From the Institute of Gender and Technology in Ecuador to the Internet Governance Forum in Mexico # IGF2016

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Past June as part of my organization Enjambre Digital, I had the opportunity to participate in the Institute of Gender and Technology (IGT) organized by Tactical Tech Collective in Ecuador. It was a week of intense work where we were able to listen the different voices and testimonies of women from all cross Latin America and their relation with technologies.

Through morning circles, workshops, hackerspaces and cinema-debates, the discussion revolved around the relationship of the genre with several themes: access and use of technologies, holistic security, privacy, digital security and free software.

One of the most significant lessons for me, was to realize that psychological and emotional well-being allows us to have a different relationship with technologies, in a very concrete aspects, from how we can tackle harassment and online attacks,, to the use of our body for pleasure and erotic purposes through sexting for example.

It was also important to ask ourselves how and under what conditions is the technology produced and to reiterate that the great technological monopolies base their development on the exploitation of the ones that produces the technology and also the final users.

I believe it is very important to build new digital spaces and do it from different logic in order to develop technologies for women and their basic needs and not to continue repeating the dominant narratives of masculinized technologies.

After the experience in the Institute and linked with the multiple complicities and alliances that we could achieve in the IGT, I begin to think that it would be a good idea to propose and organize a mexican civil society gathering just before the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) that this year takes place in Mexico. The IGF is an event presented as a multistakeholder model that “seeks” to give voice regarding Internet policies to various actors such as government, companies and civil society around the globe.

Enjambre Digital together with several organizations such as APC, Contingente Mx, FUNCO, Luchadoras and Social Tic, called a variety of groups and activists of Mexican civil society to a process of preliminary meetings before the IGF in order to have a common ground on advocacy. We analysed and discuss our context cross by mass surveillance, online violence against women and insuficent infrastructure and poor Internet services.

This is how we arrived to Guadalajara to the Internet Governance Forum with a critical and reflective civil society, with a more comprehensive perspective of what these spaces represent to the context of country and region. This ideas are present in our recent Press Release that points out the crisis of human rights in Mexico, where the reality online and offline presents the same dramatic reallity.

This personal journey from June to December leads me to aknowledge the value of personal initiative, when I imagined and promoted together with my colleagues, a set of plural encounters that paid fruits. This path nurtured with the collective wills of a civil society that clearly pronounces for a free, open and democratic Internet. A civil society that stringly works to make its demands visible. A civil society that says #InternetEsNuestra.

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