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UNESCO reflects on the role of online communities in tackling sexual harassment

 A multi-stakeholder effort raises awareness of the (sexist) hate speech and offers guidance for youth on responding and preventing (sexist) hate speech online. Diana Gichengo from Human Rights Commission shared experiences from Kenya.


UNESCO Finland
Updated: 28-03-2018 13:21 IST
UNESCO reflects on the role of online communities in tackling sexual harassment

 A multi-stakeholder effort raises awareness of the (sexist) hate speech and offers guidance for youth on responding and preventing (sexist) hate speech online. Diana Gichengo from Human Rights Commission shared experiences from Kenya.(Image Credit: UNESCO)

During the 62 Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62), UNESCO participated in an event exploring the role of online communities in relations to sexual harassment and hate speech.

Currently, 1 in 5 women using the Internet lives in countries where abuse of women is likely to go unpunished and 73 percent of women online have experienced some form of online violence.

The Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services in Finland, Annika Saarikko highlighted the importance of making efforts to build a more open and safe Internet as the rapid digitalization transforms the media landscape.

Minister, who had participated in the #metoo movement by sharing her personal story, stated that every incident of harassment is one too many as a life-long psychological impact often follows. Ultimately, harassment infringes our human rights as it compromises free speech and participation.

Interventions to combat the online hate speech were presented including a guidebook titled #WeWillNotBeSilent - What is hate speech and what it has got to do with gender?

A multi-stakeholder effort raises awareness of the (sexist) hate speech and offers guidance for youth on responding and preventing (sexist) hate speech online. Diana Gichengo from Human Rights Commission shared experiences from Kenya.

Her presentation rose great concerns in showing that online activist is often attacked and exposed to serious violence when they use social media to combat the gender-based violence.

UNESCO's Director of Gender Equality, Ms Gülser Corat spoke at the event emphasizing the universality of the online harassment affecting women and girls in all socioeconomic groups, countries and judiciaries making it a very serious global issue.

Gender equality is one of UNESCO's global priorities and well reflected in UNESCO's interventions. These include efforts to counter online hate speech, empowering women and girls to harness digital and media literacy skills, promoting the safety of women journalists and gender parity in media.

UNESCO is also addressing the issue through the development of international frameworks to build an open, human rights based, accessible and pluralistic knowledge societies and media environments.

The event took place on 13 March at the Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations in New York and other partners were Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in Finland, National Institute for Health and Welfare and Kenya Human Rights Commission.

(This is a reproduced UNESCO news as it is. Devdiscourse bears no responsibility towards grammatical or factual errors that may have been presented in the report.)

COUNTRY : Finland

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