WIDE+ Migration and Gender Working Group, in partnership with our member Creación Positiva, has sent a letter of recommendations to Members of European Parliament, Dr Sylwia Spurek and Ms Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi on addressing legal and policy gaps in tackling gender-based cyberviolence. The letter has been drafted and supported by many women’s rights organizations and experts including NGO Atina, Donestech, Glitch UK, Laia Serra Perelló, and others.
The letter is a timely initiative given that the two MEPs are currently driving a legislative process to combat gender-based violence, with specific reference to cyberviolence. Gender-based cyberviolence is part of the continuum of widespread violence against women and girls and is a serious violation of women’s human rights. All forms of systemic and social discrimination, including gender, racial and economic ones, are reproduced and magnified online. These discriminations intersect, resulting in more extreme consequences for migrant women, young women, women from ethnic minorities and indigenous and racialized women, LGBTIQ+ people, women with functional diversity and women from other vulnerable and marginalized groups.
Overall, the letter recommends the importance of having a working definition of gender-based cyberviolence that can capture the scope, extent, types, gendered and intersectional nature of this form of violence. At the same time, it outlines the importance and urgency for the EU to ratify the Istanbul Convention, and calls for Internet intermediaries to be held accountable for all forms of cyberviolence that occur on their platforms. The online space is a public space and fundamental human rights have to be protected above other priorities.
Image illustrated by: Marga RH
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