Internet and Sexuality Project

 

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Since 2015, LOOM has been experimenting and formally working in the area of internet and sexuality in collaboration with Association for progressive communications (APC). The core concerns of freedom of expression, sexuality and online violence has been included in our strategy plan for 2017-2021.

According to Nepal Telecom Authority statistics, almost 70% of the Nepali population has access to mobile phones with 3G, GPRS and CDMA facilities, while [1]40% population is connected to the internet.

The growing reach of the internet, the rapid spread of mobile information and communications technologies and the wide diffusion of social media have presented new opportunities and enabled various efforts to address violence against women and girls[2]. On the flip side, it also regulates women’s freedom of expression in shrinking democratic spaces, and dismisses the agencies of women.

Many respondents from LOOM’s research admitted that the online spaces allow freedom to stay remain anonymous and private, ability to express online or more so, access information on sexual rights which at times is surrounded with taboo. However, the internet spaces are also an amalgamation of violence, threats, and [3]harassment along intersection axes of oppression that are felt with unchecked forces. [4]These threats to digital autonomy are gendered, racialised, queerphobic, transphobic, albeistt and classist in nature.

Our work elucidated that young women activists and LBT activists faced harassments, and surveillance in both the private and public domain. Sexuality and gender non- conforming stand justified the perpetrators act of dominance and violence.

The key issues are;

  • Access and control of information and technology of the internet and technology by women;
  • to recognise that online violence is a continuum of offline discrimination and is a threat to life, psycho-socio harassment and physical violence,
  • to understand the demarcation between freedom of expression online on sexual rights, and threats and harassments;
  • to navigate through feminist politics of internet to politically engage with the internet to reclaim public space and power.

LOOM has conducted two of its first research in Nepal around internet, freedom of expression online and digital security. The report will be launched in 2018. You can read more about the research on the interview of the chairperson of LOOMby GenderIT.

LOOM navigates the project through the EROTICS Nepal network. Know more about the research of EROTICS Global

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[1]                      http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/printedition/news/2015-06-18/40pc-of-nepalis-connected-to-internet.html

[2]                      Cyber violence against women and girls, A world-wake up call; Report by the UN BroadBand Commission for Digial Development and Working Groupon Broadband and Gender; page 1

[3]                      A DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity; Page 1

[4]                      A DIY guide to Feminist Cybersecurity, Page 1

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