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Tuesday, December 19 • 16:40 - 18:10
Online freedom for all = No unfreedom for women How do we solve this equation? (WS152)

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Proposer's Name: Ms. Ingrid Brudvig
Proposer's Organization: World Wide Web Foundation
Co-Proposer's Name: Ms. Nandini Chami
Co-Proposer's Organization: IT for Change 
Co-Organizers:
Ms, Ingrid, BRUDVIG, Civil Society, World Wide Web Foundation - Women’s Rights Online Network

Ms, Nandini ,CHAMI, Civil Society, IT for Change


Session Format: Break-out Group Discussions - 90 Min

Proposer:
Country: South Africa
Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Co-Proposer:
Country: India
Stakeholder Group: Civil Society

Speaker: Nanjira Sambuli
Speaker: Nandini Chami
Speaker: Amalia Toledo
Speaker: Lisa Garcia
Speaker: Amel Fahmy

Content of the Session:
The pandemic of technology-mediated violence has emerged as a near-insurmountable barrier for women and girls across the world seeking to use the Internet to expand their life-choices. Governments, Internet companies, and women’s rights activists are united in the recognition that something needs to be done, and that too urgently, if the gender digital divides in access are to be bridged and women’s meaningful use of connectivity assured. But zeroing down on what exactly needs to be done to guarantee a gender-inclusive and safe online public sphere is extremely difficult – as any step in this direction forces us to examine limits to Internet speech and participation that can allow societies to thrive without penalising their women and girls. Online gender based violence combines misogyny, homophobia, racism and other prejudices, making the promise of freedoms online elusive for a large majority of users.

Sexism and its unholy variants are ever-present in multiple Internet based social interactions. Understanding these forms of violations is vital to know how best to balance the competing considerations of freedom of expression online and women’s right to freedom from violence, whether it be a legal measure against online VAW, a private complaint resolution mechanism managed by an Internet intermediary, or civil society-initiated campaigns and awareness programs.

Through an open house discussion using the Break-out Group Discussions format, this workshop seeks to bring together civil society organisations, representatives from social network and social media platforms, and government officials, to reflect upon good practices in this domain that they are familiar with, to address the following questions:

- In framing an effective response to technology-mediated violence against women, what should be the roles and responsibilities of governments, Internet intermediary platforms and civil society organisations, so that freedoms are maximised and un-freedoms eliminated?

- What should be the framework and remit of the law and the mechanisms for effective law enforcement?

- How should intermediary responsibility get operationalised?

- What can civil society organisations do to create online cultures that are gender-inclusive and safe?


Relevance of the Session:
An inclusive digital future is one that respects, protects and promotes women’s human rights. As Dubraka Simonovic, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women has observed, building an Internet free from gender-based violence has become an essential precondition for ensuring women’s full participation in all spheres of life. In realising this objective, it is becoming clear that concerted actions from governments, Internet intermediary platforms, and civil society organisations -- in their respective roles and responsibilities -- is indispensable. Too often, conversations in this area tend to become one-sided -- privileging either a regulatory response or one that is steeped in an ethic of self-governance. This workshop seeks to tide over this impasse, by re-opening the discussion on the balance between considerations of free speech and freedom from violence that we seek to achieve on the Internet, in a way that enables all stakeholders to express their viewpoints. The future of Internet governance also depends on the extent to which we are successful in creating spaces for meaningful multistakeholder dialogue and debate -- and the workshop process intends to demonstrate one way of ensuring this.


Tag 1: Gender Issues
Tag 2: Freedom of Expression Online
Tag 3: Inclusive Digital Futures

Interventions:
Since we are organising the workshop as a Break-out Group Discussion, the speakers will make trigger presentations of 3-4 minutes each, which will help in catalysing small group discussions on the following three questions:

- What should be the framework and remit of the law and robust mechanisms for law enforcement?
- How should intermediary responsibility get operationalised?
- What can civil society organisations do to create online cultures that are gender-inclusive and safe?

Amalia Toledo, Amel Fahmy and Lisa Garcia, will draw upon their expertise of working on freedom from violence issues in Colombia, Egypt and Philippines, respectively, to highlight key issues/concerns around building online cultures that are gender-inclusive and safe. Nanjira Sambuli will reflect upon key issues/concerns in terms of operationalising intermediary liability and Nandini Chami will discuss emerging insights with respect to defining the framework and remit of the law on online gender-based violence and fixing gaps in law enforcement, drawing upon IT for Change’s research in this area.


Diversity:
This workshop reflects women’s leadership in the ICT policy space, as all speakers are women. Speakers are representative of at least 5 developing countries and diverse regions, including Kenya, India, Colombia, Philippines, South Africa and Egypt. Several speakers have attended IGF previously, but at least three are first-time session speakers at the IGF.


Onsite Moderator: Ingrid Brudvig - Women’s Rights Research and Advocacy Coordinator, World Wide Web Foundation 
Online Moderator: Ingrid Brudvig - Women’s Rights Research and Advocacy Coordinator, World Wide Web Foundation 
Rapporteur: We will select a rapporteur from each of the three break out groups. The session moderator, Ingrid Brudvig, will then collate an

Online Participation:
We will facilitate remote participation via the moderator in the room to manage online participation via WebEx (or similar tool). This will be open to the public (participants will have to pre-register) and will allow participants to ask questions and make comments using live audio/video during the session. Remote participants will be able to listen to the introductory trigger presentations and add their comments/questions to relevant Break Out groups. During the Break Out sessions the remote moderator will rotate to each of the groups and communicate the main discussion points with the remote participants for their reactions. We will also encourage remote participation via social media with appropriate hashtags including #womensrightsonline. This facility will be promoted throughout the Web Foundation’s global and local networks in the months leading up to the IGF in December.


Discussion facilitation:
The workshop will open with an introduction by the moderator, Ingrid Brudvig followed by trigger presentations from the speakers, as detailed above. Attendees will then self-organise into three groups, each of which will examine one out of the three key questions of the workshop:

- What should be the framework and remit of the law and robust mechanisms for law enforcement?
- How should intermediary responsibility get operationalised?
- What can civil society organisations do to create online cultures that are gender-inclusive and safe?

After 30 minutes of working on the overarching question, one representative from each group will report back to the plenary -- emerging best practices and continuing challenges that need attention -- in relation to the area they focused upon.

Remote participants will be able to react to the introductory trigger presentations. The remote moderator will also sit in each of the break away groups for 10 minutes each to capture the main discussion points and share this with remote participants.

Following the Break Out sessions the moderator will then respond to the group presentations and summarise the key insights they provide, to the larger question of what should be the roles and responsibilities of governments, Internet intermediary platforms and civil society organisations, specifically, in the context of responding to online GBV in a manner that maximises freedoms, and eliminates un-freedoms. Reactions from remote participants will also be shared.


Conducted a Workshop in IGF before?: Yes
Link to Report: https://www.intgovforum.org/cms/documents/igf-meeting/igf-2014-istanbul/open-forums-1/285-report-web-foundation-open-forum-igf-2014/file

Agenda: 
  • Welcome and Introductions: 10 minutes
  • Trigger Presentations (Amalia Toledo, Amel Fahmy, Lisa Garcia, Nanjira Sambuli, Nandini Chami): 25 minutes
  • Breakout groups: 30 minutes
  • Group 1: What should be the framework and remit of the law and robust mechanisms for law enforcement?
  • Group 2: How should intermediary responsibility get operationalised?
  • Group 3: What can civil society organisations do to create online cultures that are gender-inclusive
...

Session Organizers
avatar for Ingrid Brudvig

Ingrid Brudvig

Women's Rights Research and Advocacy Coordinator, World Wide Web Foundation
Ingrid coordinates the Women’s Rights Online country partner network and research initiatives. Prior to joining the Web Foundation in 2014, Ingrid coordinated a network of anthropologists across Africa conducting ethnographic research on ICTs, and co-edited a published book on “Mobilities... Read More →


Tuesday December 19, 2017 16:40 - 18:10
Room XXIV - E United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)

Attendees (52)