminists will trigger not only happiness within you, but solidarity, love, creativity and revolution as well.
Initiative for Equality and Non Discrimination (INEND) is a local nonprofit organization that researches strategies for equality and acceptance in the coast region of Kenya and shares experiences with other stakeholders in an effort to contribute towards tolerance, non-discrimination and acceptance of gender and sexual minorities.