Commentary: ICT co's must adopt gender lens to resolve tech-enabled human rights abuses

Author: Michelle Lau-Burke & Callie Strickland, OpenGlobalRights, Published on: 12 July 2018

"A gender lens is critical to resolving tech-enabled abuse", 27 June 2018

Technology can (...) deepen divides and provide a platform for discriminatory and threatening behaviour. This is especially alarming when examining two trends: the rise of technology-related gender-based violence (GBV) and the digital gender divide. Technology-related GBV includes acts or threats of violence that are committed, either in part or in full, through the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) platforms... The UN estimates that 95% of harassment, disparaging imagery, abusive language and aggressive behaviour online are targeted at women... ICT companies must conduct due diligence to understand how their products and services may be misused to cause harm... In addition to the unique threats women face through tech-related GBV and online harassment, there is a pervasive gender gap in accessing ICT technologies. ... [T]here are encouraging signs of campaigns and organisations taking action to make technology more rights-enabling and gender-responsive... [and] a growing number of companies establishing programs and policies to address the digital gender divide... As users of technology, we must [...] press for greater action on the part of ICT companies and governments to address women’s safety concerns and curtail violent and abusive behaviour...

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