DATAWO claims a feminist digital reality

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18/05/2023

We want to warmly thank Sophia Zouloumi and TFC Magazine for hosting us! We quote the article published on their website below.

“As digital reality gains ground in human relationships, a contradiction becomes more apparent. Our familiarity with digital tools comes hand in hand with our “illiteracy” when it comes to our digital rights and security. Femininities are also here exposed to inequality and violence, in fact with new conditions and forms. DATAWO aspires to reverse this situation. This Non-Profit Organisation puts the rights of femininity in the digital age at the center of its research and action.

On Thursday 27 April 2023 we attended her first live experiential workshop. So we are back in the digital space to bring you our experience.

DATAWO’s vision

DATAWO was founded in Thessaloniki by two women who share their love for Law and Feminism. Anastasia Karagianni and Anthi Argyriou already envisioned their own organisation from their student years in Law, without a clear orientation and plan yet. The social condition with the blatant inequality at the expense of femininity showed them the way. With the establishment of DATAWO they aim to raise awareness regarding the phenomena of gender-based violence in the digital era, but also to pave the way for more feminist designed technological systems.

DATAWO’s action

The legal background of the two founders allows them to monitor institutional developments, but also to conduct legal research around issues of gender-based violence and sexual harassment in the digital era. Their website offers us a number of sources related to the legislation and jurisprudence of the rights of femininities. They have even added artistic stimuli that can be a source of reflection and mobilisation on these phenomena. They invest a large part of their activity in remote and in-person awareness-raising events.

The aim is to firstly make visible the gender violations that take place with the use of digital technological tools. In the next stage, the goal is to acquire the resources to react to them and reach a level to eliminate them. Finally, DATAWO partners with local, European and international actors for feminist-oriented change.

The experiential workshop

On 27 April 2023 we met DATAWO at its first live experiential workshop at the ActionAid Hellas Youth Hub. The workshop was about understanding image-based sexual abuse. The topic was framed by the two co-founders of the organisation and two trained systemic psychotherapists, Maria Zikou and Maria Prenga. The first focused on the terminology and legal framework of image-based sexual abuse. The second ones invited us to a role play around a scenario with this theme. They also facilitated the sharing of our thoughts and feelings. In the end, we all watched the film “Bad Luck Banging or Lonney Porn” directed by Radu Jude. It is about the time of the leak of a video of a teacher in a private school in Romania, which depicts sexual intercourse with her partner, and the reactions of the parents’ association towards her.

The value of such meetings

This experiential workshop was accompanied by many thoughts and mental fluctuations. We moved quickly from recommendations to sharing. This may have sometimes been about our hopes for feminist solidarity and sometimes fears and frustrations about gendered reality. The experiential element of this gathering was most enlightening. Sometimes no matter how prepared we think we are and no matter how hypothetical the circumstances we respond to, our reactions and the depth of our feelings can surprise us. In the end we leave with a gratitude that it was done in a safe context. However we meet, digitally or in person, let’s do it respectfully.”

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