Gender and Digital Repression: The Practice and Toll of Digital Repression on Women in the Authoritarian Turn

This project analyses the gendered dimensions of digital repression and their impact in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe.
Project status
Ongoing
Departments
International

Project

Women experience unequal access to the Internet, which impacts their socio-economic opportunities and health. This digital gender divide transcends all aspects of the online ecosystem, but there has been little exploration of how it manifests in authoritarian states where digital rights are under threat. Digital repression involves controlling, surveying, silencing, and/or punishing certain online narratives deemed a threat to the state. It involves those in power mediating the relationship between citizens and internet technologies and the state using digital tools against their citizens. Across the African continent, digital repression tactics are becoming normalised as part of the autocratic states’ repertoire of ruling, demanding an interrogation of strategies states use to suppress their populace and its consequences. Specifically, it requires an intersectional exploration of the digital gender divide in authoritarian states.

Principal Investigator: Dr Caitlyn McGeer, Oxford University

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