Currently, the architectural and software features of ICTs – as well as core guiding principles for policy making addressing these technologies – are developed by a non-diverse group of people, mostly white men from the so called Global North. Developing code for software or legal codes are not neutral tasks, which means that these restrict group is ultimately shaping the manner on how digital technologies are used and what rights can be promoted or forgotten in the online environment. Therefore, a non-critical adoption of these tools or regulations can only replicate and increase all the socio-economic power imbalances that we already strive against.

At Coding Rights we believe that a sustainable and progressive development and adoption of digital technologies will only happen if critical Human Rights and global perspectives – particularly those of women and non-conforming gender/sexual groups from the Global South – are powerfully articulated in national, regional and global spheres, in order to influence decision making processes from public and private sectors.

That is why we have created Coding Rights: a Brazil-based women-run Think-and-Do tank with the mission to expose and redress the power imbalances built into technology and the policies related to it, particularly those which reinforce gender and North/South inequalities.

Besides this important socio-political mission, as a new and growing organization, we also face institutional challenges to have a sustainable financial model that can guarantee the future and the current independence of the organization, as well as a space for nurturing knowledge sharing and new skills among the team. We have been experimenting and, hopefully, innovating in our institutional arrangements to allow to do so.

In the following pages you will see activities that we have performed in order to achieve our mission and challenges with fun, creativity and solidarity, which we believe are key elements to engage and articulate a wider network of critical minds to question the status quo of technology development, especially in this context of institutional crisis that Brazil and other countries from the Global South (and the world?!) are facing.

Click here and download our 2016 Annual Report of Coding Rights.

Joana Varon
Founder and Director Coding Rights