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Digital Gender Violence and Hate Speech: Role of Men, the Legislator and the Implications for Democracy

Welcome to a side event at the CSW62 hosted by the Icelandic Ministry of Welfare, the Parliament of Iceland (Althingi), the Icelandic National Committee of UNWomen, and the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association.

Monday, 12 March 2018, 13:15 – 14:30, Conference room 12, GA building, UNHQ.

During this event, we will discuss the challenges and the possibilities inherent in online communication and social media. The internet is a vital tool in raising the voices of groups or individuals who have been silenced, marginalized or disadvantaged, as women, people of colour, immigrants and refugees, creating a platform where these groups can campaign for their rights. The internet can create social movements and change our society, as we have seen in recent months in stories that have been and are told online under the hashtag #metoo.

However, the architecture of the internet simultaneously encourages and discourages democratic discussion. While the internet creates spaces and tools for civic and democratic discussions, the architecture of the internet can also increase barriers to equal participation online and online violence and harassment has been used to drive women and women’s activists offline and thereby out of public spaces.

The essence of democracy is the equal participation in public life and access to political and social processes. By preventing or limiting a group of citizens, in this case women, to express their opinion and raise their voices online, democracy is both in online and offline spaces.

The speakers will address the challenges and possibilities in online activism and how we can ensure democracy by eradicating digital gender violence.

Speakers:

Mr. Ásmundur Einar Daðason, Minister of Social Affairs and Equality in Iceland

Ms. Albertína Friðbjörg Elíasdóttir, Member of Alþingi, the Icelandic Parliament

Ms. María Rún Bjarnadóttir, Lawyer and Doctoral Researcher, University of Sussex

Mr. Unnsteinn Manuel Stefánsson, Film-Maker and Champion of the Icelandic National Committee of UNWomen in Iceland

Moderator:

Ms. Brynhildur Heiðar- og Ómarsdóttir, Director of the Icelandic Women’s Rights Association.

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