On March 15th, the Center for Social Research in India organized an event on the occasion of the UN Women’s Commission 65th Session. Virtual Activism has been invited to the panel. The event is entitled Digital Safety and Citizenship Development. The speakers were:
Dr. Ranjana Kumari, director of the Center for Social Research
Anne Collier, Executive Director of the Net Safety Collaborative
Lucy Thomas, CEO and co-founder of Project Rockit,
Marlyn Tadros, Executive Director of Virtual Activism,
and Jyoti Vadehra, Center for Social Research, as moderator.
Social media in today’s times is not only a place to exchange messages but a place of information dissemination, access and global participation. It is an instrument, if used effectively, has the power to harness the potential of the youth and direct them towards civic participation.
However women’s’ and girls’ representation on social media lags significantly behind that of men and boys in India. And COVID19 has deepened this digital divide further. Online harassment and
bullying, parental concerns about whom girls are engaging with, and negative online experiences can limit women’s willingness and ability to express themselves well. Many leave the platforms
entirely, rather than suffer abuse. In this way, social media has become a place where women’s voices are not adequately represented and women are not fully empowered to participate.
This is a cause of great concern and it is essential to build youth capacity to engage safely and effectively in online activities and to foster effective stakeholder and government response to create an enabling environment for women’s online participation. For this purpose CSR is organizing a panel discussion with experts in the field, to effectively identify the issues on the ground and help us build a concrete plan for combating them.
CSR aims to publish a recommendation document as a result of this discussion and address it to all stakeholders responsible for making a positive change, like government agencies, media organizations, educational institutions, CSOs and individual activists.
Listen to the event video: