There are currently 200 million more men than women who have access to the internet. While some women simply have no access to digital devices, others are discouraged by online experiences. A UN report shows that reasons for women’s lack of access include cyber harassment and discrepancies between the ways men and women are represented in popular culture.
From insults to rape threats, women experience a range of online violence and abuse. Chat users with female names receive 25 times the harassment as those with male names. Nearly two-thirds of women gamers report harassment, causing one-third to temporarily quit playing. Feminist journalists and activists endure a variety of violent threats on Twitter, and bloggers face frequent attacks. How many bloggers have shut down their sites because of sexist insults and threats?
Online harassment often includes serious privacy violations. Women all over the world report having images stolen, sometimes photoshopped, and shared. This has led to a long list of consequences for women, including fear of physical violence, depression, ostracism, job loss and suicide, and it’s often referred to as “revenge porn,” although it’s not always revenge and it’s never porn. It’s an act of violence.
Harassment is meant to silence us and push us out of public spaces. We have the right to digital spaces without fear of abuse. Tell your story and reclaim your space!
Have you experienced cyber harassment? Share your story on our interactive map of ICT-related violence against women, which can help us understand the extent of the problem and implement solutions that work. This map is anonymous, so be sure not to include names or personal information.
To map your story:
- Click on “SUBMIT A REPORT.”
- Write about what you experienced or witnessed.
- Enter your city in the location finder or click on a general location in your country (not your street address).
- Check the appropriate category boxes and submit!
DECLARE YOUR RIGHT
Declare your right to be free from harassment in all the digital spaces you occupy.
Change your status message or email signature, or post a message on your wall as today's action. Declare it a zero tolerance zone for online harassment. Take a screenshot and share it with us.
Or write, draw, paint or film a message about your right to exist in online spaces without fear of harassment. Make demands, express how it feels to be threatened or suggest ways to end cyber harassment.
Share it with your network and upload it to our site to share with other campaigners.
We won’t stand for online harassment. Demand change! Spread the word!