Gender and sexuality
The enjoyment of the dual rights of freedom of expression and freedom of information differs considerably for individuals based upon their sex, sexuality and gender identity. A person’s ability—or inability—to speak freely, participate in public debate, report the news safely and securely, access information, and harness digital technologies is often contingent upon whether or not their sex, sexuality and gender fits within societal conventions, and whether or not their identity grants them access to power. Across the world, research and trends show that being female, or identifying as a woman or LGBTQI person, results in a greater likelihood of poverty, oppression, and exclusion, from spheres of public interaction and decision-making. Women and LGBTQI persons face at times almost insurmountable barriers, including stigmatization, sexual harassment, bans on solidarity and pride marches, criminalisation for wearing certain types of clothing, and physical and sexual violence. These are but a few examples of what is an acute and enduring global problem – one that has a tendency to be invisible, or when acknowledged lack long-term meaningful solutions. In order to fully and meaningfully promote and defend the universality of freedom of expression and freedom of information, violations including censorship, threats, and attacks must be understood through the eyes and experiences of women and LGBTQI persons, and the specific and unique threats that women and LGBTQI people face in expressing themselves must be addressed.