Online safety summit discusses gender abuse, sexual harassment of women

NEW DELHI, Aug 30: The national capital witnessed the second edition of the ‘Online safety summit for women’, organised by SheThePeople.TV at the India Habitat Centre on 28 August.
The summit discussed solutions for increasing online gender abuse, sexual harassment of women through online portals, and attacks on loud and powerful women voices.
The summit was supported by Facebook, Twitter, Colors, and UN Women.
The summit identified steps taken by various digital platforms to protect women from risks of identity exploitation, financial risks and emotional harassment, and to create awareness, policy and law enforcement. It also helped to highlight the importance of digital literacy as more and more women get online.
The summit, which focused on solutions to real world problems, was inaugurated by Shaili Chopra, founder of SheThePeople.TV.
Representing Arunachal Pradesh, Ngurang Reena, an assistant professor at Delhi University, acknowledged the prevalent online misogyny and said, “We need to change the narrative of how we understand the gender issues; online harassment is not a women’s issue, but it is men’s.”
She stressed on educating young boys and imparting the right kind of education at home. She also highlighted to the Delhi audience how women of certain identities, such as hers and many others from the Northeast often face prejudices online.
Facebook’s public policy director, India, South and Central Asia, Ankhi Das said, “Promoting safe spaces for women on Facebook is very important to us. Research shows us that, in addition to normative barriers, concerns around online safety prevent more online participation by women. In order to address this, we work with a variety of non-profits, academics and our community in India to help develop products, tools, policies that are safety-centric. We also run public education programs to build awareness and community capacity.”
Speaking about the summit, Mahima Kaul from Twitter said, “We are happy to be partnering with @SheThePeople to host this important discussion. Platforms like the #SafetySummit provide an important opportunity to learn and engage with our larger community and update them on the work Twitter does on online safety, which is a priority area for us.”
The event hosted other renowned voices like IIMC Director KG Suresh, DataLEADS editor Syed Nazakat, Rahul Srivastava of UP Police, Nazia Erum, Kalpana Vishwanath from Safetipin, IT expert Prasanto Roy, Ranjana Kumari from CSR, advocate Talish Ray, BBC’s Trushar Barot, Kunal Mazumder of India Correspondent Committee to Protect Journalists, and activist Gurmehar Kaur.