The United Nations Broadband Commission has released a landmark report on the growing problem of on-line violence and harassment against women and girls. According to today’s press release:
[the report] reveals that almost three quarters of women online have been exposed to some form of cyber violence, and urges governments and industry to work harder and more effectively together to better protect the growing number of women and girls who are victims of online threats and harassment.
The report notes that despite the rapidly growing number of women experiencing online violence, only 26 per cent of law enforcement agencies in the 86 countries surveyed are taking appropriate action. . .Without concerted global action to curb the various escalating forms of online violence, an unprecedented surge of ‘cyber violence against women and girls (cyber VAWG)’ could run rampant and significantly impede the uptake of broadband by women everywhere, the report contends. It notes that cyber VAWG already exists in many forms, including online harassment, public shaming, the desire to inflict physical harm, sexual assaults, murders and induced suicides.
The full 60-page report – which is sub-titled ‘A World-Wide Wake-up Call’ – contains lots of helpful (and troubling) information.