Online gender-based violence is as pervasive and destructive as offline violence. Rooted in gender inequalities found in society, it includes cyber-harassment, violations of privacy and hate speech. Global figures indicate that 73%1 of women have experienced some form of cyberviolence. With the onset of COVID-19, women and girls are increasingly spending more time on the Internet; consequently, the rate of online violence is expected to increase.
The impact on women is serious. Cyberviolence engenders feelings of shame, humiliation and isolation; it threatens women’s mental health and sense of safety. Women often respond by withdrawing from online spaces or limiting their online presence; thus, cyberviolence infringes on their right to information, expression and learning.
To protect themselves women must be given tools and training. Likewise, policy makers, the ICT sector and tech companies can create policies and products to help ensure safer online environments. Join us as we discuss cyberviolence, its prevalence and impact, and suggest measures and practices for preventing and protecting against it.