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​​​​The Working Group on Broadband and Gender’s 4th onsite meeting: 24 September 2015, New York, USA​

On 24 September 2015, the Working Group on Broadband and Gender convened for its 4th onsite meeting in New York, USA at the UN Women HQ.

A new discussion paper from the United Nations Broadband Commission for Digital Development aimed to mobilize the public and private sectors around concrete strategies aimed at stemming a rising tide of online violence against women and girls.

Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is already a problem of pandemic proportion; research shows that one in three women will experience some form of violence in her lifetime. With social networks still in their relative infancy, this is a problem that urgently needs to be addressed if the Net is to remain an open and empowering space for all.

The official launch of the discussion paper: Combatting Cyber Violence Against Women & Girls: A Worldwide Wake-up Call was held in the UN HQ and opened by the Working Group Co-Chairs:
Ms Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator and Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Women Executive Director.

The programme of the event included the opening remarks by Broadband Commission co-Vice Chairs:
Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO
Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin, ITU Chief of Strategic Planning and Membership on behalf of ITU Secretary General Houlin Zhao

Guest keynote:
Baroness Beeban Kidron, award-winning filmmaker and iRights campaigner

The moderated panel discussion with floor interaction was led by Nidhi Tandon, the report coordinator with following Contributors:
Anita Sarkeesian, Feminist Frequency
Zoe Quinn, CVAWG survivor  and Cofounder of Crash Override Network
Madeline di Nonno, CEO of Geena Davis Institute for Gender in Media
Roberta Cocco, ‎Corporate Social Responsibility and National Development Director, Microsoft Italy
Dafne Sabanes Plou, Association for Progressive Communication (APC)

Intervention of:


​​  High​lights of the discussion paper 
  • The sheer volume of cyber VAWG has severe social and economic implications for women's status on the Internet. Threats of rape, death, and stalking put a premium on women's emotional bandwidth, take-up time and financial resources including legal fees, online protection services, and missed wages. Cyber VAWG can have a profoundly chilling effect on free speech and advocacy.

  • Women aged 18 to 24 are at a heightened risk of being exposed to every kind of cyber VAWG; they are uniquely likely to experience stalking and sexual harassment, while also not escaping the high rates of other types of harassment common to young people in general, like physical threats.

  Documents and Links