BPF gender and digital rights

9 Dec 2021 08:30h - 10:00h

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Event report

This Best Practice Forum (BPF) session centred on gender and digital rights practices; it is timely to examine the concept of gender-based misinformation, the interaction of gender-based misconceptions with gender-based violence and online hate speech, and the immediate effects on gender groups online and their freedom of expression. Research on gender and the approach of the BPF were also discussed.

Mr Wim Degezelle (Independent Internet Policy Analyst and Contractor) explained that the goal of the BPF is to look at gender and digital rights practices, and to understand the ways these practices are resolved in different parts of the world, so as to learn from each other and exchange experiences. He pointed out that people around the world need to share their experiences with gender disinformation and, since people from different communities are still trying to respond or articulate the first reaction to the phenomenon, no clear list of best practices is available.

Ms Bruna Santos (Visiting Researcher at Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung (WZB)) explained that gendered disinformation can mean activities such as creating, sharing, or disseminating content that can result in an attack or in undermining of people based on their gender; or weaponizing gender narratives to promote political, social, or economic objectives. Gender disinformation phenomena include everyday gender disinformation, and the youth experience, because some disinformation campaigns directed at young women could be a barrier to their digital rights. 

Ms Chenai Chair (Special Advisor on Africa Mradi Innovation at Mozilla Foundation) stressed the importance of having parliamentarians and policymakers in the room to provide guidance on how to think about the process. It is important to connect gender disinformation from various parts of the world; it is also a persistent a generational issue. Further, different stakeholders, such as social media companies and technical giants, and cybersecurity entities in the regulatory and legal spaces, should be engaged in the discussions. They should be committed to solutions that will produce a balance of rights.

By Jovana Martic

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