To encourage, empower and unite women through their interest in hacker culture. This is the aim of MariaLab Hackerspace, a collective that was born in 2012 with just a few members and an email list and, two years later, started to bring together more women, hold face-to-face meetings and assert itself as a feminist collective. Supported by the ELAS Fund, MariaLab holds free workshops on digital security and self-defense.

Hackerspaces are community spaces where people share their interests and projects related to technology, in defense of principles such as sharing and collaboration. Aimed at women, MariaLab seeks to bring technology to feminist spaces and feminism to technology spaces, as well as empowering women and transgender people in the area through the exchange of experiences and knowledge.
"We think it's necessary to create safe spaces so that we can share, learn, invent and experiment through the action and autonomy of women in the field. We base ourselves on anti-oppression policies so that these spaces, whether physical or virtual, become politicized and truly inclusive environments," the members explain.
Digital security for feminists
How to avoid becoming a victim of cyberbullying and porn revenge and the importance of reducing gender inequalities in the exact sciences and technologies are some of the topics covered in the workshops, lectures and discussion groups promoted by the group.
With support from the ELAS Fund, the collective is offering digital security workshops for feminists and activists in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in 2016. "We understand that it is extremely important to empower feminist groups and women activists about digital security by providing tools, techniques and theories for protecting our data on networks," they say. 
The first workshop in Rio de Janeiro takes place on Saturday, February 20. During the workshop, they will talk about the main vulnerabilities we are subject to on the internet and how to defend ourselves against threats on the networks. Sign up at:
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Follow the agenda on MariaLab's Facebook page.
Find out more about MariaLab Hackerspace here.
Learn more about the importance of digital security for women in the video: