“As a largely marginalized segment of the society, we want to enable a platform for women to finally voice their dissent online.” —Digital Rights Foundation
cybercrimes reported between August 2014 and 2015
of these crimes were against women in social media
March 2016 End date
Online harassment is a global problem across the world and across the world young women are more at risk. But in Pakistan the number of cybercrimes against women reach sky high. Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency investigates hundreds of cases of online sexual harassment each year, while many more go unreported.
With the cultural taboos around women and communication, most women and young girls will often stay silent about the harassment that they face online. There is a prevalent fear that if their families find out, they will only restrict their access to the internet and ICTs - rather than taking action or calling upon the government’s online protection policies.
In spite of this, there is little to no awareness about making ICT usage safer and more secure for young women and girls in Pakistan. By not tackling this issue, we risk a situation where members of an already marginalized group, one that makes up over half the population of Pakistan, are denied essentially life-enhancing knowledge and tools.
With the Hamara Internet (“Our Internet”) campaign, the Digital Rights Foundation aims to shed some light on the issue of gender-based digital violence against women, and to provide women and young girls with the necessary knowledge and tools to protect their freedom of expression – online and offline – via comprehensive workshops, trainings, research programmes and software applications.
This project aspires to create equal access to ICTs for men and women in Pakistan, to foster digital literacy and to make internet governance inclusive. A website has being created featuring various self-taught curriculums on digital security tools and information about Pakistan cybercrime laws and policies.
The website also details how to report cybercrimes and include a section to allow women to share their stories of harassment, anonymously and safety, with their data strongly protected. Furthermore, a smartphone application will provide the same information, and include legal remedies to forms of online harassment and violence.
Digital Rights Foundation is a research based advocacy NGO focusing on ICTs to support human rights, democratic process and digital governance. It works towards a world where all people, and especially women, are able to exercise their right to expression without being threatened.