Facts About How Technology is Being Used to Perpetrate Violence Against Women And to Fight it

Facts :

  • The World Health Organisation states that women are disproportionately the victims of violence worldwide
  • The UN estimates that 95% of aggressive behaviour, harassment, abusive language and denigrating images in online spaces are aimed at women and come from partners or former male partners
  • Both men and women are affected by cyberstalking, but a survey in India found that victims aged between 18-32 were predominantly female
  • Research in Argentina shows that a woman’s mobile phone is one of the first items to be destroyed by a violent partner.
  • Information and communications technologies (ICTs) like the internet and mobile phones are a double-edged sword – they can be used byabusers to deepen their control and by survivors of violence to connect to help and by women’s rights defenders to inform, denounce and strategise to end violence.
  • Congolese researchers commented that it is common to find women and girls using an email account set up for them by a male who then keeps the password details. They state that the reverse is rarely occurs.
  • Persistent mobile calls from strangers: In a survey carried out for APC in Pakistan in 2009 approximately 94% of women respondents had received harassing calls and messages from men they did not know. Repeat calls from strangers were so common that most women had even stopped being bothered by them. One in 10 women received
    threats from strangers and in one case the woman received death threats and decided to leave Pakistan.
  • Manipulating photographic images: In India, Delhi police note that of all cybercrime cases reported almost half are filed by women who discover their faces morphed onto pornographic images and posted online, usually accompanied by a personal phone number and an invitation for strangers to call (Weiting).
  • Fraudulent postings and advertisements: False postings to popular websites have led to violent attacks and harassment of women in the USA. A woman was raped by a stranger who said he was answering her Craigslist ad(www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gjkSsx7K3ot-ehcTMQi5nfMPvelQD9F886SG0). The woman’s ex-boyfriend had pretended to be her in the ad saying she was looking for a man to fulfil her violent rape fantasy. The ex-boyfriend and the man who answered the ad were charged.

  • Traffickers are using the internet to communicate with and recruit victims: Fake online “marriage agencies” are common in Colombia. As are web pages that advertise non-existent work or study opportunities and include
    the photos and profiles of young people, many of whom end up in forced marriages, said researchers. In Mexico the Federal Police report that more than 600 children were recruited over the internet by child-trafficking criminal gangs in 2009. Mexican lawyer Teresa Ulloa reported that her anti-trafficking organisation received its first internet-related abduction case in 2005.

Prevention:

Keep your chats exactly that!
Researchers found that it is common for South African high school girls from all backgrounds to spend anything up to six hours a day on their mobile phones texting. This campaign helps young girls educate themselves about phone chats and messages in order to prevent them from becoming victims of violence or harassment when using the internet and cell phones. It provides practical tips to 6 th and 7 th graders and runs workshops with children, teachers and parents.

Recognition:

Raising visibility of violence on YouTube
In Pakistan in March 2009 a video was published on YouTube of a woman being flogged in the tribal area of Swat for being in public with a man who was not her immediate relative. In the video, the heavily-covered woman is held down by two men while a third flogs her as she begs for them to stop. This video was first made public by a women’s rights activist and was subsequently aired on local television, running in a loop on an Urdu cable channel. The incident generated national and international coverage, with Pakistani talk shows and commentary discussing the growing “Talibanisation” in Pakistani society, the place of religious law and to a certain extent its effect on the rights of women.
For more information please read this file.
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