Encryption: a tool to defend women’s rights

It does not matter who is in power, if it’s left, if it’s right, if we are in 1950 or 2023, you must remain vigilant throughout your life, a quote from Simone de Beauvoir remains ever contemporary to women all over the world. It relates to the fact that women’s rights have been consistently put in jeopardy at different times in history using a variety of political, economic, and religious justifications. Recent statistics, unfortunately, show that gender-based violence has increased since 2020 throughout the world for multiple factors, the pandemic-imposed lockdown, economic crises and/or a conjunction of those.  

A new 8 March arrives and as we celebrate 2023 International Women’s Day, women -from human rights defenders to those seeking to exercise their reproductive rights- need to increasingly remain vigilant both offline and, particularly, online. Under threat, women must be able to rely on encrypted services that maintain their online activity and communications safe, secure, and private, to ensure that neither their messages nor data (such as location) are going to be read by anyone but the intended recipient, and become a tool for those looking to inflict harm.  

On International Women’s Day, the Global Encryption Coalition highlights the importance of keeping women safe online by the use of digital encrypted services and calls on women to defend their rights against government proposals that seek to undermine end-to-end encryption services.  

There are additional and necessary steps women can take to remain safe online, the DYI Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity is, among others, a very useful guide to “take control of your digital spaces”.