March is the month when people across the world celebrate International Women's Day.
This year's theme, “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change,” calls for the involvement of the experiences and insights of women and girls in the development of technology. With the aim to close-in gender gaps, the campaign hopes to mobilise beyond initiatives that focus on women–it seeks to overturn institutions and narratives that dictate the status quo.
EngageMedia has recently collaborated with women who are critical voices in the digital rights movement: Kyal Yi Lin Six, a documentary filmmaker who co-founded a digital rights organisation for in Myanmar; Shubha Kayastha of body & data, an organisation that focuses on intersection of gender, sexuality and digital technology in Nepal; and Chinmayi SK of The Bachchao Project, a community that tackles solutions to issues on gender and technology in India.
In the absence of inclusive online infrastructure and policies for women, Kyal Yi, Shubha and Chinmayi have worked towards mobilising and educating women on their human rights, and how these rights are translated on the internet.
Envisioning a gender-balanced society, EngageMedia reiterates its unwavering commitment in establishing just and accessible spaces for everyone–we will continue working towards a feminist internet.
Since our recent Video4Change gathering (V4C) was the first of its kind in Indonesia, we made some observations and received feedback on design of the gathering.
We gathered video makers from different backgrounds with varying level of expertise. This became a plus point for us because there provided diverse perspective to the discussions. But it also posed a challenge, however, as they had different level of understanding and awareness about video its use in advocacy. So, instead of going deep into discussion about impact, we had to start with an open forum to ensure everyone understood basic concepts. Our recommendation for other such gatherings would be to start with basic discussions about video, advocacy and impact at the very beginning so everyone is familiar with the concepts and terminology.
Gathering participants in a single location helped a lot with keeping up with the workshop schedule and the participants' needs. Some participants were also interested in learning some technical skills from each other. Organising pre and post events on skills-share would also prove useful.
Other difficulties we faced included not having well-accepted definitions of terminologies like impact, indicators and evaluation. Providing participants reading materials on such issues before the event could help with this, as well as more materials in local languages.