BlueLink Took Part in the Second Convening of the Feminist Internet Research Network

BlueLink presented key findings about the role of the Internet in Gender Based Violence in Bulgaria within a meeting with research organisations and individuals at the Second convening of the Feminist Internet Research Network (FIRN). The meeting is taking place online from 15 to 23 June 2020 with participants from South America, Africa, Asia and Europe.

At the meeting BlueLink presented a research report part of a project revealingly entitled "After the Storm”, seeking for ways to restore policy dialogue and supportive discourse against GBV online in Bulgaria that was supported by FIRN.

Reconstructing a supportive discourse on tackling online gender-based violence and interaction and partnership between state, municipal and non-governmental institutions are among the recommendations of the report, presented by Nikoleta Daskalova who lead of the research implemented by BlueLink. Other recommendations included: fine-tuning legislation to address legal deficiencies to prevent the pursuit of gender-based violence, including on the Internet; improving technological aspects of security in the context of gender-based violence on the Internet; and increasing the effectiveness of the moderation and self-regulation of online media and social networks.

One of the key outcomes presented at the convening was a an expert workshop held by BlueLink and Bulgaria’s National Council on Equality between Women and Men on January 28, 2020. The workshop gathered representatives of Bulgarian civil society and government institutions to restore cooperation against gender-based violence online.

Pavel Antonov and Velina Barova from BlueLink also took part in the discussions following the presentations of the research reports. Seven other research teams from the global South are also presenting research findings on topics of online gender based violence, feminist approach to AI and algorithmic decisions, feminist autonomous networks, among others.

In 2019, the Association for Progressive Communications Women’s Rights Programme (APC WRP) was part of setting up the FIRN and held the first research hack-a-thon with a small group of research organisations and individuals.

FIRN seeks to build an emerging field of internet research with a feminist approach and focuses on knowledge building as critical feminist intervention by paying attention to multiple and intersecting structures of power that exist online and on the ground. The objective is to centre the needs of marginalised communities, such as women, gender diverse and queer people, in internet policy discussions and decision making. FIRN’s overall objective is to address existing gaps in the field of feminist internet research, which especially means focusing on the dynamics of power and structural inequalities, and surfacing intersectional and often marginalised perspectives from the global South, including those around race, caste, religion, class, sexuality and gender expression, and political ideology along with gender.

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This work forms part of the APC “Feminist Internet Research Network” project, supported by
the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada. The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent those of IDRC or its Board of Governors.