Event Agenda

1 Feb 2018, Thursday

Day 1

9.00 AM to 9.30 AM

Registration

9.30 AM to 10.00 AM

 

Official Opening:

R. Ramakumar, Dean, School of Development Studies, TISS Mumbai 

Asha Achuthan, Advanced Centre for Women Studies, TISS Mumbai 

Anita Gurumurthy, IT for Change, Bengaluru

10.00 AM to 11.30 AM

Session 1. Online GBV: State of Play

This session aims at interrogating the pervasive phenomenon of gender-based cyber

violence, from a feminist standpoint. It will reflect upon the manifestations of gender-

based violence in digital times, and the adequacy of existing legal, institutional and

socio-cultural responses to the issue. Future directions for feminist action and socio-

cultural transformation will be flagged.

 

Speakers:

J.Devika, Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum

Shehla Rashid, Student, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi

Justice Prabha Sridevan (retd.), Madras High Court, Chennai

 

Chair: Lakshmi Lingam, School of Media and Cultural Studies, TISS, Mumbai

 

(15 minutes per speaker, followed by discussion and comments by the Chair)

11.30 AM to 12.00 noon

Tea

12.00 noon to 1.15 PM

Session 2. Cartographies of the online: Revisiting locations and intersections

The session will explore how social identity shapes experiences of the online. It will

reflect upon how hegemonic Internet cultures normalise sexism, misogyny and

gender-based violence. In particular, it will demonstrate how the voices of those who

challenge status-quoist gender orders – women journalists, dalit women, individuals

of alternative gender identity and sexual orientation – are marginalised in virtual

spaces.

 

Paper Presentations (each for 10 minutes, followed by a discussion and

comments by the Chair):

 

Hindi print women journalists’ experiences of misogynistic virtual spaces

Ranu Tomar, School of Media & Communication, Jagran Lakecity  University, Bhopal

Reinforcement of sexism through memes  

Aalen Issac, Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil College, Mumbai

Mapping gender-based violence through ‘gendertrolling’ 

Asaf Ali Lone, Independent researcher & Saumya Bhandari, Ahmedabad University

Gender, caste and technology in Maratha Kranti (Muk) Morch      

Archana Kaware, TISS, Mumbai

 

Chair: Bishakha Datta, Point of View, Mumbai

 

1.15 PM to 2.15 PM

Lunch

2.15 PM to 3.30 PM

Session 3 (Part 1). Laws and law enforcement: Caught between old rights, new

violations?

In India, the legal provisions that can be invoked in cases of gender-based cyber

violence fall under two main laws: the Indian Penal Code and the Information

Technology Act. The Indian Penal Code is a pre-digital law steeped in paternalism

and moral censorship, with an inadequate grasp of the new manifestations of gender

based violence. As a business-oriented law, the Information Technology Act is gender

neutral and marred by a piecemeal approach to gender-based violence. Through an

examination of case histories and a critical reading of specific sections of these laws,

this session will demonstrate challenges for law and law enforcement, in ensuring

access to justice for victims of gender-based cyber violence.

 

Paper presentations (each for 10 minutes, followed by a discussion and

comments by the Chair):

 

Unpacking case histories from counselling centres and cyber crime cells        

Megha Joseph/Anu Swaraj/Nargees Basheer, National University of Advanced Legal Studies,

Kochi

 

Unpacking the law enforcement quandary   

Amrita Vasudevan, IT for Change, Bengaluru

 

Digital misogyny as hate speech: Exploring legal implication  

Srijan Sandip Mandal & Sreeparna Chattopadhyay,

Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Bengaluru

 

Chair: Justice Prabha Sridevan (retd.), Madras High Court, Chennai

 

3.30 PM to 4.00 PM

Tea

4.00 PM to 5.15 PM

Session 3 (Part 2). Laws and law enforcement: Caught between old rights, new

violations?

 

Paper presentations (each for 10 minutes, followed by a discussion and

comments by the Chair):

  

Introspecting the gaps between cyber crimes against women and laws: A study of West 

Bengal     

Molly Ghosh, Barrackpore Rastraguru Surendranath College, Barrackpore

Guavas and genitals: A research study on Section 67 of the IT Act   

Smita Vanniyar, Point of View, Mumbai

Gendered discourse: Technology mediated violence and women students

B. Radha & R. Nivetha, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University, Tirunelveli

 

e-VAW in Bangladesh   

Tahmina Rahman & Zakir Uzzaman Khan, Article 19, Bangladesh

 

Chair: Kiruba Munuswamy, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi 

6:00 PM to 7.45 PM

Session 4. Taking positions within and vis-a-vis institutions: interpreting the law,

negotiating the law

This session will be a conversation with actors addressing gender-based violence in

various institutional spaces – Special Cell for Women and Children, Cyber-cell of the

police, Gender Amity Committee - TISS, alongside representatives of social media

companies. The discussion will examine the deployment of existing laws and how the

spirit and text of the law are negotiated by different actors and bodies, within

institutions. Challenges to, as well as opportunities for, rights and justice will be

highlighted and transformative potential for conversations across institutions

explored.

 

Introduction to the issues:

Veena Gowda, Advocate, Bombay High Court, Mumbai 

Panel Respondents:

Trupti Panchal, Special Cell for Women and Children, Mumbai

Karuna Nundy, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, New Delhi

 

Shewli Kumar, Gender Amity Committee, TISS, Mumbai

Ditilekha Sharma, TISS Queer Collective

 

Moderator: Asha Achuthan, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, TISS Mumbai

 

(10 minutes per speaker, followed by an open discussion.) 

 

7.45 PM to 8.15 PM

Open Mike, Open Space

- Students share their artistic impressions – memes/posters/poetry on online GBV.

- The Neo-World: A play by Chayanika Iyer and Kalpita Raut, Wilson College Mumbai, with 

conceptual support from Biraj Mehta 

8:30 PM

Participants' Dinner

2 Feb 2018, Friday

Day 2

9.30 AM to 11.15 AM

Session 5. Legal ambiguities, cultural dilemmas: Walking the long road to

justice for gender-based cyber violence (Talk show format)

As feminists have long argued, the formal legal system is patriarchal and politicised.

In the case of gender-based violence, social prejudices separate “genuine victims”

from “those without moral character” in police stations, crisis helplines run by the

state, and even in court rooms. Further, gender norms may reinforce moral

protectionism among those entrusted with enforcing the law. Feminist critiques have

noted how laws created with the most progressive intentions can be reduced to

instruments that further patriarchal cultures. The talk show attempts to provoke a

dialogue around the following questions:

  • Is legal reform a useful pathway in gender-based cyber violence? Why/why

not?

  • If yes, what are the constituent elements of such legal reform that is grounded

in a feminist jurisprudence?

  • Do we need a new law on e-VAW?                                                                                                                                                   
  • What are the solutions we should turn to, outside the project of legal reform?

 

Speakers:

Vidya Reddy, Tulir Center for the Prevention and Healing of Child Sexual Abuse,

Chennai

Geeta Ramaseshan, Advocate, Madras High Court, Chennai

Namita Aavriti, GenderIT.org

Nandini Chami, IT for Change, Bengaluru

  

Moderator: Anita Gurumurthy, IT for Change, Bengaluru 

  

11.15 AM to 11.45 AM

Tea

11.45 AM to 1.00 PM

Session 6. Structures of digital technology: The governance quandary

From virtual assistants to surveillance gadgets, the rapid onslaught of new digital

technologies is reconstituting our social world. This session will analyse how the

structures of techno-materiality encode social hierarchies (gender, caste, class, race),

contributing to the normalisation of gender-based violence. It will also speak to the

issue of the liability of Internet intermediaries such as Facebook, Twitter etc., for acts

of gender-based violence perpetrated on their platforms.

 

Paper presentations (each for 10 minutes, followed by a discussion and

comments by the Chair):

 

Moving forward: cyber-misogyny and creating safer spaces online 

Archismita Choudhury, Breakthrough India, New Delhi

 

Sexual violence depicted against women in video games: The effect of virtual world

on the real world  

Ahmar Afaq, Symbiosis Law School - Hyderabad &

Mohd.Imran, Aligarh Muslim University, Murshidabad Centre

 

Are smart device based virtual assistants capable of assisting with gender based

violence concerns in India? 

Radhika Radhakrishnan, TISS, Mumbai

 

Technological architectures and the law – a feminist critique

Ingrid Brudvig, Web Foundation, South Africa

 

Chair: Kalpana Sharma, EPW

1.00 PM to 2.00 PM

Lunch

2.00 PM to 3.15 PM

Session 7. Cyber-feminism and digital activism: New frontiers in theory and

practice

This session will deliberate upon what a cyber-feminist praxis can offer in terms of

reclaiming the emancipatory potential of the Internet for feminism. Some key

questions that it will deliberate upon: What lessons can we learn from older feminist

movements in approaching the digital? What are some subversive practices currently

at play in online spaces that can help us trouble gender hierarchies?

 

Paper presentations (each for 10 minutes, followed by a discussion and

comments by the Chair):

 

Why loiter – women claiming online public spaces

Lakshmi Lingam, Isha Bhallamudi and Neomi Rao, School of Media and Cultural Studies,

TISS, Mumbai

  

Internet as a new feminist frontier

Shreya Sen, Nazdeek, New Delhi

How contemporary female graphic artists are addressing patriarchy  

Shreya Sethuraman, Independent Researcher, New Delhi 

Debate Dissent Zindabad  

Dyuti Jha, Center for Health Research Development, New Delhi 

 

Chair: Niranjana. P, Independent Researcher, Mumbai

  

3.15 PM to 3.45 PM

Tea

3.45 PM to 4.30 PM

Reflections and concluding remarks from the organisers

Asha Achuthan, Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies, TISS, Mumbai and

Anita Gurumurthy, IT for Change, Bengaluru