Gender Based Violence

The Issue

Violence against women and girls in India is widespread. Despite some progressive legislative measures in recent years, brought about due to pressure from women’s rights movements, the media and public campaigns, many women continue to experience discrimination and violence in their everyday lives.

Gender-based violence takes place in both public and private spheres. It is often under-reported as a result of systemic and social barriers, and formal mechanisms to address it remain ineffective.

Women from Dalit, Adivasi and other marginalised communities are disproportionately affected by sexual violence. Their marginalisation also narrows their avenues to access justice.

Troll Patrol India

India is one of the largest and fastest growing audience markets globally for Twitter, a social media platform. Touted as a ‘safe place for free expression’, Twitter was envisioned to be a space where marginalised populations, including women, Dalits and religious minorities, would have an equal opportunity to make their voices heard. Over the years, the social media platform has evolved into an indispensable tool for political engagement, campaigning and activism, but has the vision translated into reality? Many women do not believe so. Every day, women on Twitter face a barrage of abuse: from racist and sexist attacks to rape and death threats. Online abuse has the power to belittle, demean, intimidate and eventually silence women.

It’s what women have long been telling the world. We now have the data to back it up. With the help of 1,912 Decoders from 82 countries and 26 states in India, we analysed 114,716 tweets that mentioned 95 women politicians in India over a three-month period around the 2019 General Elections in India. This helped us conduct an unprecedented analysis of online abuse against Indian women politicians on Twitter!

Read more about our findings here.