Web3 activists fight for reproductive rights with NFTs, DAOs and protests

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Members of the Web3 community are fighting back against the United States Supreme Court’s decision to reverse Roe v. Wade.

On June 24, 2022, the landmark court case, which previously assured abortion rights, was overturned, causing a backlash among reproductive rights activists in the US.

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Some activists have turned to Web3 solutions, creating decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) and non-fungible token (NFT) projects focused on raising awareness for women’s reproductive rights.

The first of these efforts was demonstrated by Nadya Tolokonnikova, a member of the performance activist group Pussy Riot. Tolokonnikova told Cointelegraph that about three weeks ago, members of Pussy Riot and UnicornDAO — a group redistributing money and visibility to women’s identities and LGBTQ+ people — held a protest at the Texas State Capitol in response to a leaked draft opinion. Performed, which represents the final performance of the Supreme Court. The decision to reverse Roe vs. Wade. He said:

“The protest was called ‘Matriarchy Now.’ We dropped a giant 45-foot banner from the third floor of the Texas Capitol building in Austin displaying this message. Then we made it an NFT, the first political performance art piece Which we used to raise money for women’s reproductive rights.”

The “Matriarchy Now” protest. Source: Cat Riot

crypto fundraising to support reproductive rights

Still, this effort was only a start for Pussy Riot and UnicornDAO. Tolokonnikova said the groups began another NFT collection to support reproductive rights on July 7 – this time in response to the official reversal of Roe v. Wade. Known as proof of protest, UnicornDAO co-founder John Caldwell told Cointelegraph that this NFT collection allows users to “buy feminism” to display their “proof of protest.”

“Proof of Protest” NFT Project. Source: Cat Riot

According to Tolokonnikova, the visual “feminism bottles” purchased from this NFT drop will remain on the blockchain forever, becoming an integral part of a person’s digital identity. He said:

“Years from now, no one will be able to tell you that you did nothing when the rights of the pregnancies were taken away from them. Own your proof of protest. Burn the patriarchy. Fury at the system of oppression that tells you they own your body. If you don’t have a womb, cry for your mother’s rights, I’m sure you have one.”

The Protest of Protest NFT, which launched on the Lens protocol – a Web3 social graph built on the Polygon blockchain – has already been aggregated by over 1,300 individuals, demonstrating the importance of women’s reproductive rights within the Web3 community. does.

Bradley Freeman, social development manager at Away – the development team behind the Lens protocol – told Cointelegraph that Pussy Riot NFTs were molded as publications on the Lens protocol and that once aggregated they became NFTs, which are essentially a The concept is similar to liking a social media post. , “The Lens Protocol believes in ‘aggregating’ content across the web, which makes it as easy as posting to NFT Mint or liking a post,” he explained.

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All funds raised for Pussy Riot’s Proof of Protest NFT drop will support reproductive rights organizations through legaleborton.eth, an Ethereum wallet created by UnicornDAO, and a public charity foundation endowment. Alexis Miller, Head of Donor Engagement and Strategic Partnership Lead at the Endowment, told Cointelegraph that the foundation distributes crypto proceeds to seven organizations across the US that support reproductive rights. He explained:

“LegalAbortion.eth is a Web3 Ethereum wallet that any NFT creator, decentralized application or decentralized finance protocol can use to donate crypto. The wallet has a multi-signature feature that requires multiple private entities to sign transactions. ‘Keys’ or users are required, ensuring that multiple key holders remain accountable to each other. All multisig signers for LegalAbortion.eth have agreed upon the final destination of all funds received, the Endowments Protect Reproductive Rights Fund of it.”

Miller shared that Roe v. The Endowment’s Reproductive Rights Fund raised $55,000 from crypto donors shortly after a leaked draft opinion to reverse Wade. “The Foundation then distributes these funds equitably to the nonprofits we partner with, including the Center for Reproductive Rights, Fund Texas Choice, Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and others,” she said.

Although crypto fundraising for women’s reproductive rights organizations only began in May, Miller noted that the endowment has already provided a total of $425,000 to various nonprofits dedicated to helping women. “We have raised this amount among individual donors and through our community. The Endowment’s Protect Reproductive Rights Fund has raised $87,000, including $17,000 raised through legalborton.eth, as well as $42,000 through CowgirlDAO, which sells NFT collections to support abortion access. Used to be.”

Although this number is significantly lower than other crypto fundraising initiatives – such as efforts to support Ukraine in its current struggle, which has already raised millions in crypto donations – Miller believes that donors and Funds from partner projects will continue to flow. “We also have a Ukraine fund where we raised a lot of money, but we saw incredible activity when the draft opinion leaked, and we saw even more activity when Roe v. Wade was reversed,” she said.

Furthermore, the difference these funds are creating for recipient non-profit organizations is remarkable. Rebecca Drake, chief operating officer of the fund Texas Choice, told Cointelegraph that when the six-week abortion ban went into effect in Texas last year, the organization saw a surge in donors. He added that some people were asking if the fund Texas Choice also accepted crypto donations. He said:

“We started accepting crypto donations at the time, but it felt overwhelming. So when The Endowment contacted us asking if they could help us provide crypto donations as a third-party non-profit intermediary, It was serious. We have received almost $100,000 in funding since they set up a crypto donation for us.”

Drake said all funds received are disbursed in US dollars, making it easier for nonprofits to accept. In regards to how the money will be spent, Drake explained that the donations received will be put toward enabling the mission behind Fund Texas Choice. “We are still dedicated to ensuring equitable abortion access for any Texan, but now we must examine how this relates to compliance with the law.”

In addition to the money currently being raised to help women navigate their reproductive rights, there are several other projects in the works. For example, a community of Web3 enthusiasts and activists recently launched ChoiceDAO. A core member of ChoiceDAO, Sahar Afrakhan, told Cointelegraph that Roe v. The project was started in response to Wade’s overthrow and aims to help non-profit and grassroots organizations dedicated to women.

“Our first mission is to raise more than $1,000,000 in 26 days for frontline organizations fighting for access to reproductive health care. We know this is a decade long battle and we also know we need new people to win. And new ideas will have to be activated.Afrakhan mentioned that ChoiceDAO will soon start accepting crypto donations.

Adriana Arce, chief operating officer and founder of media company Haus, also told Cointelegraph that she is launching an NFT project to raise funds for both women creators and the National Network of Abortion Funds organization. The project is called Nice F*cking Tities, or NFT for short. “This project allows women to show their breasts or go completely naked to demonstrate freedom over their bodies,” Ars said. According to Ars, 5% of profits from “NFTs” will be donated to the National Network of Abortion Fund, while 20% of the profits will go back to female participants.

Challenges can hinder fundraising

While it is noteworthy that the Web3 community is launching initiatives to support reproductive rights, it remains questionable how these projects will be achieved. For example, the male-dominated culture of the crypto community may view these projects as less important than other fundraising initiatives. Tolokonnikova is aware of this. However, she believes that women’s rights are something the entire Web3 community should take into account:

“We were aware of this reality when we decided to choose crypto as one of our tools for activism. But it’s not just about women’s rights. It’s human rights. It’s everyone’s right.”

The current bear market is also a cause for concern, as poor market conditions may make donors less able or willing to donate. Fortunately, Miller commented that legal abortion.eth has not seen any change in its endowment. Part of this is due to the fact that LegalBobtion.eth accepts donations in USD Coin (USDC), Circle’s native stablecoin.

“Many of the funds we opened last year involved USDC, so people didn’t lose money. People donating to USDC also have the same amount to give to us, because the stablecoin is pegged to the US dollar, ” He said. And, although ChoiceDAO has not started accepting crypto donations, Afrakhan noted that the community behind the project believes the fight for women’s reproductive rights will be a decade long. Therefore, they are “far ahead of current market conditions.”

How effective will crypto donation prove to be?

Challenges aside, it is important to examine the overall effectiveness of crypto donations being raised to support women’s reproductive rights. For example, while crypto donations hit new heights in 2021, industry experts believe that more can be done to help women have their voices heard.

For example, Tolokonnikova explained that she believed the best course of action would be for women to strike nationwide.

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“All women in America should stop working to show the world what it would be like without women’s participation. Then everyone could see how the world would suffer without women,” she remarked. While the general strike will certainly make an impact, Tolokonnikova believes crypto fundraising is a good initiative at the present time. “I think this fundraising is effective because it helps real people to solve real problems. helps,” she said.

Echoing this, Afrakhan said he hopes that other socially influential DAOs like ChoiceDAO and UkraineDAO will define the next generation of activists. He said:

“Our hope is that this new model of activism goes beyond reproductive health care. Think fundraising 3.0. Many nonprofits and social movements are hindered by capital. We hope to change that by unlocking the potential of the global community in Web3. Any movement can and should tap into it.”