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November 30, 2012 - Comments Off on 16 DAYS X 16 STORIES: TELL. LISTEN. ACT.


From 25 Nov to 10 Dec, Take Back The Tech! invites you to take one action per day to end violence against women. Each daily action explores an issue of violence against women and its interconnection with communication rights, and approaches different communication platforms - online and off - in creative and tactical ways.Take Back The Tech! End violence against women.



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The act of storytelling is transformative.

When you tell a story, you are defining the experience. You are naming the actors, narrating the event, framing the values and deciding which details matter. In other words, you are constructing reality.

When you listen to a story, you are allowing your point of view to be shifted, and be immersed into another reality. When you listen actively, you are also moved through more profound understanding.

The world is made up of many, many stories. Some are more loudly told and heard than others, while some are shared in smaller circles. Often, it depends on who is telling the story and how much power they have in the context where it is heard.

If we pay attention to stories that are less easily heard, then we are contributing to changing who has power.

If we make the effort to tell stories that are not familiar, then we are actively participating in shaping what matters.

Take Back the Tech! From 25 Nov to 10 Dec, take part in the 16 days of activism and take control of technology to tell, listen and share transformative stories. Document, inspire, converse and collectively envision the end to violence against women.


We will be featuring a story every day for 16 days. Each story will present the different ways that internet and mobile technologies affect the lives of women and girls in different parts of the world.

Some are stories by women and girls who have experienced violence online or through the use of digital technologies. Some are stories that subvert ideas of technology, gender roles and harm. Some are stories that imagine a world free from violence against women – with wit, gravity, humour and imagination.

Visit the Take Back the Tech! campaign site throughout the 16 days and listen to each story. Find out more about the very real ways that internet and mobile technologies intersect with violence against women, and be inspired, moved and challenged to take action for change.

This year’s campaign is inspired by Take Back the Tech! Pakistan’s 16 days of activism campaign in 2011.


Be part of the 16 days story circle and tell your own powerful story of transformation. The stories can be about:

  • How you have personally experienced, been affected by or took action to challenge violence against women online or through mobile phones.
  • Creative collation and storytelling based on different cases that you have heard, read or come across.
  • Interviews with different women on their stories or opinions on why internet and mobile technologies are feminist issues and strategies on online safety.
  • Fictional and fantastical accounts of alternate realities that challenge how we think about internet and mobile technologies, power, gender relations and/or violence.
  • Or any other story, actually experienced, inspired or imagined.


We want to amplify and share stories that surface the different ways that violence against women, feminism and internet and mobile technologies intersect. Below are some thematic ideas to begin with:

  • Online harassment and cyberstalking
  • Trolling and online sexism
  • “Love”, violence and internet technologies
  • Privacy in a public digital space
  • Sexuality online
  • Girls and internet technologies
  • Feminism, activism and online threats and possibilities
  • Culture, gender roles and internet technologies
  • Strategies to be safe online

And other thematic areas that you think are important in relation to this issue.


Format and styles can be as diverse as Take Back the Tech! campaigners who come from different parts of the world. For example:

  • Videos (digital stories, interviews, mash-ups, recordings of live events, music video, webcam diaries, claymation etc) – most online videos are less than 3 minutes because of bandwidth and online viewing dynamics.
  • Audio clips (storytelling, drama, songs, podcasts etc)
  • Captioned photos, comic strips or collages
  • Performance theatre, comedy, scripts
  • Retellings of folklore and mythology or science fiction
  • Poetry, haiku, blog posts
  • Embroidery…wherever your creativity moves you.

They can be in first or third person, in the language you are comfortable in, or use no language at all.

Note on privacy

  • Check if your content/story reveals personal information about yourself or others that you don’t want to share.
  • This includes recognisable pictures or information about location, identity, age, occupation etc.
  • Check “Be safe” section on what you can do to address some of these issues.


You can share your story as part of this campaign in several ways:

  • Email us at: ideas AT takebackthetech DOT net
  • Create an account on the site to upload your story directly. If your story is in written form, you can publish it as a blog post on the site.
  • If your story is in different media formats - e.g. video, audio, photographs, images etc, you can find out how to upload content here.
  • Or if you have posted it in your own online spaces (blog, tumbler etc), then let us know by sending us a link on Twitter, or post it up on our campaign Facebook page.


Visit the campaign site every day throughout the 16 days to listen to the stories.

Find out more about the very real and different ways that internet and mobile technologies affect the lives of women and girls in different parts of the world, and how gender-based violence is a significant aspect of this reality.

Build your knowledge and deepen your understanding about the issue.


  • Let the storyteller know how the story moved you by leaving a comment.
  • Participate in our Twitter #16stories conversation.
  • Grow the story circle and respond with your own story. Follow the story guide above to tell your story.
  • Share resources about the issue that the story surfaces.
  • Build knowledge and share your ideas, thoughts and strategies on how to deal with situations of violence against women online.
  • Listen actively.


If you have experienced violence against women online, or know of someone who has, or have come across news reports about such incidents, document it on the Take Back the Tech! online map.

The Take Back The Tech! map on technology-related violence is in several languages including Arabic, Urdu, French, Spanish, Bosnian and others.

In addition, Take Back The Tech! campaigners in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan and the Philippines are coordinating country-specific maps, which will be aggregated to the global Take Back the Tech! map.

The reports will be used for advocacy efforts and to inform capacity building strategies on online safety. We will be bringing your stories, experiences and concerns to the UN meeting in 2013 on women's rights that will be focusing on violence against women, to include technology-related violence against women in the discussion.


Help us build a body of knowledge and document the experiences of violence that women and girls face online and through the use of internet and mobile technologies.

Collectively, we can make the invisible visible and demand for recognition and change.

Stories can change the world. Take control of technology and share your story!


From Take Back the Tech!

October 31, 2012 - Comments Off on Attack on Pakistani Youth Activist Will Not Shake Women's Rights Activists

Attack on Pakistani Youth Activist Will Not Shake Women's Rights Activists

Malala Yousafzai is also a strong advocate for communication rights and is a keen supporter and promoter of APC’s local Take Back the Tech! Campaign in Pakistan after attending workshops in Swat and Peshawar.

An exceedingly sad, insensate and astounded feeling comes to mind while writing this piece about an innocent 14 year-old activist Malala Yousafzai shot in Swat, Pakistan earlier today. This young girl who exemplifies active participation in the Take Back the Tech! campaign in Pakistan.
Across the globe, countless women and human rights defenders risk harassment, torture, family kidnapping and even death threats. Women activists keep breaking cultural taboos and make efforts to lead an exemplary life – not only so their own lives can be better, but also to help other women have an independent and inspiring life.

Malala, our young activist was attacked while she was going home from school with other girls in a school van in the country’s northwest, a region of the country that is known for its political unrest. The unknown assailants shot several bullets to her vehicle, injuring her and the other two school girls. Malala received two bullets to the head and neck, and is currently in critical condition in a hospital in Peshawar.

She started receiving death threats soon after her identity went public as the author of the BBC’s Diary of a Pakistani schoolgirl, in which she denounced the atrocities that took place during Taliban rule under the pen name Gul Makai. In March 2012, shortly after Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) announced that she, and another social worker (Shad Beghum) where on the militant’s hit list, she was provided with unarmed security by her school.
Hailing from Mingora Swat, this 14 year-old girl fought to restore peace and promote girls’education in Swat during the stronghold of Taliban in 2008. She was awarded National Peace Award by the former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani for her outstanding and ardent efforts under extremely hostile conditions. She was also bestowed with Sitara-e-Jurrat by the Government of Pakistan acknowledging her courageous services to promote peace. She was the first Pakistani to be nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by children’s advocacy group Kids Rights Foundation.

Like many other girls, Malala is a victim of the ban imposed by Taliban on girls’ education during their stronghold of Swat in 2008. The teenager kept encouraging her fellow students to continue with their schoolwork despite of militants’ threats before the Pakistan Military launched an operation and flushed out the militants.

The attack on a children rights activist is an unmistakable indication that the Taliban is not a group that is willing to negotiate girls’ education and women’s rights.

It is not the first case of attacking human rights defenders (and particularly women’s rights activists) in Pakistan. The famous Human Rights Commission of Pakistan has been getting such threats for years. The daring lawyer, Asma Jahangir, is also one of the many who keep receiving threats from miscreants. Adding to this, women’s rights defender Farida Afridi was ambushed and shot dead outside her house on 4th July in Hayatabad, in the tribal agency of Khyber.

Be it in Pakistan or Afghanistan, the efforts and contributions of these activists has been under constant attack by the Taliban. The need of the hour is for the international community to force the State to be responsible and take appropriate measures to protect women and children rights defenders in hostile regions. Activists’ spirit will not wear falter from such attacks, but it will surely affect the peace process in the region.

It is the State’s responsibility to take the activists along the road of peace and make policies, programmes in a closer collaboration and consultation with the human rights defenders. They are the ones who are suffering and helping the victims and survivors on the ground. Designing policies in conflict zones will only be successful and bear long term fruits, when governments take women human rights defenders together in the peace process.


Originally published at Association for Progressive Communications.