Online Gender-based Violence

How do we ensure a significant response to online gender-based violence, and what evidence is needed to effect policy change for women and other marginalised people from heterogeneous locations?

In particular, the knots in the conversation around gender-based violence (GBV) and freedom of expression need to be further unravelled, as feminist research will highlight questions about how we ensure that women and girls can fully participate in public life. The focus should be on the rights of people, legality/illegality of acts that can constitute online GBV rather than criminalisation, and understanding the harm it causes to individuals and groups.

Intrinsic to the question of online GBV is the binary of online and offline, and the need to understand the flow and distinction between them when it comes to researching, locating and privileging the diverse experiences of women and girls.

Some of the questions arising include: What does accountability look like for corporations and internet intermediaries? What policy changes can and should be made by the state? What impact have such changes made? How accessible are they to people who have been affected? What impact will proposed technological solutions have? Importantly, these questions must be asked from the point of view of the lived experiences of women.