Challenges faced by women on social media

  • Women are the most vulnerable to cyber abuse like online harassment.
  • Increased attention of women in social media often makes them the target of repressive activities. This results in gendered barriers for women online as in public places.
  • Online offences are often normalised due to the difficulty in tracing offenders and the complexity and inaccessibility of the justice delivery mechanisms
  • This creates mistrust of the public towards the justice system, leading to the further marginalisation of women.
  • In this backdrop, social media has become a tool for the rapists to threaten their victims to not report the crime.
  • Such platforms are used by harassers to silence women who strive to break the misogynistic social norms.
  • A study revealed that a third of the surveyed women stopped opinionating online due to the fear of abusers.
  • Online trolling is now going beyond the digital realm, leading to cases like suicides.
  • An international survey found that 20% of women being harassed offline believe that those attacks were connected to online abuse they receive.
  • Some are even vulnerable to stalkers because of their online presence. This is especially prevalent in regions where law enforcement is weak, patriarchy is strong and online trolling is commonplace.
  • Fake profiles are often created for sullying victims’ reputation.
  • In recent years, the internet has become a tool to discriminate against women, with a high prevalence of hate campaigns across the world. E.g. Revenge porn.
  • With the worldwide restrictions due to the pandemic pushing more people online, cases of online gender abuse have escalated.