[IRPCoalition] Re CIS' Statement on Sexual Harassment at ICANN55

Marianne Franklin m.i.franklin at gold.ac.uk
Tue Mar 22 00:28:05 EET 2016

Dear all

See below for an important thread about sexual harassment, at the recent 
ICANN meeting but also with respect to the IGF. Of importance to all of 
us working with and within Dynamic Coalitions and other events.


-------- Forwarded Message --------
Subject: 	Re: [bestbits] CIS' Statement on Sexual Harassment at ICANN55
Date: 	Mon, 21 Mar 2016 18:15:32 +0200
From: 	Nadira Alaraj <nadira.araj at gmail.com>
Reply-To: 	Nadira Alaraj <nadira.araj at gmail.com>
To: 	nigidaad at gmail.com
CC: 	<bestbits at lists.bestbits.net> <bestbits at lists.bestbits.net>, 
NCSG-DISCUSS at listserv.syr.edu <NCSG-DISCUSS at listserv.syr.edu>, Sunil 
Abraham <sunil at cis-india.org>, ncuc-discuss at lists.ncuc.org 
<ncuc-discuss at lists.ncuc.org>

Dear all
I commend Ms. Padmini Baruah courage for bringing this issue to ICANN 
and to the civil society public forums.
The discussion here raises a questions and I would like to direct this 
to those senior with ICANN.
How we can create a working group to discuss this issue under ICANN 
umbrella? It is important the recommendations of this group to be 
instituted into ICANN.
Which body of ICANN will grant the official existence of this group and 
what constituency it will work?
Hoping these answers will bring the existence of this working group and 
follow the pattern of button up approach in decision making of ICANN and 
to follow with the recommendations of Padmini to make them happen.
Best wishes,
Nadira Alaraj

On Mar 21, 2016 6:32 PM, <nigidaad at gmail.com 
<mailto:nigidaad at gmail.com>> wrote:

    First of all, I would like to say I think that Ms Baruah is an
    incredibly brave woman for not only making her story public, but
    also for not giving up despite being discouraged to report the
    incident and CIS for issuing a statement on rather ignored issue
    within our own circles. I personally know many women who don’t
    report harassment because there is a lack of support and significant
    discouragement. Unfortunately, this leads to silencing and harassers
    are thus granted impunity.

    Ms Baruah’s statement betrays another reality that women in this
    field have to live with if they wish to continue working: her
    harasser was granted access to her space where he was allowed to
    make her uncomfortable by staring. I have lost count of the number
    of women who have spoken about this. Unless a strong accountability
    mechanism is enforced, the rate of reporting harassment will remain
    low. Women will not come forward unless they are guaranteed that
    they will not have to face their harasser until they are ready to.
    Furthermore, having to face a harasser is triggering and emotional
    exhaustion leads to giving up.

    This incident should lead to reflection regarding harassment in our
    own tech community and development in general.

    Strong policies should not only be enforced, but should be
    culturally sensitive. For example, if women from a very patriarchal
    country report harassment to someone, they should not be asked to
    first officially report it legally. Some are unable to do so and
    will hesitate to do so due to lack of support.

    More than anything else, as a community, we need to reflect on how
    we got here and why. Perhaps some accountability on our own roles is
    necessary because men would not able to harass women so easily
    unless they knew they had impunity on some level. While it is
    heartening to see conversations taking place, I don’t believe we can
    have meaningful change unless we all collectively discuss how we got
    here in the first place. Why does the tech development industry have
    such a bad reputation when it comes to harassment? Surely it isn’t
    the result of a conspiracy against us.

    Jac it would be great if we make this discussion happen at Gender
    Dynamic Coalition in next IGF and discuss how to address the issue
    of sexual harassment not only restricted to spaces like ICANN and
    IGF but within our own community.

    My two cents..

    Nighat Dad
    Digital Rights Foundation, Pakistan.

    Sent from my iPhone

    On 21-Mar-2016, at 8:00 pm, Sunil Abraham <sunil at cis-india.org
    <mailto:sunil at cis-india.org>> wrote:

>     The Centre for Internet and Society
>     Statement on Sexual Harassment at ICANN55
>     The Centre for Internet and Society (“CIS”) strongly condemns the
>     acts of sexual harassment that took place against one of our
>     representatives, Ms. Padmini Baruah, during ICANN 55 in Marrakech.
>     It is completely unacceptable that an event the scale of an ICANN
>     meeting does not have in place a formal redressal system, a
>     neutral point of contact or even a policy for complainants who
>     have been put through the ordeal of sexual harassment. ICANN
>     cannot claim to be inclusive or diverse if it does not formally
>     recognise a specific procedure or recourse under such instances.
>     Ms. Baruah is by no means the first young woman to be subject to
>     such treatment at an ICANN event, but she isthe first to raise a
>     formalcomplaint. Following the incident, she was given no
>     immediate remedy or formal recourse, and that has left her with no
>     option but to make the incident publicly known in the interim. The
>     ombudsman’s office has been in touch with her, but this
>     administrative process is simply inadequate for rights-violations.
>     Ms. Baruah has received support from various community, staff, and
>     board members. While we are thankful for their support, we believe
>     that this situation can be better dealt with through some positive
>     measures. We ask that ICANN carry out the following steps in order
>     to make its meetings a truly safe and inclusive space:
>     1.
>         Institute a formal redressal system and policy with regard to
>         sexual harassment within ICANN. The policy must be displayed
>         on the ICANN website, at the venue of meetings and made
>         available in delegate kits.
>     2.
>         Institute an Anti Sexual Harassment Committee that is neutral
>         and approachable. Merely having an ombudsman who is a white
>         male, however well intentioned, is inadequate and completely
>         unhelpful to the complainant. The present situation is one
>         where the ombudsman has no effective power and only advises
>         the board.
>     3.
>         Conduct periodic gender and sexual harassment training of the
>         ICANN board to help them better understand these issues.
>     4.
>         Conduct periodic gender and sexual harassment training for the
>         ombudsman even if he/she will not be the exclusive point of
>         contact for complainants as the ombudsman forms an important
>         part of community and participant engagement.
>     5.
>         Conduct periodic gender sensitisation for the ICANN community.
>     ____________________________________________________________
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