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Abuse and Violence against Women Online-Take part and speak out

Women in the Zimbabwean Community in UK have endured the worst violence online. There is a syndicate set up under guise of human rights defender to violate them. Police has not been helpful and acts of harassments and mental torture have become worse. They are all encouraged to use this survey and platform to speak out. There are dangers some of them will commit suicide. Reports submitted to Muzvare Betty Makoni on violence they are subjected to online are many.

For more information, contact Anri van der Spuy (avanderspuy@unog.ch).

Take part in the survey and have your say http://www.intgovforum.org/cms/documents/best-practice-forums/484-call-for-input-help-us-counter-the-online-abuse-of-women/filehttp://www.intgovforum.org/cms/documents/best-practice-forums/484-call-for-input-help-us-counter-the-online-abuse-of-women/file

Call for Participation: IGF Best Practice Forum
Defining Practices to Counter the Abuse of Women Online

Introducing the Best Practices Forum on Practices to Countering the Abuse of Women Online

“More inquiry is needed about the use of technology, such as computers and cell phones, in developing and expanding forms of violence. Evolving and emerging forms of violence need to be named so that they can be recognized and better addressed.”
– UN Secretary General, in-depth study on all forms of violence against women (2006)[1]

Great strides have been made to improve connectivity and internet access around the world, which have resulted in increased opportunities for advancing rights and interests of different sections in society, including for women. However, at the same time, increased access has also resulted in the use of technology to perpetrate acts of violence against women (VAW).

Online VAW has increasingly become part of women’s experience of violence and their online interactions, encompassing acts of gender-based violence that are committed, abetted or aggravated, in part or fully, by the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) such as phones, the internet, social media platforms, and email. Examples of online VAW include (but are not limited to) online harassment, cyberstalking, misogynistic speech, privacy invasions with the threat of blackmail, viral ‘rape videos’ that force survivors to relive the trauma of sexual assault, and the non-consensual distribution of ‘sex videos’.

Violence against women and girls online limits their ability to take advantage of the opportunities that ICTs provide for the full realisation of women’s human rights, and also often violate women’s human rights. Over the past six years, there has been increasing attention paid to understanding the nature, harm and consequences of violence against women online by the media, governments and women’s movements. This is evidenced in the formal recognition of violence against women online in significant women’s rights policy spaces and the focus on secure online practices for women and women human rights defenders. However, this concern has arguably not been adequately taken up by various stakeholders within the Internet governance ecosystem. There is still a significant lack of awareness regarding what kinds of online conduct constitute abusive and violent behaviour and the variety of actions that can be taken to address and prevent such behaviour in the future.

Taking efficient and effective action to countering the growing phenomena of online VAW is not only important in ensuring that the Internet fulfils its potential as a positive driver for change and development, but also in helping to construct a safe and secure environment for women and girls in every sphere of life. Due to the nature of the Internet as a distributed network of networks, addressing online VAW requires considerable input and cooperation from a multitude of stakeholders, including the technical community, private sector, civil society advocates and organizations, governments, international organizations, academic community, users, and young people.

To help address this challenge, this Internet Governance Forum (IGF) initiative is bringing together multiple stakeholders from diverse communities to investigate the types of conduct online that potentially constitute abuse of women, the underlying factors that contribute to enabling environments for abuse, the impact that such abuse has in communities, other related contentious issues, and the solutions, responses and/or strategies that constitute good and/or best practices for countering the abuse of women online.