submitted 1 month ago by MicroWave to c/world

Devices containing private images can become a sexist weapon in this Middle Eastern country. When a phone breaks, the user can go years without fixing it, for fear of suffering blackmail

On one summer’s day in 2022, Warda Seif roamed the streets of Yemen’s city of Aden under the blaring sun for two hours looking for a mobile phone repair shop to fix a software glitch in her device. She knew the problem could be sorted out within an hour, but when the male technicians asked her to share her password and leave the device for a day or two, she refused, and moved on to the next store.

Her refusal may seem peculiar, but the risks she dreads are grave: Yemen’s conservative society is one of the world’s worst performing countries on the Gender Inequality  Index, ranking 155 out of 156 countries in 2021. Deeply-ingrained patriarchal norms and gender roles dictate women’s choices and actions, and place women as bearers of their families’ honor, making them easy targets of extortions and blackmails.

And mobile phones store a lot  of that honor in the form of personal images and confidential information, even if these images are neither explicit nor revealing.

“Widespread IT illiteracy amongst women and their reliance on strangers to set up their emails or fix their devices makes them prone to extortionists,” said activist Mokhtar Abdel Al-Moez, founder of Sanad, a nonprofit organization with around 400 volunteer digital experts offering support to cybercrime victims since March 2020.

top 15 comments
sorted by: hot top controversial new old
[-] [email protected] 19 points 1 month ago

Applying a soldering gun to a phone like that is not going to fix it.

[-] [email protected] 6 points 1 month ago

It will either fix it or likely damage it beyond being able to recover any data without highly specialized equipment... so it's a win.

[-] disguy_ovahea 18 points 1 month ago

So will a rock. lol

Her finger is off the trigger, and the tip is on the plastic housing. I’m guessing it was a photojournalist’s suggestion for the piece.

[-] Fedizen 16 points 1 month ago

this is almost certainly it. Its so funny to see people thinking this is a flub and not the obvious thing where the journalist wants an action shot.

[-] [email protected] 0 points 1 month ago

We know what it is. Nobody actually thinks that she is repairing a device in this photo. If a journalist is going to stage a photo, they should at least aim for accuracy.

[-] Fedizen 3 points 1 month ago

I'm not going to open up a phone with a heat gun just so some dork can get an "accurate" photo of me faking an action shot here. They made the right call here.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 month ago

Or, you know, take a photo of someone actually doing the thing you're reporting on. Or maybe not use a tool that isn't used in phone repair at all.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 month ago

The photo is pretty blurry, are we sure it’s not an electric screwdriver?

[-] [email protected] 8 points 1 month ago

Images could as well be copies of immigration documents for secretive efforts to run away from abusive family relationships or financial details for whatever plans or projects.

[-] AnUnusualRelic 3 points 1 month ago

They're serious about ppe at least.

this post was submitted on 21 Apr 2024
196 points (98.0% liked)

World News

36728 readers
3372 users here now

A community for discussing events around the World


We ask that the users report any comment or post that violate the rules, to use critical thinking when reading, posting or commenting. Users that post off-topic spam, advocate violence, have multiple comments or posts removed, weaponize reports or violate the code of conduct will be banned.

All posts and comments will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. This means that some content that violates the rules may be allowed, while other content that does not violate the rules may be removed. The moderators retain the right to remove any content and ban users.

Lemmy World Partners

News [email protected]

Politics [email protected]

World Politics [email protected]


For Firefox users, there is media bias / propaganda / fact check plugin.


founded 11 months ago