Gender equality is not only a human right but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable world as envisioned by the UN 2030 Agenda. The Gender Alliance is an initiative that pushes for a feminist agenda to foster gender equity in line with Sustainable Development Goal #5. N. S. Nappinai is one of its members.
Who are you?
N. S. Nappinai: My name is N. S. Nappinai and I live in Mumbai, India. I am a lawyer in the field of cyberlaw, working as a Supreme Court Advocate, and founder of Cyber Saathi. Besides cyberlaw, I specialize in constitutional, criminal, and intellectual property (IPR) law. I undertake training inter alia in cybercrimes, electronic evidence, and IPR of judges, police, armed forces, and intelligence agencies at national and state academies.
The Gender Alliance is a network-driven initiative to bring feminists together to accelerate gender equality. Its members come from the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network, the Global Diplomacy Lab, and the Robert Bosch Foundation. Together, they strive to accelerate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals on gender equality within their respective organizations, communities, and spheres of influence. This series is an effort to amplify the voices of amazing women who are pushing boundaries.
Why did you join the Gender Alliance, and what is most important for you?
N. S. Nappinai: I am happy to be part of the Gender Alliance and, more importantly, to contribute to the cause. In my professional capacity I have handled cases concerned with gender-based justice. I have also contributed substantially as thought leader on this aspect through various initiatives, lectures, and awareness programs. I understand that the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt provides a global landscape to work and contribute.
What work do you do to promote gender equality?
N. S. Nappinai: My gender-based work takes place mainly through cases and causes. I am presently amicus curiae appointed by the Supreme Court of India in Re: Prajwala Letter dated 18.02.2015 (Sun motu criminal writ Petition No 3/2015) where I have proposed and the court is evaluating AI-based tools to ensure online safe spaces for women through rooting out the uploading of rape and gang rape videos online. This is just one sample case I am contributing to. In my nearly three decades of law practice, I have handled and contributed to gender justice and equality on many counts. My sessions on cybercrime focus substantially on gender equality in digital domains, the threats and vulnerabilities in the said domain, and laws to combat the same. Finally, my recent initiative Cyber Saathi focuses on gender parity in digital domains through empowerment. Again, this is empowerment that comes through knowledge – of the threats as well as remedies available in law. The first initiative under this banner focuses on empowering children, who are anyway the masters of this domain, to then become peer mentors.
SDG #5 Gender Equality
Through Sustainable Development Goal 5 of the UN 2030 Agenda, the international community aims to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls who represent half of the world’s population and therefore also half of its potential. However, gender inequality persists everywhere and slows down social progress. Women continue to be underrepresented at all levels of political leadership. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
What is your desired outcome of the Gender Alliance?
N. S. Nappinai: To work on the stated objectives, and to contribute and create positive change to perspectives and norms. Collective action through the BMW Foundation Responsible Leaders Network will help carry the message further and farther. The name and its focus will bring strength to this movement. This would be the value addition for me, in carrying forth the work I am already engaged in.
What does an equal world look like?
N. S. Nappinai : A world without divide. To me, gender justice is not about weakening the position of men or alternate genders. It is not about imbalance. It is about neutrality of gender for justice.
Any advice to your 15-year-old self?
N. S. Nappinai : Being invisible is not a virtue. Not all fights have to be individual struggles. Collective actions will provide greater strength.