Virtual spaces, real consequences: ending online violence against women and girls - ESCWA
1 November-10 December 2021
Event series

Virtual spaces, real consequences: ending online violence against women and girls

poster
Location
  • Online
Contact information
Share

The Global 16 Days Campaign to end gender-based violence takes place every year between 25 November to 10 December. The Campaign raises awareness and calls for the elimination of violence against women and girls worldwide. Each year, ESCWA, in partnership with the Arab Institute for Women at the Lebanese American University, holds a youth arts competition and social media campaign to mark the Campaign. 2021's chosen theme centers on combatting online and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) related and facilitated violence against women and girls, titled "Virtual spaces, real consequences: ending online violence against women and girls.”

The theme reflects the reality that online harassment was one of the highest reported forms of violence against women and girls in the Arab region during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes gender-based slurs, sexual harassment, cyber stalking, bullying, non-consensual distribution of intimate images and electronically enabled trafficking, amid others. Not only is online and ICT-related and facilitated violence a human rights violation, but it can also lead to women and girls reducing their presence online, further increasing the gender digital divide and limiting digital literacy. 

The arts competition is accepting submissions from 1 to 25 November 2021. It is open to all youth under the age of 30 in the Arab region. All forms of art are accepted as submissions, including painting, video, photography, poetry and music. The winners' work is to be showcased at a virtual event on 10 December 2021, during an online awards ceremony which includes a webinar discussion on online and ICT-related and facilitated violence against women and girls in the Arab region. Submissions can be made here:

English: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1qDRn9hmbyC-8LS0pjZwIe4moTsCNwU0RrRMXZyP9BqM/edit?usp=sharing

Arabic: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1qIHEeA9qAL8QoAKoQ1hWDCwXm0Lxoh7foJZdjanuTxQ/edit?usp=sharing

 

The Winners

 
 
 
3rd place
 
Youth-Category-sara-awashra

 

Outcome document

During 2020, violence against women and girls increased in type and severity globally; this includes an increase in online Information and Communications Technology (ICT) related and facilitated violence against women and girls. Notably, online harassment was the highest reported type of violence against women and girls in the Arab region during the pandemic. With the mandated pandemic lockdowns, the digital space proved to be a double-edged sword – while there was an over-reliance on virtual spaces for social contact and services, perpetrators took advantage of the online space. Women and girls were subjected to different forms of online ICT-related and facilitated violence.

Not only is online ICT-related and facilitated violence a human rights violation, but women and girls exposed to such violence oftentimes self-censor or intentionally reduce their presence online, further increasing the digital divide and limiting digital literacy. This is especially worrisome given the already significant digital divide between males and females in the Arab region.

To close the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence under the theme of “Virtual spaces, real consequences: Ending online violence against women and girls,” the webinar included a panel discussion with four experts discussing the rise of online violence against women and girls in the Arab region and efforts to combat such violence.

The event then closed with the announcement of the winners of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Arts Competition.

arrow-up icon
Feedback