IGF 2010, 14-17 September 2010, Vilnius (Lithuania)

Council of Europe convention to combat the use of the Internet for violence against women

[17.09.2010] A new Council of Europe convention to combat violence against women and domestic violence, which is currently being drafted, will include specific provisions for states to cooperate with the private sector, the media and the technology sector to prevent violence against women, including that carried out using the Internet.

This draft convention was mentioned today as an example of policy responses that need to be put in place to fight gender inequality online in a workshop jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the Association for Progressive Communications at the Internet Governance Forum.

When using the Internet, women are exposed to risks such as surveillance, harassment, stalking, fear, identity theft and manipulation, which are also related to offline consequences, such a persecution in private and professional environments, defamation, assault or bodily harm.
Participants mentioned freedom of expression and privacy of women, as well as the risk of harm and its perception, as key concerns. They stressed the need for policies to fight gender inequality online, that women should be closely associated with the design of technology, and fully involved in the Internet governance debate.