Make online spaces safe for women
Online violence and abuse against women can take many forms; it is an extension of offline violence and abuse against women. This issue has a profound impact on the fundamental human rights of women, especially the right to equality, right to life and right to freedom of expression.
The following are some forms of online violence and abuse:
- Threats of violence: Direct and indirect threats of physical or sexual violence.
- Violations of privacy: Sharing of sexual and private images without consent, and ‘doxxing’ (revealing personal or identifying details without consent, with the aim to cause distress).
- Discrimination: Targeted content that is sexist, racist, homophobic or related to an individual’s identity, that aims to belittle, humiliate or undermine them.
- Online harassment: Sustained or repeated communications involving one or more people working together to target an individual, using abusive comments or images online, over a short or coordinated period of time, with the aim of humiliating or otherwise distressing them.
While everyone experiences online violence and abuse, it is important to focus specifically on the human rights abuses that women suffer, for the following reasons: firstly, women are often excessively targeted, especially women from marginalised groups, who are vocal about their political opinions, and secondly, the abuse perpetrated is gendered in nature. The abuse targets women’s sexuality, reducing women to sexual objects, and reinforces gender stereotypes.
Amnesty International India is advocating for social media platforms to follow their own community guidelines and policies to stop online violence against women.
‘Read and listen to 9 women who share their experiences of online violence and abuse’
Stand Up Comedian Pooja Vijay On Online Violence Against Women